Peated whisky – are you a lover or hater?
Peated whisky is a bit like marmite – you either love it or hate it.
Big on flavour, with a distinct taste of smoke and an overriding richness. Some people describe it as acrid and medicinal; others simply can’t get enough of the stuff.
Either way, it’s certainly a dram that demands attention.
What is peated whisky?
Peaty whisky is centuries old.
For a long time, peat was the most readily accessible fuel in many areas of Scotland. And as such, it was used to heat the kilns – drying out the grains, whilst also infusing them with a smoky flavour.
Fast forward a couple of hundred years, and of course, there are now much more effective ways to heat the kiln. Yet, some distilleries still choose to work with peat-smoked grains – holding onto their traditions and continuing to make spirits with that unique and intense smokiness.
Love or loathe our peaty whisky tasting set
There’s no denying, all smoky whiskies have a distinct taste – but they do vary in their strength.
How ‘peaty’ a particular dram is will depend on how long it’s been exposed to the smoke, measured in PPM (phenol parts per million). And the final flavour can range from light and crisp with a subtle peaty palette, to heavy and assertive with a smoky punch to the face.
There’s so much variety within this unique category of Scotch. So we argue – if you think you don’t like peated whisky, maybe you simply haven’t tried the right one yet?
Our peaty whisky tasting set is the perfect way to experiment.
Available for just £32.95, this features five award-winning peated malts from independent producers in Scotland – demonstrating a fantastic cross-section of the smoky style. These include:
1. Big Peat (46%) – Islay
Introduce yourself to Big Peat – a fiesta character from Islay with a sweet side. This full-bodied peaty whisky contains spirit from Ardbeg, Caol Ila, Bowmore and Port Ellen and is perfectly balanced, with notes of ashes, sweet tar, beaches and smoking chimneys.
Take a sip and enjoy its medicinal, earthy quality!
2. The Peat Monster (46%) – Islay
Created by the renowned John Glaser of Compass Box, this is a delicious blended malt – with a range of powerful coastal flavours. The smokiness of driftwood fire is combined with the taste of orchard fruits, giving it a rich cask-derived creaminess that lingers on the palette.
Trust us, there’s nothing monstrous about this smoky whisky.
3. The Ileach (58%) – Islay
Pronounced Eee-luhk. There’s no mistaking, this is a very peaty dram.
Created by an undisclosed distillery in Islay, and independently bottled by the Vintage Malt Whisky Company, The Ileach is a young single malt that gets straight to the point. It has a distinct smoky flavour, yet is sublimely smooth – with hints of peppery spice, tannins and fruit.
4. Machrie Moor (46%)– Isle of Arran
Named after a peat bog on the island’s west coast, this is a fresh single malt – with a puff of peat smoke and a touch of vanilla and tropical fruit.
Since 2019, all peated production on the Isle of Arran has been completed at Lagg. Which means – produced at Lochranza – Machrie Moor is a chance to taste the island’s original peaty whisky, before it’s all gone!
5. Old Ballantruan (50%) – Speyside Glenlivet
Produced by Tomintoul Distillery, Old Ballantruan is one of the very few peated whiskies to come from the Speyside region.
It’s ‘slept’ for 10 years in hand-picked old barrels and has been bottled at 50%, without any chill-filtration. Therefore, it has a gentle, layered peaty flavour with hints of citrus notes and malty nuttiness.
You’ll receive a 30ml measure of each – which is just enough to sample the unique flavours and familiarise your taste buds with the varied palate of peat. As well as a series of tasting cards, with facts and information about each one, and a luxury whisky-themed tasting mat.
Buy your peaty whisky tasting set today
Our set features some of the best peated whiskies currently available. So whether you love peat, have loathed the peaty drams you’ve tried in the past, or are still sitting on the fence, we believe they’re definitely worth giving a go.
Treat yourself to our Peaty & Islay Whisky Tasting Set and let us know what you think. Just tag us on Instagram using @WhiskyTastingCo and tell us which was your favourite.
Or perhaps give it as a thoughtful gift for a self-confessed peathead? For just £2.95 extra, you can add a personal message to the front of the luxury gift box – and we guarantee, it’ll go down a treat with anyone who appreciates a smoky Scotch.
If you have any questions about peated whisky or would like to know more about this particular set, you’re welcome to get in touch at any time. Either give us a call on 01743 247220 or fill out our online contact form and we’ll respond to your enquiry as soon as possible.