Review: Smokehead Twisted Stout Scotch Whisky

Review: Smokehead Twisted Stout Scotch Whisky

Just when we thought that we had covered every smoke-filled iteration of Smokehead single malt, we discover yet another unique spin on this heavy metal-inspired Scotch whisky. For this latest offering, Ian Macleod Distillers has taken their sourced Islay single malt (rumored to come from Lagavulin or Caol Ila) and finished a portion of it in stout beer casks.

Smokehead also recently took their whisky innovation into the glassware space with a truly metal drinking vessel, the Smoke Mask, designed by glass artist and sculptor Elliot Walker (see below). While it looks like a prop for the next Mad Max sequel/prequel, it does indeed immerse the olfaction in all the smoky nuance of Smokehead’s whiskies. Just make sure you come up for air! If you’re interested in grabbing one for your home bar or a future Halloween costume, stay tuned as they should be made available in the states some time this year.

Anyway. On to the Twisted Stout tasting!

As with the rest of the Smokehead lineup, the aroma isn’t as punchy with peat and smoke as the marketing suggests. With the stout cask in the mix, the nose here is actually one of the softest, with a puff of tarry smoke wrapped in sweeter notes of nougat, vanilla custard, and chocolate malt balls. It’s almost creamy, and with time to open, a bit of brighter caramel and apricot arrive. On the palate, things are exceedingly approachable, if a bit thin at this modest abv. Early notes of black licorice turn quickly to cream soda, coffee, and charcoal briquettes. While light on the palate, it’s still a round and full-flavored single malt. The finish is warm and soothing with gently fading notes of pipe smoke, cinnamon toast, and charred lemon. Another interesting and enjoyable addition to the Smokehead lineup, whether sipped from a Glencairn or inhaled through their new Smoke Mask.

86 proof.

B+ / $80 /

Smokehead Twisted Stout Scotch Whisky




Drew Beard is assistant editor for Drinkhacker and winner of several booze-related merit badges, including Certified Specialist in Spirits and Executive Bourbon Steward. A former federal employee turned hotelier and spirits journalist, he looks forward to his next midlife crisis.

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