Game of Thrones fans have been muttering, “winter is coming” for a decade now. But this time of year, there’s another phrase on everyone’s minds: spring is here. Even though it seems like Punxsutawney Phil lied to all of us about an early spring, it won’t stop the warm weather from arriving (eventually). The days where we can slowly sip whiskey and take full advantage of the three S’s — sweatpants, slippers, and Snuggies — are waning.
Since this winter has seemed longer than sitting through every Avengers movie back-to-back-to-back, you’ve probably already had your fill of rye and bourbon and maybe even single malt Scotch. Let’s finish the season strong with peated whisky (and whiskey). This style is known for its smoky flavor — derived from peat (oil-rich slabs of soil) which is burned to dry the whiskey and gives off pungent smoke. Much of it comes from the island of Islay off the coast of Scotland. This is where Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Lagavulin, Bruichladdich and other famed Scotch brands are produced.
But it’s not just the Scots making peated whisky. You’ll find offerings from all over the US, Ireland, and beyond. Check out some of our favorite bartenders’ go-to bottles below.
Lagavulin 16 Year
Jack Keane, general manager at Sundry and Vice in Cincinnati
“Neat I’m drinking Lagavulin 16 year, it has a perfectly rounded body with great smoke. Laphroaig is great for blending in cocktails because it becomes a sum of the parts than Lagavulin which can take over a cocktail.”