Peat adds a smokey flavor to Whiskey to make it spicy. Some drinkers also relate adding Peat to Whiskey with chili flavor on spicy food. Others tell that its presence in Whiskey adds to a medicinal value to the Whiskey. One should Peat or not Peat the Whiskey is the big question here.
If you are a whiskey fan, then we will be exploring all about Peat and its relation with Whiskey in this article. We will also tell you 12 smokey whiskey flavors to try during summer 2021.
What Is Peat Used for in Whiskey?
Decayed plants and animals in wet regions lead to the accumulation of Peat in bogs. There are also diverse types of Peat. You can find them in wooden swamps and watery substances.
Why Is Peat Used in Scotch Whiskey?
Peat was one of the most readily accessible fuels in wet and muddy regions of Scotland. Too much mud leads to the decomposition of plant roots and grass delays, leading to Peat formation peak. Peat is also classified under the fossil fuels category as it slowly build-up in bogs. It was also one of the best domestic fuels for vehicles in the country.
It takes around 1000 years to grow a one-meter thick peat bog. Once harvested, the Scottish growers sack them in pyramid forms. In 2-3 weeks, they turn into hard peat bricks, which they use in smoke and can beat coal in terms of burning.
Are you wondering is Peat used in Scottish Whiskey? Then let us find out some of the different types of Whiskey. Click here (SCMP) to know more about Irish Whiskey.
Five Different Types of Peat
Black Peat: It is also called non-permafrost peat. Due to its low water retention ability, it gets quickly dried. Black Peat is widely used in providing smokey flavors to Whiskey.
Upper layer: One should cut and place the top 10 inches of the Peat immediately on a sandy bed after the extraction of black and white Peat. The upper layer consists of an upright stem and is made from sphagnum moss.
Sphagnum moss peat: It is also considered one of the oldest types of Peat, and it can keep ten times its weight in water. It also the fastest decaying Peat owing to the accumulation of water. It has light colors and contains diverse types of sphagnum moss.
Peat Litter: You can also call it “Peat dust.” It is present in the top-most layer of the Peat and can weigh eight times in water. It is light-brown color. It retains too much water because of the low supply. You can also find different types of peat litter or dust, which depends on the extraction process of the Peat.
Colored Peat: It is also called a grey Peat, and one can visualize it between black and white Peat. It also retains less water when compared to Sphagnum moss peat and peat litter. Yet, it takes a long-time to decompose due to the absence of water.
What Is Peat Used in Irish Whiskey?
As discussed, early ancient Irish and Scottish used it to burn pot stills as an alternative for coal. Now, the use of the term “Smoke” doesn’t mean the fire from Peat gives birth to smokey Whiskey. It is also not peaty water which offers a smokey flavor to Peat.
The producers use the peat smoke to dry the damp malt, which transfers the smoke to the barley grain. During the process, wet malt grain absorbs phenol from peat smoke-fire, which gives flavor. It is later dried, and absorbed phenol is measured in PPM or parts per million. Although the final version only consists of 1/3 of the initial PPM as phenol quantity minimizes due to the distillation process.
What Are Different Types of Peat Flavors?
The taste or the flavor of the peat widely depends on the location of production. Some people say that it tastes nutty, sulfuric, aromatic, herbal, medicinal, and citric. The growth of the plant and physical conditions in the region also impact the peat flavor.
For example, Syringol gives a sweetish classic vanilla flavor to the Whiskey. Whereas Scottish trees have Guiacols and they taste a bit aromatic as they come from a tree.
Best Smokey Whiskey Flavors to Enjoy This Summer
Peat has various flavors, and if you haven’t enjoyed Whiskey, then you have not tasted the right one. There are multiple types of smokey Peat available in the market. Hence find the right one to have a blast in your mouth during scorching heat.
Dewar’s Illegal Smooth Whiskey: The authentic Scottish Whiskey is not famous for its smoky flavor. But it is well-known for adding that edge of citrus, intense vanilla, and caramel flavor. Undoubtedly, it can blossom your taste buds with its authentic flavors. Dewar’s producers store the nine-year-old Whiskey in illegal Mescal barrels.
Octomore 10 Series: The producers made this Whiskey one of the highest peated Whiskey. It is five years old, and it has one of the most assertive smokey flavors of Whiskey. Octomore Whiskey has the highest PPM; hence it is one of the best sorted smokey whiskey types on earth. Producers store the Octomore series in ex-bourbon barrels.
How to Measure the Peat in Whiskey?
The amount of Peat in a whiskey is measured in phenol parts per million. Moreover, one must check the amount in the barley grain and not the final product, i.e., “whiskey.” Most of the lighter versions of the drink have 20 ppm. People prefer to go with Octomore or Bruichladdich, which have 150-300 ppm of ppm.
The rating doesn’t define the taste of the Whiskey, and hence it only checks ppm. So, two whiskeys with the same ppm may taste differently.
What Is Peat vs. Smoke?
Quite often, Peat and smoke are used as synonyms for each other. Apart from smoke, one can add peat flavor to Whiskey in various techniques. Famous author Quaich Charles MacLean one should prepare their whisky.
Peat is also often referred to as a smokey campfire that arises from fire. However, the taste of the Peat in Whiskey is different from its smell in the smoke. Peat is also known for its pungent smelling nature, but the exposure of barley grain to smoke ultimately decides the flavor of the Peat.
According to Robert Graham, Whiskey’s peat and smoke flavors cannot be the same for everyone. Some people might like drizzling, while others may enjoy a volcano in the bottle.
Is Peat Only Limited to Scotland?
Peat is not limited to Scotland, and various other countries like India, Japan, America, and New Zealand have their flavors of Whiskey.
Most whiskey lovers comment that it is the taste of nature that makes the drink elegant. The raindrops fall from the sky, which grows the Peat and adds a smokey flavor to the Whiskey. I hope you guys enjoyed the article and also share it with your whiskey-addict friends. You can also mention your love with Whiskey in the comment section.