Smoked Whiskey 101

So you're curious about smoked whiskey, let's dive into a Smoked Whiskey 101!

Why smoke your whiskey?

By smoking your whiskey it can give your favorite whiskey or bourbon a completely different flavor profile. No, I am not advocating to smoke your Weller 12, or Single Barrel EH Taylor! However, I am advocating to try smoking your daily sippers; my personal favorite is a light smoke on my Michters small batch or Four Roses small batch. It's also a fun way to put a new twist on your whiskeys if you are having a tasting gathering with friends.

How to smoke your whiskey?

There are several ways to smoke your whiskey: smoking planks, smoking guns, smoking domes, etc, but the easiest method is a glasstop smoker.  Glasstop smokers are placed directly on top of your drinking glass or mixing glass and smoked in place. Another benefit to glasstop smokers is they require the least amount of smoking chips compared to the other methods. 

Smoke Rinsing vs Direct Smoke

Smoke-rinsing is where you smoke just the glass, let the smoke dissipate, and then pour in your spirit after the glass has been smoked. This results in the lighter smoke flavor. If you are making a cocktail such as old Fashioned (which tastes great smoked by the way!) prepare your cocktail separately and pour into your glass after it's been smoked.

Direct Smoke is smoking your spirit or cocktail directly with a glasstop smoker.  This will result in a deeper smoke flavor. After your drink is smoked, cover the glass with the smoker lid. The longer you keep the smoke in the glass, the heavier the smoke flavor.  Keep in mind, just a little bit of smoke goes a long way!  You can control direct smoke flavor by adjusting how long you let your drink sit in the smoke.

The Lighter you use matters!!

When lighting the smoker chips, you must use a strong torch type lighter for best results.  You will not get the desired results if you use a small torch lighter with a small/weak flame. We recommend a culinary torch lighter, such as the Sondiko Torch or the Jobon Torch lighter.  These lighters have much stronger flames that will easily fire up the wood chips and push the smoke down into the glass.

Smoke Flavors 

Just as you can use a variety of wood flavors to smoke your barbeque on the grill, this also applies to smoked whiskey.  Our whiskey smoker kit comes with Cherry and Apple wood chips to get you started, but be adventurous and have fun with it.  You can add dried herbs, or dried fruit, such as dried orange peels and really have fun with it!

We hope this quick tutorial helps you dive into the world of smoked whiskey.  It's a fun way to add a new spin on your bourbon whiskey or cocktails.  Have any recipes or methods you'd like to share? Comment below.

Cheers!! - Avid Whiskey

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