Explore our range
The amount of peat has a strong bearing on the unique flavour many whisky brands are famed for. Whiskies rich in peat have very distinctive qualities. Seaweed and bacon fat flavours are often infused into the flavour of peated whisky. Islay is home to a wealth of lightly peated whiskies, with Johnnie Walker Black being, arguably, the most famous of all the lightly peated Scotch whisky.
Lightly peated whisky flavour is balanced by a sweet fruitiness that demands attention. The very antithesis of a smoky whisky, peated whiskies offer a very determinable flavour – something that’s only magnified by the richness of the peat used in the distillation process.
Peat is one of the primary reasons why different distilleries feature varying characteristics. Peat smoke produces chemicals called phenols. These are absorbed by the malted barley during the drying process in a kiln. The level of phenol absorption is controlled by the length of time that the barley is exposed to the smoke and the amount of smoke produced and the type of peat. This is then absorbed throughout the entire whisky distilling process. Obviously, a reduced exposure time result in a lightly peated whisky.
Speyside distilleries are known for being frugal with peat and lavish with fruit and nutty flavours. Apple, pear, spice, vanilla and earthy and seaweed flavours are most commonly associated with whisky drams – and these are what gives lightly peated Scotch whisky its distinctive identity.