In their innovative series Blender’s Batch, Johnnie Walker launched this so-called Sweet Peat. Now, those who know me, know that peat and a heavy sweetness (for example from a very active cask) is not always an easy exercise for me. Even though it often works. So I hope the master blenders at JW succeeded in bringing these two extremes together.
The nose indeed is very sweet, with clear notes of sherried whisky – probably Speyside – dominated by caramel and apricot pastry. Not much later, this is followed by caramelized orange peel and even some mango. The peat is unmistakable, but does remain in the background. Furthermore, after about five minutes, this starts to smell a bit like a rum.
It is very light bodied, which is a pity. On the palate, it is mildly spicy (think cloves and nutmeg) and bittersweet. Grapefruit, mandarin and bergamot. A truckload of light caramel and vanilla. Smoke is present, but again very discrete.
The finish fills the mouth with a lovely warmth and it is surprisingly long.
This is neither deep sherry, nor heavy peat – but then, that’s not what the label claims. This blend is a nice experiment that is eminently quaffable and that is just fine. Having said that, this is my least favorite expression of the Blender’s Batch range. Go ahead and use it in your Rusty Nail. Thanks for the sample, Timon.