Smokehead Profile

Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky

The Smokehead single malt – from an undisclosed Islay distillery – is packaged to appeal to younger consumers and sits squarely in the Kildalton flavour group with rich, seaweed and intensely peaty tones. Fresh and fruity, it has notes of Sherry, iodine, toffee, smoke and sea salt, and is bottled with no age statement at 43% abv.

It is also available as the limited Smokehead Rock Edition, which comes in an embossed tin featuring the Smokehead Skull motif, the 18-year-old Extra Black and the travel retail exclusive Smokehead Extra Rare. 

  • Region
  • Production type
    Single malt

Smokehead History

Developed and first branded by Ian Macleod Distillers in 2006, Smokehead joined the ranks of other big flavour NAS brands like Big Peat which are presented to appeal to younger consumers.

In 2007 Smokehead’s first brand extension came in the form of Extra Rare, a travel retail exclusive bottling designed as a ‘big brother’ to the classic Smokehead.

October 2008 saw the introduction of Smokehead Extra Black, an 18-year-old expression available in travel retail and domestic retailers.

In 2009 the brand began a long association with the Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards, as well as the Marshall Ultimate Band Contest.

In 2012 Smokehead Rock Edition was introduced as a limited offering designed to ‘celebrate its credentials as the rock n’ roll spirit of choice’.


  • 1933 Ian Macleod & Co Ltd is founded
  • 1936 Whisky broker Peter J Russell & Co Ltd acquires Ian Macleod & Co Ltd.
  • 2003 The company becomes Ian Macleod Distillers Ltd.
  • 2006 Ian Macleod Distillers introduces Smokehead
  • 2007 Smokehead Extra Rare is launched in travel retail
  • 2009 The brand sponsors the Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards for the first time
  • 2012 Smokehead Rock Edition is released


Current owner


+44 1506 852205

See also

  • Glengoyne Glengoyne Glengoyne Distillery & brand


    Dumgoyne distillery and visitors centre.

  • Tamdhu Tamdhu Tamdhu Distillery & brand


    Speyside filler and single malt brand.

  • Rosebank Rosebank Rosebank Distillery & brand


    This Lowland malt with its gentle, fruity palate, commands a dedicated following.

  • Glen Tress Glen Tress Glen Tress Brand

    Glen Tress

    A ‘pure malt’ established by Ian Macleod & Co during the 1980s.

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