An Idea

Sometimes in life, you have an idea. Not just any idea, but the best idea ever. It is normally something you think no-one else has thought of and that is going to make you millions of pounds. You tell everyone about it, and most people nod and say ‘I never thought of that. It’s a good idea’. That’s your market research finished, so what next? Well this is where you have your moment of doubt. Most people at this point decide to forget about their idea and go down the pub.

Some people decide to pursue their idea. Of those people, 1 in every thousand have a good idea: Google, and the other 999 have a really bad idea: Minidisc players.

My idea is not a revolutionary idea. It’s just a variation on an already existing idea. So my expectations are slightly lower. I suspect someone has already thought of it. If it is a new idea, I suspect it will be worth a couple of bottles of Whisky.

Anyway, enough pre-amble. My idea concerns the Whisky making process. Currently in Scotland, we use peat to smoke the barley creating a peaty, smokey and awesome whisky. Done.

But what if we were to use other fuels to smoke barley? This could create barleys that have different flavours and aromas.

The Fuel for the fire

Here is a list of woods that could be used:

Apple-wood: Ever had apple-wood smoked cheese? Imagine if you could smoke barley with it and make a whisky. Fruity.

Whisky Oak: Ultimate recycling. Would this enhance whisky flavours?

Hickory: Quite a meaty BBQ smoke.

(Just a small list. There are lots of other woods that could be used)


A good example would be Balblair 89. One of my favourite light, fruity whiskies. What if the barley had been smoked using apple wood. Would this enhance the fruitiness?


With any idea, there are always problems. The main one, is that the wood smoke may not be strong enough to linger through distillation. This is where I need Whisky distillers or the Scotch Whisky research people. Has anyone tried this? Any Biologists, chemists or genius’ in general who can tell me if it would work? Any distillers who would like to take up a challenge of trying it out?

There are other problems. Costs, supplies, upsetting the SWA. I will try not to think about the problems. Instead, I will get carried away on what will hopefully be a wave of success.


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