60 Secs …
We get asked a lot where the peat/smoke comes from in whisky. It’s from the water, right? No. Maybe the casks? No. The peat in (our lightly peated) single malt whisky arises from the malting process.
The English barley we use for whisky-making is malted before it arrives at the Distillery. A drying heat phase is needed at the end of the malting process, which traditionally is provided by kiln fires. In most parts, the fuel for the fires was wood (widely available) but in some places e.g. Islay, there’s relatively little wood but lots of peat. So peat was used instead. In whisky made from barley malted in a peat-fired kiln, the grain takes on some of the peat smoke/reek and the distilled spirit, in turn, does the same. Peaty whisky.
In our core Wire Works Whisky we use unpeated and peated malt in an 80/20 ratio, which provides the light peating we want for background flavour complexity.