Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by French Cuff Consignment, Dec 14, 2006.
By nature of replying I inferred that you were responding to something I wrote.
Well, if you read...actually read...my post, it's clear that there was inspiration, if not a direct correlation. Your remarks about smoothness prompted me to expand upon the theme or at least offer a comment elaborating on smoothness. (that's the way conversations are started and nurtured)
No worries...just that none of us control how any of these discussion are going to go. Look (read) at the OP and the injunctions imposed both by the thread starter and the thread title.
You know, this reminds me of the time my grand pappy and I went skeet shootin' out on the bayou... The water that day was so smooth we could control that piro to go any which direction we wanted.
And for something actually related to scotch: Someone tell me more about Highland Park.
I did read your post and still inferred that by replying you were responding to what I wrote (seems natural to me). I gave my personal opinion and you replied with a first sentence of 'I suspect some people equate sweetness and smoothness.' I mean, based on what a reply inheres it's pretty easy to assume that this is some kind of response or contention given that nothing in what I wrote had anything to do with sweetness or people's perception of it -- and especially so since I don't think and never imagined a person would 'equate sweetness and smoothness' in regards to whisky and, furthermore, in doing so (if such a person were to think as I do -- specifically, that smoothness is the most important factor) they would then think that sweetness is the most important -- which is, to me, absolutely unheard of among whisky drinkers. So no, I didn't really consider that your response could be an extension of what I wrote given that the implications of such an extension seemed preposterous.
Based on your last few replies (which, again, I am assuming are to what I am writing) I now understand your intentions.
Would also be interested in this. Haven't had it before.
I have limited experience with HP simply because I've been an Islay man for many years. But I picked up a bottle of the 12 last summer and thought it was very good--some sweetness, oranges maybe, but none of the almost cloying sweetness of most of the speysides I've had, nothing mediicinal, and enough peat reek that my desire for smoke was satisfied. I'd call it balanced and pretty well rounded.
Despite the name it's actually an Island malt...coming from the Orkneys.
Some say the 18 is even better but I've not tried that yet...in the past if I was gonna spend $100.00, I'd have put it into Lag 16.
Definitely sounds like something I should try, especially for summer. Always good to have a more affordable option too--Lag 16 is not cheap
HP is known for heather, sea air (brine), caramel, spices, leather, orange peel, and smoke. Not nearly as sherried as some Speysides (Glenfarclas being maybe the most extreme). I don't find any notes of iodine in it, so to me it's more of a woodsmoke than peat character.
The 12 is good, the 15 very good, and the 18 generally considered the best in the range, and one of the best Scotches on the market.
The jump in quality from each step to the next is worth the money at least as far as the 18. I haven't had the 25 year old, and while the 30 is good I prefer the 18.
With all due respect...and I apologize if I come off as a bit contrary...but it is my understanding that "smoke" comes from the drying of the malted barley over peat fires. That's why "peat reek" and "smoke" are nearly synonymous.
Many of the Speyside and notably un-smokey malts come from regions and distilleries that have switched to coke (petroleum based) for distilling and so forth. I'm not sure what is used to dry the barley (electricity?) but I don't think they would use coke if only because it would impart a distinctly unpleasant taste.
Not contrary at all! You're right about the peat fire, but as I'm sure you've experienced not only does the phenol parts per million (ppm) vary from one Scotch to another, but the character of the peat varies depending on source and how it balances against the other elements in the Scotch. I've cut and pasted some ppm values below, but for example I find Talisker has more smoke than iodine character as compared to Bowmore (although both obviously have more iodine than HP).
Highland Park (20)
Caol Ila (30–35)
Port Charlotte (40)
As the same source explains,
Quote: For a specific description of HP's peat, see here.
My reference to woodsmoke versus peat is more about my perception of the character of the Scotch, not the objective reality of its production (as you've described).
Nice link, thank you.
I understand the issues of phenol but are they related to the iodine or medicinal flavour or are those flavours more related to the character of the peat? I was always under the impression that the iodine came from kelp and the overall character of the peat and what the peat is exposed to on the islands...as opposed to what is in the peat in the Highlands, for instance.
But I do agree with you...and it is one of the things I like about HP...there is little or no iodine or medicinal notes but the smoke is still there.
I like the smokiness of the Islays but in some instances, and on some days, I could do without the iodine.
As far as I understand, the phenols represent the degree of peat smoke influence in the final product. Ergo, the ppm measurement captures the concentration of all the elements of the peat smoke - the iodine, smokiness, heather, etc. I would imagine that the relative balance between different types of phenols would vary according to the composition of the peat and the heat of the peat fires.
I could be wrong but I'm not sure how else the peat could influence the final product.
What I mean is...do you think phenols themselves equate to iodine or medicinal flavours? Or is it some additional element that travels from the peat into the malt?
The reason I ask is that I have a hard time equating smoke itself with iodine flavours. I do low and slow barbeque in the summer...I use different woods to smoke the meat--hickory (of course,) cherry, alder, apple, even bourbon steeped oak, etc.. Each brings a subtle difference in the taste of the smoked meat but unless one is careless, you never get iodine or, more to the point, creosote notes.
Only mesquite adds a medicinal or bitter overtone.
I'm no chemist so I just don't know...do phenols themselves equal iodine flavours?
Oh I see what you mean. There are different types of phenols - it's an entire class of chemicals that have an enormous range of properties. The mix of different types of phenols will be based on the what you're burning and how hot. Some phenols will impart the iodine character; others will impart spices or woodsmoke or what have you.
I had assumed the iodine flavor was actually coming from iodine, as kelp and seawater in general are loaded with it. That's just a guess though.
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