The Schtick: Smokehead, already a brand that ensure you know they’re gunning for the extreme, comes in swinging with a followup release to the generally popular Smokehead. This bottling, christened Smokehead High Voltage, kicks things up a notch with an ABV upgrade to 58% ABV. That’s pretty significant, and I have high expectations, since my only real complaint about the OG Smokehead was that it could use more proof. Well, it’s here, so let’s dive in.
Disclosure: Quest Brands asked me to review this, and sent some long.
ABV: 58% ABV
Nose: Sweet and bright, toffee, almond and creme brulee greet the nose first. It doesn’t take long for the peat to scream in, bringing a rich leather, tobacco, medicinal and maritime peat smack to the initial sweetness. Pepper from head to tail.
Taste: Rich on the palate, quite syrupy mouth feel. An ashy punch is the first to step forward, bringing brine, a bit of ash and burning wood and some iodine to light. This pairs nicely with dessert notes like honey, toffee, sweet cream, creme brulee and an acrid burning note on the back palate. The ethanol is well behaved, not hot at all.
Finish: Long finish that smolders on. Well managed complexity here balances pungent, bold smoke notes against sweet dessert, lemon curd, honeycomb and toffee.
Overall: This is it. Smoky, brash, sweet, decadent – Smokehead High Voltage has all the body and complexity I was missing in the original release, and the ABV upgrade makes the difference. I’m a fan of this release, especially as the weather is trending colder still. I had an apple cider donut with a dram of this casually the other night and now I need to buy more donuts. Great pairing.
Thanks for reading!
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