Peat vs Smoke


I'm not very good at tasting and talking about whisky. I describe whisky as good or bad, not with hints of leather and apricot. However, I have a question, what is the difference between smoke and peat, or are they the same flavor.
Reply to
hoover

BBQ (smoke) a pork roast over lump charcoal and apple wood. Drink an Ardbeg with it.
Smell/taste the difference between smoke and peat!
Reply to
Nick Cramer

That doesn't really help. What is a whisky that is very peaty but not smoky and what is a whisky that is smoky, but not peaty. To me they go hand in hand, like Laphroig.
Reply to
hoover

I agree with you on that, Hoover. I was being a bit tongue in cheek. Yes. My Laphroiag 10 is a delightful dram. Also goes well with a nice Cuban cigar after dinner. ;-)
Reply to
Nick Cramer

In article ,
I have several peaty but not very smoky malts around at the moment: the Compass Box Peat Monster, the Isle of Jura Superstition, and a peated BenRiach. I quite like all three, though nothing compares with Laphroaig for a big dose of both.
The only thing that comes to mind that has smoke without much peat is a decent, non-pricey blend called Ailsa Craig.
Reply to
bill van

As for the latter, the (old?) Highland Park 18 is/was a very good example. Its smoke was reminiscent of campfires, of burnt twigs, and so forth. Another I use as an exemplar are some table strength Caol Ila bottlings, which, despite the malt having been dried over peat, bear the characteristic "note".
For the former? The old-ish 1991 8 y.o. "White" Ardbeg (Signatory, clear as new make) contained many notes that fans would label as peat (wince- inducing in the uninitiated), but for which the smoke (as we're used to it -- house fires, campfires, brush fires, etc.) is entirely absent.
I can try to put together a tasting panel of a couple of fifties for you -- I'm not sure if the fill levels of the bottles I've cited, all of which I had only one bottle. But it might be instructive....
Always your servant,
Reply to
Joshua McGee

On 2008-04-06, Joshua McGee (aka Bruce) was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea:
So is the peat (I've never met Peat before) the medicinal flavour of the last Laphroaig I had? Medicinal is the iodine flavour, so I suspect that is something different yet again?
Reply to
TimC

Yes, different again. I used to have a better descriptor that involved "peat moss" from your local garden center. But due to depletion of peat beds worldwide, the "peat moss", which was never moss to begin with, is now no longer peat either.
Peat is compacted layers of ancient scrabbly vegetation. The stuff on the bottom is more compact, more composted, denser, and darker. The stuff on the top is lighter and greener. But when burned, or when (and this happens less frequently than marketers would have you believe) bottles are diluted with "brown water" that has found its way through peat beds, you are left with a pungent, almost sour note that is a lot harder to describe than handing someone a Port Ellen and saying, "Here, like this!"
Make it down to Southern California and I'll be able to do just that.
Reply to
Joshua McGee

IMO, Talisker falls into that category as well.
And, as we found out two nights ago, equal parts of Talisker and Balvenie make a near perfect blend... 8;)
-- Larry
Reply to
pltrgyst

I would concur with that, and do not know why I omitted it. Yes, the entry-level OB Talisker is a nice study in non-peat smoke.
The OB Ben Nevis 10 year old @ 46% (bravo!) for the U.S. market is also *delightfully* old-fashioned and smokey, but it is not an island malt, let along an Islay. It is simply a robust, old-fashioned Highlander, and well worth tracking down. Dirt cheap, too, if you've got a Trader Joe's around. Keep waiting, and it will show up, eventually.
Reply to
Joshua McGee

You have never met Peat? I know him well and his sister Heather Sorry bout the cringgr
Yes Talisker is a good example of smoke which overpowers the peat. But the peat is there if you really look for it. Peat monsters like Caol Ila and Ardbeg are so peated, you taste the smoke less. Then Andrew Symingtons new double peated Benriach is very peaty. I tasted it at Whisky Live, but didnt really take to it. I tasted it again two weeks ago during my whisky tour at Edradour. Its just peat for peat's sake. No pun intended.
Peace,
Jock
Reply to
Jacues Loofjes

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