It is indeed, but the Nadurra Triumph 1991 (pictured here) is even better. Rounder, richer with deeper flavors. Worth the upgrade, but I wouldn't use it in a cocktail!
Mortlach is high on my list; Royal Lochnagar isn't on my radar (details?); and agreed on Longmorn - great stuff. Not as complete a package as HP 18, but still good stuff.
I'm actually not aware of the Triumph. I am pretty particular about what I use in cocktails, both from the standpoint of using something that is of high enough quality, and also of not maligning something that is of high quality by adulterating it. No vintage champagne mimosas, in other words. But the regular Nadurra does make a remarkable improvement in a Pennicillin!
Royal Lochnagar is hard to get a hold of, but is a big component of the Walker blends. My favorite whiskies are the deep, rich, spicy, meaty onces, and Lochnagar falls into that category for me.
Is it really that it's never been done before? Or that no one in the Industry has access to this kind of equipment? If a bona fide expert says that some kinds of plant material produce phenols and some kinds don't, do we really need to second guess?
I can't help being uncertain as to where the facts lie in this. The WhiskyScience blog seems to my inexperienced (and ignorant) eye to be offering up pretty "scientific" data. Perhaps based on GC/MS spectrometer results? If such results indicate that phenols themselves produce medicinal flavours, does speculation...even common sense speculation...trump?
I suspect it is a mistake to dismiss those findings out of hand.
I thought I was largely agreeing with them: Do you have the link to the particular page on their site that you read>
A hundred GC/MS's? When we were quoting them, they were like $120k, which is why we don't have one. I've tried it with FTIR, but the majority of the aromatic compounds are of such low wavenumber that the FTIR can't distinguish it.
I'm not sure I get how the implication necessarily follows from the prior statements.
The phenols (a huge class of chemical compounds which can create a huge range of flavors) come from the burning peat, and that peat is composed of decayed muck from a whole range of types of vegetative matter. Hypothesis: More medicinal whiskys are made from malt that has been roasted over peat with a higher amount of seaweed/saltwater in it. Thus, that peat gives off a collection of phenols that are richer in the particular phenols that yield medicinal notes. Supposedly, there are like three different types of seaweed that have been found in peat; a green, red, and the brown kelp-like seaweed.
Huntsman makes a convincing case and I'd like to take it at face value...it is, after all, what I've believed for some years now.
But it re-raises the question--some peats won't have any appreciable iodine (kelp or salt water) in them, simply because of geography. So some heavily peated whiskys should be nearly free of any medicinal flavours while at the same time retaining the smokiness and the peat reek. [and at one point in time I suspect most if not all SM Scotches were dried and distilled over peat as it was the most common and readily available fuel in Scotland.]