These levels are for the malt. The levels drop during the distillation process, and this all depends on the shape of the stills, speed of distillation etc etc.
In the end it's all down to taste again. I've met several people who say that, for them, Laphroaig is more peaty than Ardbeg (although chemically Ardbeg har an higher level of phenols).
WhiskyViking wrote:In the end it's all down to taste again. I've met several people who say that, for them, Laphroaig is more peaty than Ardbeg (although chemically Ardbeg har an higher level of phenols).
This is an interesting topic - to your point WhiskyViking, could it be that people confuse smoke taste with peat taste?
I'm guilty of using the terms interchangably, partly due to long word for peaty in Norwegian (torvaktig) and partly due to lack of vocabulary after a few drams.
When writing tasting notes I tend to get them right.
Also of course is the fear when using peaty that some people think it tastes like a bog (to you Brits: No, not the kind that's indoors and flushes).
Also looking forwards to the Octomore arrives - got a case coming my way sometime in the close future.
If something to that effect is a likely case, then really we would be looking for what whisky is pure peat (or close thereto). just a thought.
MrTattieHeid wrote:As a matter of taste descriptors, it makes sense to distinguish the two (and anything else you can distinguish), but when discussing peating levels (phenols), it's all the same.
The flavour of phenols (smoke/peating level) is in my book the flavour brought in when drying the malt. The more earthy tones of peat (bog/marsh/half-rotten vegetation to use a few less appetizing words) is found, IMHO, when distillers use peaty water in the mash. As far as I know, adding peat flavour it this way doesn't add to the phenolic content of a whisky.
MrTattieHeid wrote:I believe the idea of peaty flavors coming from peaty water is complete myth.
Many years ago, Chivas tankered "peaty water" from the Isle of Lewis to the mainland, to experiment with its effect on whiskies made in the firm's distilleries (or at least at Strathisla - not sure if Benriach and Caperdonich were involved) on Speyside. According to info that emerged in discussions on the forum many moons ago re "Craigduff", it appears not to have affected greatly the taste of the whisky, although the fact that Craigduff was made using lightly peated malt as well, may have confused the issue. Was a whisky also made, using the peated water and unpeated malt? Maybe Mr Fachan can tell us.
The experiment ended long ago, I believe.
http://www.whisky-news.com/En/reports/P ... ol_ppm.pdf
the most peated single malt is Octomore II-Beast with the new make having 167 ppm phenols. Laphroaig is at 40 and Ardbeg at 54. Phenols goes down with maturation. For example Laph becomes 8-10ppm in 10 years and 6ppm in 30 years.
I wonder how they peated Octomore II to 167ppm? Just more time in the kiln?
The phenol content is less after distillation than when in the mash (something like 2/3rds reduced ) , Ardbeg managed to increase that by putting more of the husk (where a greater percentage of the phenols are) in the wash so that the spirit coming off the still is something like 24-26 ppm compared with about 14ppm previous to the adding of the husks .
Ardbegs ppm before distillation is something like 54 to 56 , Lagavulin/Caol Ila is 35-40 , Bruichladdich is about 5 (was 10 when first re-opened) and Bunnahabhain is about 2 . I think Bowmores is 25 and Laphroaig is 40 rising higher with their own maltings . Kilchomans seems to vary between Bowmore and Ardbegs according to who you speak to.....
LeoDLion wrote:According to this article
http://www.whisky-news.com/En/reports/P ... ol_ppm.pdf
the most peated single malt is Octomore II-Beast with the new make having 167 ppm phenols.
As Gordon has hinted, this is the measurement after malting, prior to fermentation and distillation. I'd be interested to see Octomore's final phenol count--I doubt it's all that much higher than the Kildaltons. The malt, incidentally, was from Baird's of Inverness--Port Ellen was unable or unwilling to give Bruichladdich what they wanted.
Anyone here who hasn't read Peat Smoke and Spirit, by Andrew Jefford, should.
whiskyhibby wrote:Well I got my 12 bottles of the beast delivered today, still wondering if I should crack one open and try it.......................
That should be an easy one
BTW, distillery manager Michael Heads at Ardbeg said exactly what is mentioned above, that after distillation the peat hovers in the mid twenties. I wonder what that is for Laphroaig and Octomore.
What should be certain is that the Octomores have the highest peating levels before distillation and secondly after those, the Ardbeg Supernovas tick in well above the ordinary Kildaltons. I must say, tasting either of Octomore and Supernova's I'm not sure which I find the peatiest. In a way the Octomore seemed so "clean" in its pure peaty character, whereas the Supernova First edition has imho a higher degree of complexity amidst a very dense, peaty character but I find it hard to distinguish which I found the peatiest. They are both very well balanced and highly recommended. The 2010 Supernova to me, was a bit of a letdown upon the first edition. Strangely, I seem to find the Port Charlotte's of Bruichladdich to taste nearly as peaty, though I believe they were "only" peated to around 40 ppm iirc.
Perhaps the distillation process eliminates a high degree of the phenols, that account for the extra level of peatiness, that are found right after malting in the Octomore/Supernova? I don't know.
As peat diminishes with age, the true way to find out which whisky is the most peaty is to go by taste judgement, and that is very subjective
Personally I find the Edradour peated, Ballechin to be the most peated tastewise, the burgundy matured to be specific. I havent tasted the other finishes so can't tell about those, but I have tasted Supernov and Octomore
MacDeffe wrote:...As peat diminishes with age, the true way to find out which whisky is the most peaty is to go by taste judgement, and that is very subjective...
Agreed. That's what it all comes down to anyway.
It's not so much about 'absolute' phenolic levels as it is about how those phenols 'fit in' and present themselves aromatically and tastewise relative to the other parameters of the fragrance and flavour profile of a whisky.
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