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Old 02-27-2008, 03:36 PM   #1
Nov 2007
Posts: 14

So I'm going to Islay next week, visits to Ardbeg, Bruichladdich and Caol Ila are scheduled. I'm thinking about trying to score some of their smoked malt. Does anyone know if this is possible? Surely, the destilleries must be able to part with a few ounces of malt?

Surely, I can't be the first homebrewer to visit Islay and think "Hey, I could put that in a beer!"

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Old 02-27-2008, 03:43 PM   #2
Boerderij_Kabouter's Avatar
Dec 2007
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
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Wow!! I am uber jealous...

Maybe bring them one or two of your finest and arrange a barter. That is gonna be one hell of a good time. The Caoel Ila 18 rocks my socks right now, probably my current favorite.

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Old 02-27-2008, 03:52 PM   #3
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Feb 2008
Eastern Colorado
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Can I go...can I go...Can I go....I'm thinking you should take a few of your kids to barter...
I'm all about Bowmore Legend and 12 year right now.
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Old 02-27-2008, 04:19 PM   #4
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Jul 2006
State College, Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,379
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I'm not sure what the USDA inspectors at the airport will think of this. I know for sure that raw grain would definitely not be allowed in. I'm not sure about malt though. The concern is about any plant pathogens that might come along with it. I think you can go to the US customs website and they list there things that are not allowed. The European maltsters have permits to allow them to ship the malt to the US. If the distilleries have such a permit and you can get a copy of it, you should have no problems.

Good luck!
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Old 02-27-2008, 04:34 PM   #5
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Aug 2006
Charlottesville, VA
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If you do have trouble with customs, you could always just get some scottish peated malt from a HBS. I use it here and there.
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Old 03-08-2008, 05:06 PM   #6
Nov 2007
Posts: 14

So, I'm back from Islay. The people at Ardbeg were kind enough to part with half a pound of their peated optic malt, it's at 40 ppm phenol content and smells great.

The kind folks at Bruichladdich were happy to hook me up with two pounds of their Octomore malt.. it weighs in at a staggering 167 ppm phenol content! Just smelling that stuff makes me cough black tar balls for hours ;-)

Both malts are quite pale, I'd say no more than 5-10 L, and I'm currently at a loss on how much to use. I'm thinking no more than a couple of percent of the grist bill..

I'm also trying to figure out what to brew with them (no lagering capabilities.. only room temp..) I know that there are some Islay-whisky barrel aged imperial stouts out there, if I make an impy, toss in some oak cubes and use some peat malt, I should end up pretty close.. no? Or how about a smoky barley wine?

Further, I can't really see the smoke combining well with abundant hop aroma or belgian yeast, so I'm pretty much ruling those out..

Any ideas?

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Old 03-24-2009, 12:57 AM   #7
Apr 2008
Bear, DE
Posts: 2

So how did this turn out? I'm a SMS peat freak and have been thinking about incorporating smoky and/or peat malt in select brews. When I read of homebrewer's experiments with peated malt smelling like bandaids (i.e. medicinal), they obviously haven't enjoyed a good Laphroiag. What's the phenol ppm content in simpson's peated malt for instance? Can't come close to PC8.


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Old 03-24-2009, 01:24 AM   #8
Feb 2009
Fairbanks, AK
Posts: 9

mmm, smoked porter...most of the people around here (AK) use alder wood and smoke it themselves, but i bet a robust porter would benifit from the aroma and flavor of burning brake pads. Mmmmm!

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Old 03-24-2009, 01:41 AM   #9
leghorn's Avatar
Dec 2007
Yorktown, VA
Posts: 179
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This may be worth trying - sub some of the rauchmalt for peated

9-9-9 Barleywine

I made the rauchmalt smoked version and it is fantastic. One warning - make sure you re-pitch at bottling or it will have real trouble getting carbed.

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Old 03-24-2009, 01:47 AM   #10
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Jan 2007
St. Louis, MO
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It is generally (strongly) recommended not to use peated malt in smoked malt recipes.Much to sharp. Much to harsh.

Stick with rauchmalt for smoked porters et al.

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