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The First Taiwanese Peated Whisky is Born

Following the remarkable sales of Nantou Winery’s Omar Black Queen Wine Barrel Finish, Nantou has launched another megahit of Taiwan’s first peated whisky in June. It has again surged up a scrambling wave of sales. The fifteen barrels of whisky in the first launch came up to 3000 bottles, each sold as single cask bottle. The whisky was emptying shelves as soon as an hour since launch.


Nantou’s peated whisky is sourced from peated malt imported from Scotland, and matured in Bourbon casks. Instead of using peated casks to instill the peaty flavor into the whisky, peated malt is directly used by Nantou. Although both methods serve the purpose of infusing the smoky aroma in whisky, they are fundamentally different in nature.


For the peated cask method, the spirit is usually transferred from its original Bourbon cask to a peated cask to finish the maturation process. The time of finishing varies from three months to two or three years, depending on distilleries. Yet this method is deemed to produce a lighter peaty flavor, so it is more of an enhancement to the existing flavor in the spirit. Nonetheless, the smoky effect changes as the maturation period lengthens.


On the other hand, using peated malt reduces the time of maturation as the spirit does not need any rotation of cask. The peaty flavor from this method would appear stronger and robust in the whisky. In spite of that, there are still certain drawbacks as the smoky flavor may be quite overwhelming. The delicate flavor given by the Bourbon cask and other subtle aromas can be masked, especially in the cases of younger peated whiskies. The peaty smell left on the facilities may also contaminate other unpeated whiskies.


After some discussions of peated whiskies, where does Nantou’s new whisky stand? The peated malt used in the new product is of 35 ppm, so the peaty flavor can be easily felt on the nose and palate, giving overt smoky and ashy characters. The obvious difference as compared to Islay whisky would be the absence of the natural seaside salty flavor. If there’s a hint of saltiness in Nantou’s whisky, it would be hard to distinct them from a blind tasting.


In a nutshell, Nantou’s new product undoubtedly showcased the uniqueness of peated whiskies. Although the peaty flavor may be too overwhelming on the attack, the flavors may keep evolving after some time. The mouthfeel may turn softer after a while, but only time can tell whether it is true. 



南投酒廠暨黑后葡萄酒桶熱銷後,於六月份推出最新力作臺灣首款泥煤麥芽威士忌再次創造搶購熱潮,首發共裝15桶威士忌,合計總共裝瓶約 3000瓶左右,以單一桶原酒方式裝瓶銷售,上市便於短短數小時內銷售一空。








在簡易的介紹後,我們回過頭來看這一瓶首款泥煤麥芽威士忌,南投酒廠這一次推出的泥煤麥芽威士忌是採用濃度約35 ppm的泥煤麥芽,在聞香上與入口時都可以非常容易的就感受到泥煤的風味,整體上會有較多煙燻與灰燼的表現,而如果要與艾雷島的泥煤味相比的話,我想最大的差異就是南投酒廠的泥煤威士忌少了一股大自然那海洋風味的鹹感表現,如果南投酒廠的這一款泥煤威士忌也帶有一點鹹感的話,那盲飲時就會增加不少難度。