...but forget about the ppm on the label, this statement is simply marketing BS for two simple reasons: First, just a small fraction of these ppm make their way through all the production processes into the final spirit (so forget about you taste 169 ppm). Secondly, to further increase the ppm score they not just count the phenols that really add to the taste but all phenols available (including phenols that do not have any impact on aromas or flavours at all). So the ppm statement is just about a marketing gag but consumers love it, obviously.
Now, what is special about this release? Of course it was very special when they did such stuff in the first place, but now it is just more of the very same (and boring to me, sorry folks). This "peatsky" is the same like a "sherrsky" or "woodsky" - simple stuff with one heavy spike that all taste the same regardless of the underlying malt whisky. Nothing wrong with that, except for the price level - but as long as customers buy it like hell they do everything right. Right?
The colour is rather light at pale straw and the nose offers a shy peaty profile which grows stronger upon breathing after a while. Forget about 169 ppm in your nose, this smells not bolder than 30-40 ppm (according to my olfactory cells, and this maybe exactly what is left of all the phenols after fermentation and distillation). Still this is heavily peated spirit and in that sense completely out of balance, the malt struggles hard to hold its aromas up but it looses miserably. This could be any nose of any heavily peated malt, to be honest.
The taste is peat, peat, peat, some barley sugars, peat, peat, some sugars, peat, wood, peat and so on. Great, if you like to chew bitter peat smoke (Did you ever visit a working peat-fired kiln? Enjoyed the smoke?). Not that good if you don't. I do not, because I prefer balanced drams with more flavours to offer than just bitter smoke. Water tames the peat a little but it does not really release additional interesting aromas or flavours - but where should they come from in a merely five-years old dram? If I search long enough I detect some of the winey flavours but to be honest, I do not enjoy this search.
The dram arrives very hot and punchy on the palate with a nice coating effect, so the spirit's texture is excellent. Hence the finish is very long but adds no new impressions beside the bitter peaty flavours. This reminds me of the bitter cough medicine of my youth (before they started to sugar-coat all such medicine) - I did not like the medicine back then and I do not like this bitter taste today either. This is a dram for curiosity, not to my enjoyment - but it is absolutely fine if you see this differently. Imagine how boring this world would be if all people had the same taste preferences...