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What is peated whisky?

Love it or loathe it, peated whisky is an important part of the category. The smoky, peaty notes come from flavour compounds called phenols. During the malting process, the barley picks up these phenols from peat used in the drying process. The length of time and the intensity of the process will control how ‘peaty’ the resulting whisky is. Why isn’t all whisky peated? Because producers can simply use a ‘clean’ fuel instead of peat. Then not a hint of smokiness shall be found!