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Peat smoked malt whiskey - is it harder to make cuts?

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Hi Everyone,

I plan to do my first run of malt whiskey in a few weeks. I plan to use peat smoked malt for 15-20% of the mash (I love peaty scotch if you can't tell). Having never done a single malt run or a run with smoked grain I'm curious about how difficult it may be to discern my heads/tails, mainly the tails. I have a lot of experience running bourbon and rye. Also, I plan to distill directly off the wort.

Can anyone give me any info/advice? How the two would compare (bourbon/rye vs single malt)? Tasting notes? How the smoke affects the distillate flavor?

I did do one malt whiskey run. The very first time I ever ran my still. A local brewery goofed on a batch and gave it to us to run through the still. No hops were added. I remember the tails being much sweeter than bourbon or rye.

Cheers!

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I would rely on the same aroma qualities that you would for your other products.  A lot of times, the ends of our runs will turn a little "artificial" smelling at the end.  Dryer sheet or rubber hose-ish.  Obviously it will be a little different for everyone but at 15-20% peated malt, it's not going to have a HUGE impact.  That said, you might not notice much of the peated character at all in the beginning of the run.  We tend to get most of the impact in the aroma towards the end of the day and that's with 100% peated malt.

Best of luck!

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Most of the peaty smell will come towards the end, so taking cuts is trickier than unpeated malt, because you can't just cut off early and discard the feints. With just 15% peated malt it'll be even harder figuring out the hearts to tail cut. You might want to take multiple cuts and then combine them to figure out where the actual cut should be. If you are doing a smaller pilot run, you could do what Old Portero did when developing their rye. They took cuts in mason jars and combined to figure out when to cut.

 

On ‎9‎/‎20‎/‎2016 at 3:28 PM, ADKdistiller said:

Hi Everyone,

I plan to do my first run of malt whiskey in a few weeks. I plan to use peat smoked malt for 15-20% of the mash (I love peaty scotch if you can't tell). Having never done a single malt run or a run with smoked grain I'm curious about how difficult it may be to discern my heads/tails, mainly the tails. I have a lot of experience running bourbon and rye. Also, I plan to distill directly off the wort.

Can anyone give me any info/advice? How the two would compare (bourbon/rye vs single malt)? Tasting notes? How the smoke affects the distillate flavor?

I did do one malt whiskey run. The very first time I ever ran my still. A local brewery goofed on a batch and gave it to us to run through the still. No hops were added. I remember the tails being much sweeter than bourbon or rye.

Cheers!

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One trick is to use 100% peated malt and then blend when it comes of age with unpeated aged whiskey.

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11 minutes ago, Micah Nutt said:

One trick is to use 100% peated malt and then blend when it comes of age with unpeated aged whiskey.

I agree that this is an easy way to get the amount of smoke that you like, but 100% peated masks the start of the tails even more than 25%.

I do, and I think many distillers run a little further into the tails when doing peated.

As VSAKS said, take multiple cuts when you are getting close.

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On ‎9‎/‎21‎/‎2016 at 8:28 AM, ADKdistiller said:

..............., I plan to distill directly off the wort..............

 

Aren't you going to ferment it first?  :huh:

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