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What is Peated Whiskey? Answered (2024 Best Edition)

What is Peated Whiskey?

Do you like smoky whiskies? If so, then you’ll love peated whisky. But what is peated whiskey, and why does it have an interesting smoky flavor? If you’re looking for a new type of whisky to try, be sure to check out some peated varieties.

What is Peated Whiskey?

Peated Whisky

What is Peated Whiskey? Answer is that Peated whisky is a type of whisky that has been infused with the smoke of peat moss. This gives the whisky a distinctive smoky flavor that is often compared to a campfire taste. 

Peated whisky is popular among scotch enthusiasts, and many connoisseurs believe it provides a more complex and flavorful tasting experience than non-peated whiskies. 

While the intense smokiness of peated whiskies can be off-putting to some drinkers, others find it an irresistible and intriguing flavor. 

If you’re looking for something new to try in the world of whisky, then a peated scotch may be the perfect drink.

What is Peated Whiskey: Interesting Facts 

Interesting Facts 

History & Origin

The use of peat smoke to flavor whisky dates back to the early days of distillation in Scotland. Peat was traditionally used as fuel for drying malt before it was mashed and fermented. 

This imparted a smoky flavor to the malt, which was then carried over into the final product. 

Nowadays, peat-smoked malt is used primarily for producing peated whiskies. The amount of peat smoke flavor can vary widely, depending on the length of time the malt is smoked and the type of peat used.

How It’s Made

Peated Whisky Production Process

Peated whisky is made by malting the barley over a peat fire. This process imparts a unique smoky flavor to the whisky. Peat is a type of decomposing plant matter that is found in boggy areas. 

In Scotland, peat is harvested and used as fuel for fires. When the barley is exposed to the smoke from the peat fire, it absorbs the smoky flavor. 

The exact flavors imparted by the peat will vary depending on the type of peat used and how long the barley is exposed to the smoke. 

Peated whisky is often said to have a “medicinal” or “band-aid” like flavor. Some people love this flavor, while others find it off-putting. They are typically frowned upon by non-scotch drinkers, but they can be quite enjoyable for those who enjoy a smoky flavor profile.

Peated whiskies are often categorized by their “phenol level.” This is a measure of how much phenol has been absorbed by the barley. The phenol level can range from 0 (no smoke flavor) to over 50 ppm (very smoky).  

What is Peated Whiskey Tastes Like

Some people love the smoky, earthy flavor, while others find it too strong and overwhelming. 

We think that peated whisky is like a fine cigar: it should be savored and enjoyed slowly. The flavor can be powerful, but it can also be incredibly complex and nuanced. Done right, peated whisky is a real treat for the senses.

There are a few things that you need to keep in mind when tasting peated whisky.

First of all, make sure that you give it a good swirl before taking a sip. This will help to release some of the flavors and aromas. 

Secondly, don’t be afraid to let the whisky sit in your mouth for a bit before swallowing. This will give you a chance to savor the flavor and enjoy all of the different layers. 

Finally, don’t forget to take some time to enjoy the aftertaste. Peated whisky can have a long and lingering finish, so make sure you savor it all the way through.

What’s A Peat? 


Peat is potentially young coal. It is a decomposed plant matter compressed in the ground for hundreds, even thousands, of years. 

According to the Scottish National Heritage, peat comprises around 23 percent of Scotland, especially in the Islands and the Highlands. 

You can also find peat throughout northern England, Ireland, some parts of Russia, and the United States. [1

Why Some Distilleries Stopped Using Peat 

Some distilleries stopped using peat when they saw the potential of un-peated whisky. The Speyside and the Lowlands were the first to do this. 

Another problem with using peat is that peatlands hold and absorb a huge amount of carbon. 

Peatlands also play an important role in mitigating floods and filtering water.

Read: The Best Whiskey To Drink Straight

3 Peated Whiskies You Need To Try 

3 Peated Whiskies You Need To Try 

3. Amrut Peated Whisky

Amrut Peated Whisky

Amrut peated whisky is an Indian single malt whisky coined as the first single malt whisky to be made in India. It is manufactured by Amrut Distilleries and launched in 2004 in Glasgow, Scotland. 

The brand name Amrut is a Sanskrit word that translates as “nectar of the gods.” It became popular when whisky expert Jim Murray gave it a rating of 82 in 2005 and 2010. He also names the Amrut Fusion the world’s third best single malt whisky. [2]

At 46% ABV, Amrut is currently priced at roughly $80 on Drizly.

Read: Laphroaig vs Ardbeg Whiskies

2. The Glenlivet Nadurra Peated Whisky Cask

The Glenlivet Nadurra Peated Whisky Cask

The Glenlivet Nadurra Peated Whisky is a contemporary expression inspired by the historical traditions of The Glenlivet production process. 

The distinctive flavor profile actually comes from the maturation of the whisky instead of the malting process. The matured liquid is finished in whisky casks that have formerly held heavily peated whisky. 

At 61.5% ABV, Nadurra is priced at around $92 on Drizly.

1. Teeling Blackpitts Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Teeling Blackpitts Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey

Teeling Blackpitts Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey is an unconventional Irish whiskey that boasts a distinctive taste – thanks to its triple distillation and maturation inside ex-Sauternes french wine and ex-bourbon casks. 

The unique combination of this age-old process produces an exceptional flavor profile for Blackpitts. 

At 46% ABV, Teeling Blackpitts is priced at roughly $84 on Drizly.

FAQs of What is Peated Whiskey 

What does a “Peat” do to whiskies? 

Peat is a key ingredient in the production of some Scotch whiskies, particularly those from regions like Islay. When used in the malting process, peat adds a distinctive smoky flavor and aroma to the whisky.

This flavor is derived from the burning of decomposed vegetation (peat) during the drying of malted barley.

The intensity of the peat influence can vary depending on factors such as the amount of peat used, the length of time the barley is exposed to the smoke, and the distillation and aging processes employed by the distillery.

Are all Scotch whiskies peated?

No, not all Scotch whiskies are peated. Peat is primarily associated with certain regions of Scotland, such as Islay, where distilleries traditionally use peat in the malting process to impart a smoky flavor to the whisky.

However, there are many Scotch whiskies produced in regions like Speyside, Highland, and Lowland that are not peated or have only a minimal peat influence.

These whiskies often exhibit different flavor profiles, characterized by fruity, floral, or malty notes, depending on the distillery’s production methods and the influence of the local terroir.

What does peat add to Whiskey?

Peat contributes several characteristics to whisky, including:
Smokiness: The most prominent flavor associated with peat is smokiness, which can range from subtle to intense depending on factors such as the type of peat used and the distillation process. Peated whiskies often evoke sensations of campfire smoke, charred wood, and earthiness.

Complexity: Peat can add layers of complexity to whisky, enhancing its overall flavor profile. The interplay between the smoky notes and other flavors such as fruity, floral, or spicy undertones can create a rich and multidimensional drinking experience.

Terroir: Peat can also impart distinct regional characteristics to whisky, reflecting the unique geological and environmental conditions of the area where it was harvested. As a result, peated whiskies from different regions may exhibit variations in flavor, aroma, and intensity of peat influence.

Overall, peat is a defining element in the production of certain Scotch whiskies, adding depth, character, and a signature smoky flavor that distinguishes them from non-peated varieties.

Is Peated Whiskey the same as Scotch?

Peated whiskey is often associated with Scotch whisky, particularly from regions like Islay in Scotland, where peat is commonly used in the whisky-making process. However, peated whiskey can also be produced in other regions and countries.

What are some examples of Peated Whiskey brands?

Some well-known peated whiskey brands include Laphroaig, Ardbeg, Lagavulin, Bowmore, and Talisker, among others.

Does Peated Whiskey taste different from Unpeated Whiskey?

Yes, peated whiskey has a distinct smoky flavor profile that sets it apart from unpeated whiskey. It may also have underlying notes of brine, iodine, and earthiness, depending on the specific whisky and production methods.

How do I know if a Whiskey is Peated?

Whiskies labeled as “peated” or “peated malt” typically indicate that peat smoke was used during the drying process of the barley. Additionally, terms like “smoky” or descriptors such as “Islay-style” can also suggest a peated whiskey.

In Conclusion 

Peated whisky is characterized by a smoky flavor profile from the compounds released by peat fires when drying barley.

The intensity of the favor is based on the strength and length of exposure to the peat smoke.


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  2. Indian whiskys make a mark on the global map
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