Whiskey Review: Do Good Distillery Peat Smoked Whisky

Do Good Distillery Peat Smoked

image via Gretchen Holzgang/The Whiskey Wash

“You do well by doing good.” When it comes to making whiskey, the crew at Do Good Distillery took Ben Franklin’s famous words to heart.

Do Good Distillery’s Peat Smoked Whisky won a gold medal at the World Whiskies awards in 2016, and it doesn’t take much more than a pour to see why. This Peat Smoked Whisky is a nod to the centuries-old practice of kilning malt with smoke made by burning peat, giving it a distinctive musty, medicinal, or funky nose. Made with imported peated malt, the whisky is then aged in rye casks and finished in the distillery’s own rum barrels to create its award-winning flavor.

Owners Jim Harrelson founded the Modesto, California-based distillery in October of 2013 with friends and family in honor of the late Paul Katuszonek, friend and whiskey enthusiast.

It was Katuszonek who introduced Do Good’s head distiller Harrelson to the world of whiskey, and he dreamed of opening a distillery of his own before passing away in a fatal traffic accident. Inspired by Harrelson’s “crazy” idea, the Do Good trio continued on in his legacy.

Harrelson comes from a beer brewing background, something he draws on in the distilling process. With the philosophy that “whiskey is what beer wants to be when it grows up,” the Do Good distiller uses recipes he’s derived from brewing to create the company’s five different whiskeys.

Tasting Notes: Do Good Distillery Peat Smoked Whisky 

Vital Stats: 91.1 proof. 45.55 percent alcohol by volume an in 750 milliliter bottle. Malt barley. Aged $50 range.

Appearance: Deep copper, gold

Nose: I began to detect the smokiness as soon as I started to pour it. The earthy, peaty aroma is almost reminiscent of a bonfire. It’s pleasantly woody.

Palate: Smokiness from the nose dominates in the palate. The peat flavor lingers, but gives way to earthy, vegetative overtones, like salt and grass. The body is rich. The complexity of the flavors opens as you sip, or with a drop of water added. Smooth on the finish.

Final Thoughts & Score/Buy A Bottle:

Score: 82/100

Buy NowThis whisky has great mouthfeel, and a flavor that reminds me of a young Scotch. It’s particularly good if you enjoy a smoky spirit. The body is detectible both in taste and visually in the legs. Overall it’s smooth and well-balanced at 91.9 proof, and I rather enjoyed the earthiness of the nose and the palate.

About the author

Gretchen Holzgang