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Phenols Parts per Million

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Phenols Parts per Million

Postby vcdman » Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:36 am

How is this measure exactly?

Its great to have a scale and something to refer to with peat levels, but i'd love to know more...
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Re: Phenols Parts per Million

Postby corbuso » Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:35 pm

and you might find an interesting article here: ... ol_ppm.pdf
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Re: Phenols Parts per Million

Postby The Third Dram » Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:27 pm

It's also worth remembering that alterations in phenolic levels occur throughout the distillation and maturation process (that is, following those ppm phenol assessments that are acquired solely from analysis during the malting process).

Usually, these alterations tend to diminish the phenolic levels in the spirit from those measured during the malting process. However, certain other types of phenolic compounds can actually be acquired (added), such as those absorbed from charred oak casks.

Thus, if one wanted to get a more accurate picture of the relative phenolic levels of a fully matured whisky (ready for or already bottled), one would need to conduct a further analysis.

Depending on the constitution of a particular whisky, however, the actual ppm phenols as measured in the bottled product might not seem to correspond to the peatiness and/or smokiness one perceives on the nose and on the palate, as this perception is highly subjective as well as highly dependent on other factors (for example, such as what sort of cask/s the whisky was matured in).
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Re: Phenols Parts per Million

Postby The Third Dram » Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:12 am

Collector57 wrote:
lockejn wrote:I agree with TTD and Nick on all points. But I think probably the most practical takeaway is the relative differences from one malt to another. Obviously, it's still just a basic guideline given the myriad other factors mentioned, and only useful in reference to the "peatiness" metric of a whisky, but still hugely informative especially for someone new to the style.

Very true :thumbsup:

I concur as well, provided we limit the guideline to the realm of whiskies that incorporate peat (or perhaps also coal/coke) during the malting process.

But just to throw a 'monkey wrench' into the discussion, what about Bourbon whiskies? Here, we're not dealing with spirits that utilize ANY peat, let alone (by and large) malted barley. Yet, the charring of new oak barrels CAN (and usually does) result in the presence of phenolic compounds in the whiskey. No Ardbeg, Lagavulin or Laphroaig phenols, to be sure. But phenols nonetheless.

OK. I've perhaps stretched the boundaries of this discussion a tad too much. So I'll now return to my dram of deftly peated Highland Park 25 Year Old.
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Re: Phenols Parts per Million

Postby Spirit of Islay » Sat Jan 22, 2011 2:39 pm

lockejn wrote:
Malt (~ppm)

Caol Ila (30-35)
Lagavulin (35-40)

Have always been told on tours of Port Ellen Maltings that Caol Ila and Lagavulin are malted to the same specifications .
As said already the level of PPM is different at the spirit stage to the malting stage , usually 1/3 of the ppm by the time it reaches the cask . Ardbeg manage to get a higher PPM at the casking stage by leaving more of the husks in at the Mashing stage as the husks contain a higher proportion of the Phenols . Ardbegs spirit is usually around the 24ppm when going into the cask .
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