One of the joys of winter is the process of experiencing new things while hibernating, like when I sat down during a winter storm around Christmas to have a glass of peaty scotch. For scotch enthusiasts, there’s no comparison to the smoky flavours that come with peaty scotch brands.
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Peaty scotch is Scotch whisky that has been made using malted barley dried over peat fires. That’s what brings out the smoky, earthy flavours that we love about the peaty whisky. The smoky peaty scotch that’s used is harvested from the bogs and marshes, mostly from the Islay region of Scotland, the southernmost of the Inner Hebrides island, off the country’s west coast. We recommend you take a tour of the many distilleries there, for a truly authentic vacation experience.
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Peaty scotches: Smoky, earthy flavour
It’s that smoky peat flavour in scotch that adds such a unique complexity to it, especially compared to other kinds of scotches, detailed here. For me it’s more flavorful than other scotches, which is why it’s my personal go-to now. There’s a distinct aroma of malted barley over that peat fire – often described as “peat reek“.
I respect that this isn’t for everyone. Peaty scotch whisky has a flavor that is over-powering for some. There are Scotch whiskey enthusiasts who much prefer a flavor that’s more subtle, floral. Speyside scotch for example is often described as fruity and floral. Scotch whisky is often considered the pinnacle because of its rich history, and most importantly the production process, distinct regions and blending art.
What gives scotch its smoky flavor? The whisky must be made in Scotland and aged for at three years in oak barrels. All the rough edges are smoothened out, for a well-rounded, complex taste – nutty, malty flavor of malted barley to the smooth complexity of double distillation and aging.
Different peat flavours from different regions of the country
Some popular brands of peaty smoky scotches include Laphroaig, Lagavulin, and Ardbeg. The 16-year-old Lagavulin over the holidays was particularly special. Lagavulin is considered to be the high water mark for Islay malts. Golden, amber colour, a palate that is full flavour, rich and smooth with peat, figs, dates and vanilla, then that smoky, dry finish.
For scotch whiskey fans, when it comes to overall selection of luxury indulgent food and drink from that UK country, it really is an embarrassment of riches, one of life’s true pleasures, isn’t it?
Are you a fan of smokey peaty scotch or the scotch smoky taste? Follow our luxury blogs to learn more about the finest peaty scotch brands.