Whisky Magazine Issue 137
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Braving the most intriguing flavour of them all
My greatest joy when working behind the bar is to enchant guests with drinks they would have never thought able to appreciate. When it comes to mixing whisky, there is nothing more testing than bold, strong polarising flavours such as a good peated whisky.
Making mixed drinks with them is particularly difficult and this drove me to launch myself in a personal challenge, creating three drinks based on the boldest drams at my disposal. The first product I trialled was Wemyss Malts Peat Chimney. I remember receiving this bottle two years ago and finding myself having a difficult time working with the liquid in cocktails or even appreciating it on its own. Things had changed.
After my first sip, I discovered a pleasant elegant smoke with a touch of sweetness and brine - the palate was completely different from my recollection: delicate tropical fruits, papaya, mango with a hint of pine resin before a strong peat built to dominate the finish.
This immediately brought an idea to mind. Instead of catering to the peat, work with the lighter notes to accentuate them and match the intensity of the peat.
I began by combining a generous measure of Wemyss Peat Chimney to maple syrup for added vanilla and wood overtones, a couple of dashes of barrel aged bitters accentuating the depth with its strong cardamom, cinnamon and bitterness.
Finally, I finished the drink with fresh pressed mango juice and an orange peel, offering sweetness, depth and perfect pairing with the array ...