When you have a website called peatdream.com, you can imagine loving peated whiskies, so imagine what John Glaser's team's creation of the NO NAME in 2017 is doing! And just imagine the effect of repetition in 2019 with the NO NAME N°2!
So I thought why compare them for you peat lovers too!
So here it is, already what was going through John Glaser's mind in 2017 in the Chiswick studio in London? He thought, ok, I've already created the PEAT MONSTER but could I do even more peat? And why bother with a name after all!
So you can imagine the scientist (not so crazy) crossing his test tubes with the smell of peat all over the lab.
It takes a little (much 75%) of ARDEG (good base for peat) aged in new American oak barrels and adds a little (10%) of CAOL ILA also aged in new Yankee oak barrels. Now we have peat to cry over. Also, John says to himself I'm going to add a little floral sweetness, but I'm going to stay on the sailor and he throws in his test tube 13% of CLYNELISH aged in a hogshead barrel (a mixture of bourbon and new oak barrels)!
He smiles, satisfied with the result, but still John Glaser and will add a tear of secrecy. He turns around and takes a small bottle of Blend of his composition (old CLYNELISH and TEANINICH from the Highlands and DAILUAINE from Speyside) aged in toasted French oak casks and puts a few drops in. That's it, he has his unique whisky! It will be peated, marine and unique!
Like any creator, John Glaser has disciples! So, two years after his peated creation, he asked one of them, Jilian Boyd, to create a second version of this peated whisky (we suppose by telling her to give it a feminine touch).
She takes up the challenge and gets on with the job. In the same test tube that was used for the number 1, she puts a big base of CAOL ILA (75%) but, and this will be her first touch, aged in a Sherry Butt.
She then decides to change island, leaves Islay and goes further north on Skye and adds a bit of sea peat with a bit of TALISKER aged in a hogshead type American oak barrel (bourbon and new). To give a common identity to the two grinds, she slips in the same amount of CLYNELISH as John, so we assume the same hint of blend spent in burnt French oak barrels. NO NAME 2 is born! It will be peated, sherry and marine.
So which one to choose? Are you going to be a black bottle or a gold bottle?
It won't be a choice of strength because both are at 48.9% alcohol (still) which still leaves us to imagine full-bodied whiskies!
It won't be a matter of colour either, as both versions have the same light gold colour!
It will be about taste then!
John Glaser and his team wanted to make peated whiskies, so he made peated whiskies!
When the nose plunges into the first NO NAME, it is invaded by a thick, mellow, oily peat smoke. After a breath of fresh air, the brave nose plunges back down and takes full advantage of the power of the alcohol. Peppery notes come to tickle the nasal cavities. Come on, courage, we have to go back. There we discover notes of citrus fruits. Nevertheless, with each passage we realize that it is a peated whisky.
The nose of NO NAME n°2 is different. Certainly, when it plunges into the glass, the nose still discovers peat, but it is more frank and fresher. It is already adorned with a few notes of red fruits. The second passage brings more fruit than in the first version (it seems to have dried plums in peat smoke). In the third passage we could find more or less the citrus notes of its predecessor but with more and more freshness. We will find more marine notes than in the first version.
And in the mouth?
When the NO NAME enters the mouth, it's with the whole Port Askaig brass band (including the drums). We've got a lot of people and we can feel it! What strength! The peat smoke is everywhere, this whisky warms you up, as for its nose, you want to curl up in it, it's so soft! When it stays in the mouth, it throws handfuls of candied fruits. It's hot around this peat fire, it's good! Once swallowed, its smoke lingers in your throat for a long time and leaves a few barley aromas and a hint of honey!
When the NO NAME n°2 enters your mouth, the adventure is noticeably different. It is a little less powerful than No. 1 but remains very present and frank. Certainly the peat is there, but it is surrounded by salty (marine) notes. When it is kept in the mouth, the taste becomes rounder and more mellow bringing fruit notes (the contribution of sherry certainly). Before being swallowed, it throws a handful of flowers (this will be Jilian's feminine touch here). Once at the bottom of the throat, it leaves peppery but oily notes that take their time to come down.
In both cases, the empty glass embalms a sweet smoke and it's magnificent!
In the end, these two versions are really up to scratch (but how far will it stop?). The first one may be a bit more powerful but fleshier, the second one fresher and more frank, but both are really successful! There's something for everyone. Well ok you still have to like peat because we said a whisky more peaty than the PEAT MONSTER! You just have to make your choice. The first one was produced at 15 000 bottles so we can still imagine a few more, but you'll have to hurry for the second one because half as many bottles were produced!
I can't wait 2 years for the version 3 (eh John !) !