Taste Test - Chief’s Son Distillery’s 900 Sweet Peat Single Malt Whisky
About Chief’s Son Distillery
In Scots Gaelic, the name McIntosh—or ‘mhic an tòisich’—means ‘son of the chief’, a battle honour bestowed on the family some 900 years ago.
This is why the distillery is named Chief’s Son and why you’ll see the number 900 referenced a lot in the McIntoshes’ whiskies.
And when Stuart and Naomi McIntosh fired up their still in Somerville on the Mornington Peninsula in 2013, they were focussed on creating the finest single malt whisky, but also to pay homage to their legacy.
About the bottle
It’s no surprise that Chief’s Son chose the statuesque curves of a classic scotch bottle to house their whiskies.
This historic shape is a classic and timeless.
However, the modern minimalist design of the front label and the tasting notes on the back you’d expect more on wine bottles creates a point of difference with this brand.
I also love the attention to detail of the information etched into the back. The whisky style, release and bottle number (mine is 27 of 162) is a very cool touch.
Grain and barrel
Stuart used Aussie barley malted in Victoria—a portion of which has been toasted in peat smoke—to make his 900 Sweet Peat.
And in making a peated whisky, Chief’s Son is taking on the challenge from one of the more sought-after realms of Australian craft whisky.
This golden glow of a whisky is aged for at least two years in ex-fortified wine French oak casks.
Neat, the initial nose is robust though compelling. Cherry, earth, sawdust, iodine and smoke blend together for a sumptuous smoky sweet aroma.
Your first sip presents that classic resinous peat and deep smoke, more cherry but slightly sour now.
Oak and biscuity grain follow the smoke and peat out the door towards a medium-length, well-rounded finish that leaves you with a vanilla and caramel flavour you can only ‘taste’ as you breathe out of your nose.
A couple of drops of water open everything up.
The nose shows more soft creamy caramel and chocolate, while the palate builds on a sweetness, nuttiness and a vibrant though not over-powering peatiness.
The finish is even more creme caramel and salted butter.
Neither neat nor with water do you feel the burn from the slightly higher ABV of 45%. Having said that, Chief’s Son also has a 900 Sweet Peat at 60% ABV, and that is just as smooth.
I always feel very guilty about drinking premium single malt whisky any other way than neat or with a little water.
Putting Chief’s Son’s 900 Sweet Peat in a cocktail would be a bit of a waste unless you really know what you’re doing.
And even then, I'm not sure if it's the right thing to do!