Smokehead is as much a classic Islay whisky as Stagecoach is a classic western movie. The nose is a wallop of meaty peat—all burnt rubber and skid marks on tar. But those heavy aromas are all talk and no action. They collapse on themselves when you take a sip. The palate—which is disorientingly creamy-- is a flimsy clutter of saline, zingy white pepper and vanilla, which intensifies with a few drops of water. That vanilla, however, is trammeled in in the end by the pepper-heavy, seaweed-y finish.