Sleeping outside tonight . . .
Let me start with the bad: Wife sniffs it and, "I hope you don't plan on drinking that." "Too late." "You can sleep in the other room tonight." "Why?" "That is an 8 on the scale of horrible smells. It does not smell like something that should go in your body." "..." "It smells like a 7 on the road tarring scale."
My family has no appreciation for peat. On the otherhand, my daughter sniffed it and said, "Good!" Then proceeded to try and take a drink. I look forward to her being old enough to drink with me.
Let me start with the good by saying this is not Laphroaig, which is good, because too many people associate peat with Laphroaig.
Machir 2014 stands right up and singes the nose hairs, without apology. You have to keep the beak at a distance, unless you want to clear out a few nose hairs. With the right distance, the peat, defined by a sweet, earthy, smokiness, reminds me of smoked honey ham. With a bit more distance you call feel the saltiness balanced with light notes of cocoa butter. What a well done orchestra of smell. Unfortunately, the peatiness is hot enough that it is hard to pull out anything more than that without a lot of careful nasal time. To get more, we have to move onto retronasal olfaction.
Retronasal olfaction starts with a snip. This comes with a menthol burn at first, which mellows out to a tingle on the tongue, the lips, and the back of the throat. That tingle numbs the mouth to the peatiness, which instead gives you a meaty umami flavor, like a smoked rib - yum! Great galavanting salt, mellowing out with vanilla and fruit. Love it.
Big mistake: don't sniff in through the nose, with nose in glass, while drinking. Burns it clear out. Have to wait a bit before trying again. This time, hold the breath so it just lingers in. Enough to make it burn at the back of the nasal cavity, but not overpower.
Sip and breath out. Peat, smoke, sweet is at the back of the throat, courses up the nose. Moves toward the front. The retronasal on this is awesome. Sweet smoke, like walking away from a hickory campfire and into deep, softy, piney woods while on the coast. Amazing, brings memories forward. Well done, well balanced. This is when the charcoal seeps through with more vanilla, an ocean breeze, coffee, cake, is that a little cumin. Love it!
Aftertaste is very clean. The mouth feels good, but has that smokiness that lingers after a single puff of a cigar. A deep sweetness relaxes in the mouth and blooms as the menthol disappears.
I would buy a bottle of this, if it wouldn't result in me sleeping on the porch every night in the winter ... Oh well!
Final Note: I am doing the 2015 advent calendar. As a result, I get one drink at it to decide if I like it enough to buy more. Sometimes I need to drink something three or four times to make up my mind. Thus, my rating is based on a one-time drink experience.
7th December 2015