The Big Smoke 46 evinces truth-in-advertising! It’s big, it’s smoky, and it’s 46% abv! For those of you who want only the bare bones in your reviews, you may stop right here! For those who want more, we got smoked, really, really crispy bacon and grilled seawood sandwiches, served on potato buns with a persnickety champagne and pine bark vinegar condiment sauce. (Available in select stores only.) There’s a naturally sweet medicinal sense illuminating the background, like a soft lamplight on in another room that features heather throw pillows on a honeysuckle couch.
The mouth is a total smoke fest, much like April 20th in Ann Arbor, Michigan. And yet, there’s a sweet, syrupy undertone—easily presaged by the nose—like a current from a crystal lake flowing into the ocean, intermingling the delicate snowmelt tendrils with the primordial, moon-driven, salty power of Poseidon. Reiki massage on individual taste buds. Iodine and bandages—but for faked injuries to elicit the sympathies of maternally-hearted women.
The finish is a last-resort raft constructed from cedar planks on which steak tips were grilled, then appreciatively gobbled by everyone on board. (The steak tips were gobbled, not the cedar planks. In case you were wondering.) If we think of the gamut of flavor profiles of Islay whiskies as a hedgehog, then this is one intensely-focused Islay hedgehog spine.
On the scale of beloved children’s book characters who evince truth-in-advertising–
The Big Smoke 46 is Clifford the big red dog–Clifford’s big, he’s red, and he’s a dog! More truth: Kids find Clifford compulsively readable; we found this compulsively drinkable. It’s a gentle, masterfully-blended introduction to the glories of Islay.