peat n: 1. A highly organic material found in marshy or damp regions, composed of partially decayed vegetable matter: it is cut up and dried for use as fuel. 2. such vegetable matter used as fertilizer or fuel.
And today we’re using barley that’s been smoked over peat as a crucial ingredient in our Second Hand Smoke, a smooth English Brown ale with a hint of smokey evil.
Some of our favorite Scotch whiskys such as Laphroaig and Lagavulin have very strong peat flavors and aromas. The best decription I’ve read describes the flavor as “it tasted like cancer and reminded me of being at the hospital when I was 6 getting my broken leg casted. Nothing positive.” Accurate, if foreboding.
The Second Hand Smoke is only 4% peat malt, just enough to give it some of that distinctive character but not enough to overpower the uninitiated. Today we’re brewing a 10 gallon batch which, judging by the fact that it was the first keg kicked at our last tasting party, is sure to not be enough.
Have you tried this beer? If so leave us a comment and tell us what you think. If not, maybe you’ll be around for the next tasting party and can give us your opinion first hand of one of our flagship brews.