The whole world seems to have gone crazy for smoky whiskies, loving their intensely phenolic or medicinal character. Traditionally the peatiest malts come from Islay, but there are distilleries such as Highland Park and Talisker that offer smoky spirits. Once it was thought that peatiness in a whisky came from peaty water, but now the importance of this has been downplayed. This peaty character comes from burning peat under the barley before milling and mashing.
Mainland examples of peaty whiskies do exist, such as Brora, a special Benriach spirit, and Springbank’s Longrow range.
With age in the cask the apparent peatiness of these whiskies tends to decline, with the flavours from the cask masking the phenols.

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