- posted 14 years ago
Well, my most recent Royal Mile order arrived today - one bottle each of the above.
The Compass Box is an interesting one. A vatted malt, it's marketed for people who love 'peaty' whiskies. It's a pale straw colour, almost like a white wine. It does, indeed, have a very phenol aroma - it's right from the back of the medicine cabinet.
In taste, however, I'd say it was very much behind Laphroaig and Lagavulin in the peatiness stakes. It is, however, possibly the smoothest whisky I've ever had. It's very, very smooth indeed, so much so that I suspect you could easily drink far more of it than is good for you without actually realising it. It has a peaty, yet light flavour. Imagine Laphroaig towned down quite a bit and having a trace of vanilla added to it. A very interesting dram indeed. Not one that I'd purchase frequently, but definitely one I'll buy from time to time.
The Ardbeg Uigeadail (also a vatted malt albeit a cask strength one) is, however, a simply stunning dram. The Compass Box Peat Monster is what I'd class as a 'Yuppie'* dram (although not in an insulting way). It's an experiment and I applaud it for that. The Ardbeg Uigeadail is, in contrast, a no nonsense go-for-the-throat traditional dram. Heavily peated, heavily phenol, it's in no way as smooth as the Peat Monster. And yet...I prefer it hugely. Much darker in colour, it _feels_ as though it's whisky the way it used to be made.
Summing up: Of the two, I like the Peat Monster but I love the Uigeadail. If you like lighter, Speyside-style malts then you may want to try the Peat Monster as it's almost a peated-Speyside. If you like your malts heavy on the peat and firey on the tongue than it's hard to fault the Uigeadail.
* A rich, city-type of person. All money and little class.