The Islay region is particularly known for highly-peated scotch, with distilleries like Laphroaig, Ardbeg and Lagavulin delivering the unbridled flavor of the small Scottish island to drinkers all over the world. Peat is responsible for scotch’s distinct smoky flavor, that palate-tingling fire that drives whisky fanatics to spend ridiculous amounts of money on booze. Scotch single malt whisky can be classified into two main flavours: peated (smoky) and unpeated (non-smoky). Before it can become malted barley (or any malted grain), it must germinate and then peat comes into the picture. The full process takes hundreds of millions of years, with peat appearing after thousands. This has always been the case. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Others followed, but not all of them. Perhaps it is fair to say, then, that peat is so much more than a stylistic trait or a differentiating factor which tempts whisky drinkers to test their mettle. Typical flavours include tar, ash, iodine and smoke. Peat is responsible for scotch’s distinct smoky flavor, that palate-tingling fire that drives whisky fanatics to spend ridiculous amounts of money on booze. Peated whiskies have the smell and flavor of peat smoke. The Ardbeg distillery is well … Understanding a scotch’s PPM (Phenol Parts per Million) can help set your expectations for how much smoke you’re going to get before even popping the bottle. Peat can be found all over the world, not just Islay or even Scotland. Peat accumulates extremely slowly and bogs are often thousands of years old leading to peat being broadly classified as a fossil fuel. Unmalted barley can also be used in whiskey production, but that grain will not be used in a single malt whiskey. Peat is most commonly found in the Scottish single malt scotch category, although you can detect it in whiskey from Japan, Ireland, and even here … 99.9% of peated whiskies are Scotch. The use of dried peat as a fuel in Scotland dates back to medieval times when the Little Ice Age left few trees in Scottish Highlands. How One Craft Distiller Is Making Single Malt With American Peat Part of the reason is that the peat destined for whiskey needs to be of a certain quality. It was a name given to a person who was referred to as Peat. Today, distilleries largely rely on commercially malted barley. Peat itself can hold water, which in turn leads to expansion as further plant matter continues to decay. In a good whisky, the bitterness of the peat on the finish is offset by the sweetness of the malt, or the sweetness contributed by the oak, and so balance is maintained. Phenol levels are often used to compare scotches. Very few of the other single malts produced in the world use peat, opting for kiln-dried or roasted malt instead. peat meaning: 1. a dark brown substance like soil that was formed by plants dying and becoming buried. Some lighter whiskies might measure up to 20ppm. Auchentoshan 18 Year Old ($150): This Lowland distillery is an oddball in Scotland, because it triple … And it fired not only hearths but distillery kilns as well. In the early days of whisky production, peat was one of the most readily accessible fuels in many areas of Scotland. In a very literal sense, peat is terroir (take that, wine!). An atavistic folk memory, like candles and open fires, Christmas trees and stormy nights.”. Bruichladdich have been very active at the other end of the scale with their Octomore whiskies ranging from 167ppm to over 300ppm in one case. Peat is the most Scottish thing about scotch. Peat gives scotch that signature smoky profile. The simple answer to this question is that peat gives the whisky a specific smell and flavour when it’s used to heat the kiln during the distillation process. Actually no. 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