Smokehead 18 year old single malt is a 6000 bottle limited release by Ian Macleod – a mystery dram from Islay. There’s also a non age statement whisky under the Smokehead brand, launched in 2006. It is much cheaper and presumably, better available than this 18YO Extra Black. The name, by the way, comes from the black package. Apart from the sophisticated, yet strong smoke, this whisky isn’t a dark one.The package is great, like Smokehead website describes it:
“The design reflects the 18 years old malt’s limited edition status. A tapered frosted black bottle, imprinted with contemporary silver letterpress type makes Smokehead Extra Black stand out from the crowd, while the robust matt black flight case carrier with silver Smokehead logo, reaffirms that this product is every inch, ‘Extra Black’.”
But what’s even more great, is that the content is good too. I think that this whisky is probably worth the premium price. You’ll get as good smoky Islay malts with 20 pounds cheaper, but then again, they’re are not in a stylish “luxury-robust” package.
First time I tried this, it felt like going into a smoke sauna on a swamp somewhere northerly. Burnt wood was the first scent, which quickly faded away turning onto strong peat. Giving a feeling of wet forest peat near water, by a river or a sea.
Smokehead 18YO is rich, it isn’t only a smoky dram. Not the strongest one, when it comes to smoke, but a nice sophisticated peated whisky. And what it lacks in smoke, it gives back in richness. Fortunately the smoke does come strongly at the start, giving a ”phenolhead” like my some satisfaction.
Smoke brings a wee bit of darkness in the mix, so I can make a movie reference with the Finnish film called Sauna. The movie takes place in a forest damp along with sauna, so it is quite like this whisky. Both are earthly, peated and wet. Smokehead is quite rich like a smoky steam generated by a good smoke sauna. You should try one, if you haven’t before!