Peat is earth that consists of grasses, moss, tree roots, dead animals and soil that has become tightly compacted over thousands of years.
Peat, when cut and dried, is used as a traditional fuel in Scotland. When burnt, peat smoke produces chemicals called phenols. When peat is used to fire a kiln in a malt distillery, these phenols are absorbed by the malted barley during the drying process.
Cask Islay’s smoky style comes from this process of malting barley over burning peat. The amount of phenols present in the final whisky, therefore how ‘smoky’ the whisky tastes, is measured in parts per million (ppm). Islay whiskies can range from zero (unpeated) to the most heavily peated in the world at upwards of 200ppm.
Cask Islay measures 35ppm.
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