Today we've got a review of Smokehead High Voltage... but it doesn't stop there! Make sure to scroll all the way down to see the bonus reviews on Smokehead's whisky/mixer drinks!
Whisky: Smokehead High Voltage
Smokehead for those who are unaware is one of the brands owned by Ian Macleod Distillers. Other brands in their portfolio include Tamdhu, Glengoyne, and Rosebank. None of this helps us figure out what goes into Smokehead, their undisclosed Islay malt, but the internet suggests it’s Ardbeg. High voltage is Smokeheads cask strength offering.
Initially there’s some pepper, and earth. Sticking with it there’s also vanilla, cloves lavender, and custard cream biscuits.
Opens with a sweet hit of chocolate and sugary caramel. Given the ABV we were expecting more of an ethanol hit, and it’s there but not as bad as expected. There’s also some wood log burner smoke, and brown sugar. This one has a long salty and peppery finish.
Nose (with water)
With water the earth becomes much more pronounced. The nose also gains notes of toffypops and sea salt.
Palate (with water)
The water has caused the sweetness to recedes bringing the peat and vegetal notes to the forefront. Salty finish that is shorter with the addition of water.
Not a bad dram, and we’d be happy to have one or two but wouldn’t be desperate for a bottle. Instead we’d rather put a few quid to this and get a bottle of Ardbeg Uigeadail.
- 10 - Perfection. A whisky that we’ll remember forever.
- 9 - Amazing. We’d pay through the nose for a bottle.
- 8 - Great. Pick this up at RRP.
- 7 - Good. Happy to have a dram or two but wouldn’t buy a bottle.
- 6 - Passable. Would accept a dram, but wouldn’t seek it out.
- 5 - Poor. Would drink if it was the only option.
- 4 - Bad. Maybe it can be saved by ginger beer?
- 3 - Awful. It can't be saved by ginger beer.
- 2 - Pour it out
- 1 - We’ve never tried a whisky rated this low and hopefully never will.
Now onto today’s bonus reviews…
Drink: Smokehead Cola
Price: £30 for 12 cans
Ok, so full disclosure we don’t put cola in our whisky, and while we’d like to tell you it’s your whisky and you can do what you want with it we’d be lying. Putting that aside we were asked our opinion on this and we’ll put our personal bias aside to review this.
We have no idea what whisky went into these, we assume it’s probably also Ardbeg, but would rather not think about it.
Ok, so on the nose we’re getting a nice hit of peat, that we’d peg as expected as Islay peat. There’s also prominent sugar syrup note.
Ok, so we’ll admit this isn’t terrible. There’s a pleasant peat hit on the palate followed by the sweet cola notes. The cola used here appears to be sweeter than coke, but flatter. There’s a smoky after taste.
The flatter sweeter coke actually works really well here. We’re not personally keeping these in the fridge, but we’ll admit they’re drinkable.
Ok, that all folks. If you’ve tried… Actually wait there’s apparently a second smoke head drink…
Drink: Smokehead Ginger Ale & Lime
Price: £30 for 12 cans
We’re cautiously optimistic for this after the smoke head cola...
Oh, and we’re immediately disappointed there’s just too much ginger and lime on the nose that overpowers the peat.
Ooft, is that a note? Not great, picture the looking on the face of your non whisky drinking friend after you’ve just given them some Laphroaig and you’ll have an idea of how we feel about this. It’s less sweet the coke, but you lose the peat and any whisky taste, or anything enjoyable at all.
At £2.50 a can we can’t really recommend either of these, but if you must get one, go for the coke.
However, can we suggest instead you add 50ml of a whisky you don’t enjoy to 280ml of coke, that’ll give you a 6% ABV drink that’s a much cheaper alternative to either of these. We tried it with some of the less desirable whiskies from our “Cheap Sips” articles, and can confirm it works as well.