Well, my most recent Royal Mile order arrived today - one bottle each of
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.
Find me at http://www.ursaminorbeta.co.uk