For peat's sake - What exactly is peaty whisky

For peat's sake - What exactly is peaty whisky

Have you ever wondered what makes a whisky "peaty", or just been curious about diving into the world of smoky, earthy flavours?

In this post we'll give some context as to what exactly peaty whisky is, so next time someone asks you if you like peaty whisky or not you won't have to feel so uncomfortable when answering.


🌿 What's Peat, Anyway? 

Peat is essentially ancient, decomposed plant material found in certain parts of Scotland, like Islay, Skye, and the Highlands. When it's burned, it releases a dense, aromatic smoke that's unlike anything else. Think of it as the secret sauce behind the smoky allure of peaty whiskys!


🔥 Malting Magic 

So, how do you make whisky peaty? During the malting process, malted barley (the hero of whisky-making) is dried over a peat fire instead of using more conventional methods. This process infuses the barley with that unmistakable smoky flavour, setting the stage for a whisky adventure like no other.


👃 The Aroma Adventure 

Peaty whiskys are known for their bold and complex aromas. Picture yourself by a campfire on a brisk coastal evening, and you'll start to get the idea. You might detect notes of campfire smoke, iodine, seaweed, brine, and even a hint of medicinal qualities. It's a sensory journey worth embarking on!


🏞️ Regions of Peaty Bliss 

If you're ready to explore, here are some regions and distilleries to keep an eye out for:

Islay: The peat capital! Check out Laphroaig, Ardbeg, Lagavulin, and Caol Ila.

Isle of Skye: Talisker offers a delightful balance of peat and maritime influence.

Highland and Speyside: While not typically peat-heavy, some distilleries in these areas produce lightly peated expressions for a unique twist.


Peaty whisky isn't for everyone, but it's definitely a flavour profile to at least experience. 

To continue the conversation and find out more about the world of whisky you can join our discord group below.

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