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Scotch Whisky - Peaty or Not?

  • 05-08-2017 9:12pm
    Registered Users Posts: 20,228 ✭✭✭✭ odyssey06

    Of the Scotch Whisky's readily available here, which ones are peaty \ smokey versus ... not sure of the word... plain?

    I've tried ALDI's Highland Black and Famous Grouse and they don't have the peatiness and I prefer that.

    I had some Scotch in the past that was peaty and I wasn't keen on that at all, but I can't remember exactly which ones...

    I gather from other threads that Tallisker & Islay Malts are in the peaty style.

    What about brand names like Bells, Chivas, Cutty Sark, Grants, Johnnie Walker, J&B, Teachers, Whyte & Mackay?

    Is there a 'keyword' on the label that indicates which is which that I should be looking out for?

    Should I play it safe and stick to Irish? I'm clear on the difference between Irish and peaty Scotch, less clear on the difference between Irish and non-peaty Scotch.

    If I should be using better terminology in asking these questions, corrections are welcome...

    "To follow knowledge like a sinking star..." (Tennyson's Ulysses)


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,492 ✭✭✭ irlirishkev

    Read the label descriptions on the bottle.
    If you see the word 'smoke', then it's going to be smokey. How smokey? That's really down to what you're used to, unless you're talking about the big boys like Ardbeg.

    I like peated whiskies.. I would generally drink -

    Highland Park
    Caol Isla
    Connemara (Peated Irish Whiskey).

    A lot of scotches would have a touch of smoke at least.. and someone who drinks very smokey whisky, might not even notice it on the lesser ones, but someone who isn't used to it, would.

    Presently, Connemara is the only Peated Irish. So you're safe enough with Irish Whiskeys. Likewise with Bourbon, though Bourbon tends to be a lot sweeter, which may not be to everyone's taste.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 63,150 Mod ✭✭✭✭ L1011

    The word "Islay" on the front of the bottle is going to be the main watchword for smoky. There are heavily peated from other regions though. On blends its harder to tell how smoky they're going to be unless they, again, say Islay which == smoky as hell.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,721 ✭✭✭ Erik Shin

    If you don't want a peaty taste, perhaps try Cardhu, its less than 50 and very drinkable imo

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,492 ✭✭✭ irlirishkev

    Erik Shin wrote: »
    If you don't want a peaty taste, perhaps try Cardhu, its less than 50 and very drinkable imo

    Agreed. Very nice, and not smokey.