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(70cl, 43%)


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Smokehead Bottling Note

Smokehead is a superb, cult single malt from Ian MacLeod. Just a massive, thick peat smoke rich dram. Plenty of great south Islay character.

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose: Smoke! Lapsang souchong. Cool wood smoke. Thick and full.

Palate: Big, puckering peat. Smoky, fruity sweetness, touch of sherry, sultana. Herbal.

Finish: Herbal, tangy fruits and more peat smoke!

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Smokehead Reviews

Excellent taste and value - in my top 3

Up there with Ardbeg and Laphroaig Quarter Cask in my humble opinion. One of the best Single Malts, especially on price!

22nd May 2020

Lovely and Smokey...

Love this whisky - does what it says on the tin. P. S It comes in a tin!

8th February 2020

5 Stars

Absolutely Brilliant, a little 70% dark Chocolate & a few toasted almonds, What more can a man want. Excellent. 10 stars.

15th August 2019

Well worth a punt when it is on offer.

Well, it is what a classic south Islay whisky should be. It's peaty, and challenging if you aren't used to the style - like drinking an Arbroath Smokie. But here's the thing, the altruistic chaps at Master Of Malt quite often have some of the big Islay names at better prices - just sayin'.

12th June 2019

Good value for price for peaty Dram

I would rate this a fine peaty Dram .Good value for money
Does it live up to its name SMOKEHEAD I would give it a 6 out of 10.
Not in same league as the other powerful Islay powerhouses

10th June 2019

Could be more, chooses to be less

Just pray, no play. I have no problem with smoke and peat, I just like it when there's layers to it and this just doesnt't have it. Seriously lacks in complexity, even after different attempts at watering it down.
All in all not bad, but disappointing at least.

3rd April 2019


I absolutely love it, proper smokey taste with none of the TCP that Laphroaig has, my favourite.

27th March 2019

Changing sources ...

Bottles of SmokeHead was in the past most likely young (ca. 8 years old) Ardbeg. However I almost certain that it is no longer Ardbeg in the bottle and that it is now Caol Ila that is used in newer bottling of SmokeHead.
Why do I think so, a brand ambassador from SmokeHead told me they had changed supplier at least once. He was not allowed to say from what to what distillery, but did say that my guess was a good educated guess. I could still be dead wrong, though. ;-)
If you like peated whiskies, with fresh peat, then this should be right up your alley.

13th November 2018

Smoke that shi... up!

Really good for smoke lovers

10th November 2018

Not bad.

It's not bad, honestly. It's definitely not Lagavulin, and a good long stride from being Laphroaig. I won't get all pretentious and talk about "nose" and "hints of" or even use the word "dram," but this stuff isn't bad at all. It just tastes like a young single malt. I probably wouldn't buy it again, considering it's $60 just like Laphroaig, which is my favorite. But since I'm a couple of drinks in, I'll enjoy it. How about we all just agree that it's lightyears beyond the garbage that people in Lynchburg, TN call good.

26th October 2018

Worst malt ever tasted

Without doubt the worst whisky I have ever had. Bottle and tin looks cool then you open it to the room filling with the smell of a hospital ward that’s spilt iodine. Managed to taste and it was as bad as it smelled. 🤢🤮

14th October 2018

Lovely single malt

I'm a huge fan of peaty smokey whisky's and this one doesn't disappoint.

Nowhere near as bad as what some have said.

I find it more tangy than smokey although you do get the smokey taste but it's a lovely single malt.

14th July 2018

Peaty alcohol

I am a huge fan of peaty whisky (with the exception of any Octomore, which is simply overkill IMO), and this was recommended to me by my Islay-loving pals. I have myself spent an entire week on Islay, and couldn’t get enough of the peaty pleasures there! Anyhow, this Smokehead was just a smoky-flavored alcohol. I tried to dissect it, but my palate said smoke, smoke, smoke, and nothing else. I would NOT recommend this to someone who has a good palate for fine whisky.

29th May 2018

none better

It’s the nuts of whisky

1st April 2018

Nice, will buy again

Interesting peaty dram, First impresion ”Arebegish” with nut and fruit twist at finish. Oily rich thick texture

15th December 2017

An accurate name

Opened this tonight and poured myself a measure neat with a drop of water. My Wife on the other side of the room said "you smell like a barbecue". Big on intense flavours, low on subtlety but a nice drop when the mood takes you

27th September 2017


Smoke and more smoke. It is overwhelming and I have to say I love it.

11th July 2017

Intense smoke but not the way you really want it..

Well... very intense!
It doesn't smell that much but is very smoky on the palate. After you have taking a few sips you starts to taste salmiak and vanilla as well. I'll stick to the rock editon over this though :)

17th March 2017

Trefor barnes

I bought this whisky on a whim, mainly because I love Islay whisky and spent a most enjoyable five days at the Laphraoig View guest house in 2014. I will not hazard a guess as to the Distillery from which this whisky came. I have sampled whiskies from all of the Islay distilleries and (of course) from Jura.
I thoroughly enjoy Smokehead single malt and do not find it over smoky or over peated, I believe the balance is a satisfying one. the initial nose was pleasant and moderate, the texture, whilst holding the dram in my mouth, was smooth and the trip down my throat was enjoyable. The after-taste lingered for a while but without the upper head sensation I get from laphraoig. I would certainly purchase Smokehead again, mainly for its value for money. When my budget allows, I will stick to Laphraoig, Lagavullin, Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhainn, Jura etc.

28th May 2016

Really smokey

I like a smokey peaty background to a malt but I felt this was like drinking smoke. It was overpowered by the smoke killing the background flavours

30th March 2016


A really smooth smokie,sweet fruity malt ,

20th December 2015

Smoke, smoke, smoke

Too smoky for me to have neat. Need it over rocks for the musty scotch notes to come through. I have never been a scotch and milk drinker but this is outstanding over double french vanilla bean ice cream!

24th November 2015


Tastes like sub-10 Lagavulin. Very nice brine, kipper and seaweed encircled by medicinal peat and powerful smoke. All the best flavours of Islay in one bottle rounded off somewhat bluntly but not unpleasantly with some Oloroso sherry casking. Great buy, very moreish!

9th November 2015

you get what you pay for definately applies here

Saw this, went out on a whim and got it for $40 CAD

So for the price you're getting what you pay for, it tastes like a watery ardbeg, i guess hence its where its from. rumored to be a 6yr old arbeg and it sure tastes like it

Kind of disappointed, i expected more especially its bottled at 43%, but for the price its not too bad an ardbeg 10 costs $70 so its fair that this is $40.

Overall its not too bad or undrinkable. Peaty and smoke style, a lot weaker than the bottling and name suggests, very watery body and medium finish.

let me put it this way, For $40 i wouldn't buy this again. I feel that this is worth $30 top end, I'd take a teachers highland cream for $25 over this

17th August 2015

Awesome dram

Unlike the over educated editors of previous posts, I thought this dram was outstanding.

23rd July 2015

one star review made me want it

thank you to the guy who gave it one star. that is exactly why i bought it!

4th June 2015

Excellent QPR

The nose on this scotch is Shirley Mason--smoke and fruit and caramel and spice and iodine all fighting for prominence. What tends to dominate ever so slightly is an almost cheap tequila-esque medicinal quality, not pleasant but not abhorrent.

On the palate, however, this is a great QPR islay peated scotch. In fact, I'd wager you won't find anything as good in the range other than Ardbeg or Laphroig. Smoother than it has any right to be, it is rich and caramely and heavily smoked with just a hint of fruit. Enjoyable; not quite at the Lagavulin 16 level, but let's say cousins. Close cousins. Appalachian cousins.

Someone earlier mentioned pouring it over ice in a negative review--do NOT pour this over ice. This is one of those scotches that really, really suffers from being diluted. Drink it straight and pay little heed to the nose and you will likely enjoy it.

30th April 2015


single malt scotch and more importantly , islay single malt is a luxury item . when you buy this luxury item, you get what you pay for . is smokehead amazing ? well that is completely dependent on what you compare it to . for 34$ it's pretty great , is it a ten yr brander, or a 12 yr solid , of course not . it is a young and fun inexpensive super peaty islay. I support any authentic islay , and smokehead is a budget friendly , young islay.

19th February 2015

Much Better

I left a review of this scotch earlier that I want to correct. I spent some time sipping on the scotch and I gradually fell in love with it. It reminds me of a Bowmore/Ardbeg mix. It is very easy to drink and has a great fruity sweetness combined with a punch of smoke. It has moved into my top 5 scotches that are $60 and under. Do not buy this scotch if you don't like Islay scotchs. If you don't like Ardbeg or Laphroaig then don't bother buying this heavyhitter...stay home and sip on your Dewars.

18th February 2015

Not a fan

I love my peaty/smoky scotchs..I have Ardbeg 10, Lagavullin 12 (2012), Laphroaig Quarter Cask, Laphroaig 10, Laphroaig Triple wood, Longrow, Bowmore, Ardmore, and many others...but Smokehead is nowhere near the flavor as these. Smokehead has a sherry flavor that I wasn't anticipating. It has an ok nose and a you can tell it's a young Islay (I am guessing a 7 year). I will keep the bottle because it looks nice, but won't be buying another anytime soon.

16th February 2015

Very young

I was very excited to try this scotch. I read many reviews and I wanted to add another Islay to my collection. The nose on this scotch is not good at all. I was shocked how simple but yet rough this scotch was. This is not even in the same level as Laphroaig, Ardbeg, Lagavullin, etc. I have read that this is a 7 year old Arbeg from several different websites. Overall this was very disappointing. Was a major letdown. I know this was a young scotch when I bought it, but I found out the hard way that "young" is not a desirable scotch characteristic.

15th February 2015


Absolutely horrid!

10th February 2015

This is what a campfire tastes like, not a Single Malt Scotch

Nice container and label. Poured on chopped ice. Went to take a sip and all I got was campire burnt wood smell in my nose. Tasted like someone shoveled campfire ashes into the scotch. Awful. Undrinkable, even with a mixer. There goes $50 down the drain.

8th February 2015


I really like it. Much like the Peaty Proposition that I had not long ago. Only thing is, I simply cannot find an age on this stuff ANYWHERE! I really wish they would publish that information! Inquiring single malty minds would like to know.

27th December 2014

chris feeney

very,very nice

11th November 2014

Not Good


13th October 2014


A big thick peat single malt just what i,ve been after

2nd October 2014

Well worth the price

Big iodiney peat, smoke, warming sherry and fruit influences. Youthful. Enormously fun and bold. I'd bet good money that this is a young and competitively priced Caol Ila made in the style of their sister company Lagavulin.

31st January 2014

Motörhead in a bottle

Heavy, rough, unpretentious and very very good.

24th October 2012

Marion Bryce of Newcastle upon Tyne

Howlicky was I? When I asked our local merchant what was the `peatiest`Islay he had, he produced an opened bottle of Smokehead and made me an instant convert,

22nd March 2012

What a monster

I bought this on impulse on a cross channel ferry, not knowing the product I thought it might be a bit gimmicky. I wasn't disappointed though, it's a real peat monster and best of all they also sell it here!

28th November 2010

Alan From Leicester

I first tasted Smokehead when a friend bought me a bottle back from Scotland, I think this is one of the best Islay malts, superb flavour real peaty but not to sharp.

16th January 2010

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