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Islay peaty ranking

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Islay peaty ranking

Postby Lugarteniente » Sat Feb 10, 2007 7:21 pm

Can you rank islay distilleries from more peaty to less (ordinary-affordable-regular expressions).
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Postby les taylor » Sat Feb 10, 2007 7:39 pm

YES :wink:
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Postby Lawrence » Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:06 pm

Without giving it too much thought;

Brucihladdich & Bunnahabhain
Bowmore
Caol Ila
Port Ellen
(Port Charlotte)
Laphroaig
Lagavulin
(Kilchoman)
Ardbeg
(Octomore)

Anybody else?
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Postby Drrich1965 » Sun Feb 11, 2007 1:27 am

Is this in actual or percieved intensivty of peat.
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Postby les taylor » Sun Feb 11, 2007 2:06 am

Lawrence selected Octomore. Is it not available at the earliest 2012?




:)
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Postby Spirit of Islay » Sun Feb 11, 2007 10:40 pm

les taylor wrote:Lawrence selected Octomore. Is it not available at the earliest 2012?




:)

With his "Contacts" i'd put money on him having sampled it :wink:
It is quite peaty.......
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Postby Bullie » Sun Feb 11, 2007 11:13 pm

I'd say it would be in this order according to malting specifications:

Bunnahabhain
Bruichladdich
Bowmore
Caol Ila, Port Ellen & Lagavulin (Same malting specs)
Port Charlotte
Laphroaig
Ardbeg
Octomore

Can't say anything about Kilchoman...
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Postby Admiral » Mon Feb 12, 2007 2:58 am

Bullie has it right except for one entry...

Last I heard, both Lagavulin & Laphroaig both shared the same malting spec of 35ppm.

(Lagavulin used to be 50ppm up until about 5, maybe 6 years ago. What this means is that in or about 2016, Lagavulin will suddenly much less peaty than we're used to).

So Laphroaig should be on the same line as the Diageo three.

Port Charlotte weighs in at 40ppm.

Cheers,
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Postby Lawrence » Mon Feb 12, 2007 7:26 am

Spirit of Islay wrote:
les taylor wrote:Lawrence selected Octomore. Is it not available at the earliest 2012?




:)

With his "Contacts" i'd put money on him having sampled it :wink:
It is quite peaty.......


Aye, they were pouring it from a Dewars bottle at the VWF 2007. (For those that knew & word spread quickly. :wink: )
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Postby Lawrence » Mon Feb 12, 2007 7:31 am

Bullie wrote:Can't say anything about Kilchoman...


It's VERY peaty, there's a OB sample bottle sitting on my desk right next to my monitor, however to be fair it's only about six months old. It changes competely when water is added. It's actually very good, we were so taken with it we bought a cask.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Feb 12, 2007 8:56 am

Lawrence wrote:
Spirit of Islay wrote:
les taylor wrote:Lawrence selected Octomore. Is it not available at the earliest 2012?




:)

With his "Contacts" i'd put money on him having sampled it :wink:
It is quite peaty.......


Aye, they were pouring it from a Dewars bottle at the VWF 2007. (For those that knew & word spread quickly. :wink: )


Hard as it may be to believe, I had almost forgotten that I tried this. Thought it was terribly harsh. But thanks for the tip, Lawrence, it was certainly a worthwhile experience. I'll be interested to see how it matures, and suspect it will come into its own at higher ages.
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Postby Bullie » Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:18 am

Admiral wrote:Bullie has it right except for one entry...

Last I heard, both Lagavulin & Laphroaig both shared the same malting spec of 35ppm.

(Lagavulin used to be 50ppm up until about 5, maybe 6 years ago. What this means is that in or about 2016, Lagavulin will suddenly much less peaty than we're used to).

So Laphroaig should be on the same line as the Diageo three.

Port Charlotte weighs in at 40ppm.

Cheers,
ADmiral


Ah, the specs for Laphroaig is the same from PE Maltings, but then they add their own malt which has got a higher ppm. :)

According to PE Maltings, the specs for Lagavulin has always been the same. They only did a wee experiment once about ten years ago.
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Postby Scotchio » Mon Feb 12, 2007 9:28 am

Admiral wrote:(Lagavulin used to be 50ppm up until about 5, maybe 6 years ago. What this means is that in or about 2016, Lagavulin will suddenly much less peaty than we're used to).


Cheers,
ADmiral


Seems an odd thing to do to a recognised peaty classic, perhaps when they have finished exploiting the aging casks of Brora they will re open the old distillery as a new source of heavily peated malt with the added bonus of having a new steller single back in the portfolio.
Ah well, you can always dream!
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:39 am

Are the peat levels constant? I have had some IB Bowmores (from SMWS) that are very smoky - almost like bonefires - and I have had some Port Ellens that are not peaty at all.
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Postby Lugarteniente » Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:52 pm

Acording to Admiral:

Laphroaig 35ppm
Lagavulin 35ppm
Port Charlotte 40 ppm

Ardbeg?
Bruichladdich?
Bunnahabhain?

:?:
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Mon Feb 12, 2007 2:24 pm

I think Nick may have a point concerning differences in peat levels over time. Was it on this forum or was it in one of the lates editions of the mag where someone mentioned that a constant PPM level was goal rather than a fact as it was almost impossible to fully control it?

When reading Misako Udo's book I noticed she refers to Ardbeg's "average ppm" and not the bombastic fact we so often are presented. In the case of Ardbeg for instance she mentiones: "Over 52 ppm, average 54 ppm. (The average was 56,2 ppm in 2002. 42 ppm in 1979-1996, also at one stage, over 70 ppm) . Page 17.

I wouldn't be surprised if new owners and distillery managers make small changes every now and then - maybe also to the ppm level? Or maybe some casks masks the smoke somewhat?
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Postby Iain » Mon Feb 12, 2007 2:51 pm

I have a label from an old bottle of Laphroaig that includes the words "non-peaty".

As has been mentioned elsewhere, since WW2 bunnahabhainn has been at various times with "highly-peated" malt and with totally unpeated malt.
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Postby Bullie » Mon Feb 12, 2007 3:46 pm

Lugarteniente wrote:Acording to Admiral:

Laphroaig 35ppm
Lagavulin 35ppm
Port Charlotte 40 ppm

Ardbeg?
Bruichladdich?
Bunnahabhain?

:?:


Ardbeg? 50ppm
Bruichladdich? 5-6ppm
Bunnahabhain? 1-2 ppm
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Postby corbuso » Mon Feb 12, 2007 3:55 pm

Lawrence wrote:
Bullie wrote:Can't say anything about Kilchoman...


It's VERY peaty, there's a OB sample bottle sitting on my desk right next to my monitor, however to be fair it's only about six months old. It changes competely when water is added. It's actually very good, we were so taken with it we bought a cask.

Kilchoman is normally peated to 20-25 ppm, about the same level as Bowmore.
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Postby corbuso » Mon Feb 12, 2007 3:57 pm

Bullie wrote:According to PE Maltings, the specs for Lagavulin has always been the same. They only did a wee experiment once about ten years ago.


Funny, because at the Lagavulin distillery, they mentioned that the barley is not peated to 5 ppm than it used to be 5-6 years ago.

From what I heard, the wanted to standardize the peatiness level for their Islay distilleries.



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Postby Bulkington » Mon Feb 12, 2007 5:07 pm

How do peaty non-Islays such as Longrow and Talisker rate?
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Postby les taylor » Mon Feb 12, 2007 5:23 pm

According to my 2002 Octomore certificate. If we are just talking about ppm's Octomore is 80.5 ppm's.



:)
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Feb 12, 2007 6:09 pm

It should be noted that all of these ppm figures are for the malted barley, and not for the finished whisky. If anyone has figures for that (which would be considerably lower), that would be more relevant to tasters. Of course it is generally true that the higher the ppm's in the malt, the higher in the whisky. But Ardbeg now puts the husks of the grain, which hold much of the phenolic content, in the mash to get the most out of their peating. I'd be curious to know whether anyone thinks husks in the mash has any other effect on flavor. If some can claim to taste a diference in barley varieties, I would also think it possible that they could taste "huskiness" as well.
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Mon Feb 12, 2007 6:21 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:It should be noted that all of these ppm figures are for the malted barley, and not for the finished whisky. If anyone has figures for that (which would be considerably lower), that would be more relevant to tasters. Of course it is generally true that the higher the ppm's in the malt, the higher in the whisky.

Again, taken from Misako Udo's excellent book:
Les Taylor's 2002 Octomore PPM of the malt: 2002: 80,5 - new make: 29,6
Octomore 2003 PPM of the malt: 129 - new make: 46,4 :shock:
Quite a lot if you compare Octomore to Ardbeg:

Ardbeg: PPM of malt: (average) 54 - new make: (M. Udo's book doesn't have the figure? ) is on average 23 - 24 ppm after May 1998 according to Peat, Smoke & Spirit by Andrew Jefford. Pre-98 it was 16 - 17 in the new make.
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Postby Bullie » Mon Feb 12, 2007 6:22 pm

Well, according to 'Peat, Smoke and Spirit' the ppm in the finished spirit are as follows:

Laphroaig - 25 ppm
Ardbeg - 23-24ppm after 1998, 16-17 before that...
Lagavulin - 16-18 ppm
Caol Ila - 12-13 ppm
Bowmore - 8-10 ppm
Bruichladdich - only traces...
Bunnahabhain - only traces...
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Feb 12, 2007 6:27 pm

So where do all of Ardbeg's phenols go? And how does Laphroaig manage to retain so many?
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Postby Bullie » Mon Feb 12, 2007 6:34 pm

Nick Brown wrote:So where do all of Ardbeg's phenols go? And how does Laphroaig manage to retain so many?


Ardbeg runs their stills much slower. And Laphroaig runs them fast and fully loaded, and perhaps do their final cut much later for those pungeant notes...
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Postby Mr Fjeld » Mon Feb 12, 2007 6:35 pm

Nick Brown wrote:So where do all of Ardbeg's phenols go? And how does Laphroaig manage to retain so many?

I don't know but I think it has to do with the pre -98 malt's lower specification at 42 between 1979-1976. That's 1 ppm lower than Laphroaigs own's malting at ca 43 ppm but again a little higher than the Port Ellen produced malt at 40 ppm.

I think the post -98 Ardbeg and Laphroaig new make should be roughly equal now as Laphroaig is 25 and Ardbeg is 23 -24 ppm.

Are we whisky nerds?
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Feb 12, 2007 6:48 pm

Excellent! I thought those figures were in PS&S, and have a copy at my elbow, but I figured I'd let one of you guys look it up. And I think that is the definitive answer to Lugarteniente's original question.

Are we whisky nerds? :roll: Duh!
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Postby peergynt323 » Mon Feb 12, 2007 7:03 pm

That last one sounds correct to me. I can't picture Lagavulin and Caol Ila with the same ppm.
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Postby Iain » Mon Feb 12, 2007 7:10 pm

To follow on from Bullie:

Mr Jefford in PS&S says (p333) that "[Laphroaig's] spirit cuts are distinctive" - foreshots (ie in 2004) are run for 45 mins, there's a short spirit run and a long slow feints run.

There are comments as to how this might or might not affect the character of the collected spirit.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Feb 12, 2007 8:17 pm

peergynt323 wrote:That last one sounds correct to me. I can't picture Lagavulin and Caol Ila with the same ppm.


I think Caol Ila varies quite a bit, possibly by design. Lots of Mystery Malt Islays are rumored to be Lagavulin, but are more likely CI's, and I would guess that at least some of the time barrels are chosen to have a peating profile closer to Lagavulin's. But I'm only guessing. And I assume you are talking about OB releases, anyway.
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Postby Lawrence » Tue Feb 13, 2007 5:19 am

Nick Brown wrote:So where do all of Ardbeg's phenols go? And how does Laphroaig manage to retain so many?


Laphroaig has more and better phenol angels. All of Ardbeg's phenol angels are too busy chasing visitors out of the car park.

It's true, a whisky ambassador told me.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Feb 13, 2007 5:22 am

Maybe Laphroaig pays its phenols better. Or maybe Ardbeg's have been made redundant. (I love that expression--it's so nonsensically euphemistic. We don't say that on this side of the pond.)
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