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Five Scotches For People Who Don’t Like Peat

Five Scotches For People Who Don't Like Peat

If you are not a lover of peat, sometimes, it can feel like every bottle of scotch whisky exists somewhere on a spectrum from an unwashed ashtray to a flaming Band-Aid factory. But that’s simply not the case. 

Even today, in our peat-obsessed time, there are plenty of scotches that offer full flavour without the smoky tang of peated malt. Here are five scotch whiskies that prove you don’t have to like peat to love scotch. 

Glenkinchie 12 Year Old 

BUY NOW: $56.99 

This Lowland single malt distillery isn’t far from Edinburgh but has done wonders to showcase lowland whisky over the years. 

Glenkinchie is rarely seen outside of a 12 year old release, bottled at 43% ABV. 

An easy-drinking malt with lighter, grassy notes – it’s something that honestly stands out when compared to its old rival Auchentoshan based in Glasgow. 

But, even with its strong reputation as an ambassador for lowland malts, this distillery only got its first real release in 1989 when what is now Diageo put it forward as Classic Malt for the lowland region. 

With the current renaissance of lowland distilleries, especially from areas like Fife with brands like Daftmill, Eden Mill and Lindores Abbey – Glenkinchie, with its short radius from Scotland’s capital and the money that has been put behind it still has the air of a small distillery, but is certainly something you should try if you want to avoid peat. 

Glengoyne Cask Strength

BUY NOW: $82.99 

Known for their intense sherried malts, Glengoyne is one of the only distilleries in the world that really emphasises a lack of peat in their spirits. 

Previously known as the Burnfoot Distillery a few centuries ago, and skating the highland line in terms of its location – a famous line of the distillery is (the distillery is in the highlands, the car park is in the lowlands) – their style of whisky could almost be characterised as lowland whisky. It’s grassy, light, sometimes layered with tropical fruit, and sometimes extremely heavily sherried if you get into their older stocks. 

It’s a must if you don’t like peat, but do keep in mind that we’re recommending a cask-strength product here, so do try them neat, but do add water if you want to – this is a whole different ball game of powerful flavour. 

Tomatin 12-Year-Old

BUY NOW: $37.99

A distillery that always flies under the radar when you talk of Speyside styles. At one point in history, Tomatin was the largest distillery in all of Scotland, boasting 23 stills and a production capacity of 12,500,000 litres! But that was in the 1970s and much has changed since then. 

Purchased in 1986 by Takara Shuzo, the stills were reduced to 12 and production averages about 5,000,000 litres per year now. The distillery’s house style is that of a very green fruit orientation. Think about fresh green apples, pears, grapes, etc. All of those wonderfully light, fresh styles of fruit. 

If you fancy a more exotic upgrade then their 14 year old is a port finish with the most pink-hued colour I’ve ever seen in a whisky. 

Speyside in itself can be a rather confusing fork in the road when it comes to whisky drinking, due to the amount of brands that exist within its boundaries, but Tomatin does stand out as this fresh, bourbon-driven single malt that honestly has much to say across its range. 

Bruichladdich Classic Laddie

BUY NOW: $44.95 

So, how weird do you want to make your whisky-drinking experiences? Well, if the answer is even ‘some’ – Bruichladdich has something for you! 

From the outset, their flagship bottle is unpeated. Hidden behind that teal blue bottle is a single malt built from ex-bourbon, ex-sherry, and ex-Spanish and French red wine casks. All are available to view via a small code on the back of the bottle that you can type into their website. 

Do Bruichladdich have peated whisky? Of course they do, but those are bottled under the names of Port Charlotte and Octomore, and the rarely seen Rhinns and Lochindaal. But if you want varied casks, high ABV (50%), natural colouring and with as little filtration as possible – then Bruichladdich is the brand for you. 

Bunnahabhain 12-Year-Old

BUY NOW: $49.99

Another Islay distillery that doesn’t shout about peat. Well, some of the time they do, but the Bunnahabhain 12 year old has so many wonderful elements to its liquid that you’d be hard-pressed to dislike, peat lover or not.

The stills may be a little taller than everyone else’s on Islay, this tends to lean to a more ‘delicate’ style of whisky. But Bunnahabhain 12 year old finds most of its flavour sources through rich, chocolate-driven, orange segment-scented sherry casks. 

A whisky that has been on most people’s ‘must try’ lists, as well as being a household staple for most whisky drinkers, it does have a slightly salty/coastal edge, but nothing that would put you off in like some of its neighbours on the island of Islay. 

 

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