Peated whisky is a divisive area, and one of the most challenging concepts for many first time drinkers, but for a huge number of whisky fans peat is the stuff dreams are made of. Put simply peat is the top layer of a bog, which consists primarily of decaying plant fibers, the peat is harvested in fields and can be cut into blocks with a shovel. Peat is an ideal fuel and has therefore been used for centuries to heat and dry the barley for whisky production.
Every now and again the newspapers run headlines like: The Scotsman - Scotch Whisky Masters 2021: Top winners include The Sassenach, £15 Lidl blend and 25 year old Bunnahabhain The Independent – Lidl whisky costing £13.49 named one of the best in the world The Metro – Four of Aldi’s whiskies have been named among the best in the world Forbes – Inexpensive Whiskies From Supermarket Aldi Win Gold at 2018 Scotch Whisky Masters As exciting as these headlines sound you will almost certainly not be surprised to learn that that £15 whisky is not actually the best in the world.
The concept of oxidisation Unlike wine which can continues to mature within a bottle* whisky maturation is entirely cask based meaning that no further maturation will take place once a whisky is bottled. This does not mean however that a whisky will remain the same indefinately even if properly stored. Once opened the effect of additive and reductive oxidisation may improve a whisky for a time, though will ultimately destroy a whisky to such a degree that oxidisation must be guarded against.
Officially there are three languages in Scotland: English, Scots and Gaelic. Almost all Scots speak standard English these days, which is the official and educational language and, as in other countries, is regionally colored with different accents and dialects. English This so-called “Scottish English” does not diverge much in vocabulary and sentence melody from “Oxford English”, but is often difficult to understand in everyday use due to the mixture with Scots for visitors.
Diastatic Power (DP) is an important quality trait for malt used in adjunct brewing and distilling. For single malt production the DP of barley is more than sufficient to be used unaided, the same is not true for all other grains such as rye or wheat. For this reason US producers looking to make pure rye whiskies rely on the use of commercial enzymes. In other countries such as Scotland where the use of additive enzymes is not allowed, or more traditional producers a volume of high dp malted barley will be used instead.