Duncan Taylor is a company that I have valued during my whisky hobby. They produce very nice bottlings, rare casks and delicious products like the NC2 series. So I was excited to see what this Big Smoke is. Unfortunately I did not remember, that this one’s big bother (60%) was in one tasting and it didn’t receive too many supporting votes. So this is the 40% version.
What they say, is that the Big Smoke is “a blend malt whiskies from some of the islands most
iconic distilleries, and then bottled at a relatively young age in its most rugged
form.” They also mention that Caol Ila, Bruichladdich and Ardbeg are present in this one.
The nose is surprisingly good! Perhaps it was the six isles that has tuned my nose into right compass direction, perhaps it is the air but it is a pleasant nose! Sweet, yes, smoky, no. Peat is present and yes, it is not a bad combination.
The taste is too watered down. There is some peat fire, some smoke and some character but I do feel it is kind mixed with too much water in here. There is sweetness and a bit of fire in there, but the taste disappears far too quickly, leaving only a burning alcohol behind. This one lacks body, dingdongs and force. Occasionally I do get a Ardbeg sensation in breathing, which is a good thing. But face it – the warrior got too many hits and it can’t stand on it’s own feet anymore.
This is one of the biggest disappointments I’ve had with whiskies. Had I gotten that as a gift, it would be ok – but when you buy it.. No, you want more to that price. It is far better than many of blends, but I find myself comparing it to the Six Isles and I do think it has more body than this one.
The bitterness is the taste that will stay on your mouth for a long time, after the last sip.
However, after I did write the article I let some time pass by. It was proven, that this was actually a ok scotch to be enjoyed in more larger quantities. So I must say, that this is actually a good drinking dram – just make sure you have doubles in your glass. Larger mouthfuls also do well with this one. When tasting whisky I usually use small sips, and it does not do any good for this one. A good highwayman portion will do nicely and you’ll get a nice mild smoky sensation much more present with this one.