Food - Drink
How Peated Whisky Gets Its Distinct Flavor Profile
BY MICHELLE WELSCH
Peated whisky or peat whisky is a type of spirit produced by multiple countries, including Scotland, Japan, Finland, Sweden, Ireland, Australia, India, and the United States. Peat itself is a type of vegetation found in wetlands, made up of dense layers of grass, moss, and heather, and peat is indeed used to make peat whisky.
The smoky flavor of peated whisky is derived from the compounds released by burning peat beneath the kilns in which the whisky malts are left to dry and roast. As the rich smoke from the peat rises, the malt grains are dried and infused at the same time, giving them a unique, earthy flavor that passes into the final bottle.
The peatiest scotch whiskies are associated with the Islay region of Scotland, where distilleries use peated barley to produce rich, smoky barrels of the spirit. The shape of the still, the type of peat used, and the region that the peat is taken from can all lend subtle characteristics to the drams of peated whisky you end up pouring.