Whisky by Flavour - Feints - Tobacco
Tobacco is an aroma found when nosing some whiskies, not to be confused with smoky aromas from phenols, when a tobacco aroma is discussed it refers to the aromas of tobacco leaves or for consumer products an unlit cigar. Tobacco when picked is a green leaf and has vegetal and herbaceous notes, this develops into nutty, spicy and earthy aromas when it has been left to air dry and ferment (in barns in the sun).
The tobacco aromas arise during distillation in whisky and begin to appear when in the spirit safe. When distillers make the new make spirit they have foreshots and feints which are on either side of what is called the middle cut, this is the section siphoned off to become the whisky we taste after maturation. Feints come in around the middle part of the spirit run and start with biscuity notes before developing tobacco and honey before sweaty notes. The distiller chooses when to start collecting spirit from the foreshots and when their middle cut is finished, and the remaining feints are sent to be reused for the next run. This is why some whiskies will have tobacco aromas and others won’t however, maturation can also have its effect and remove/ overpower these aromas.
Enjoyed this flavour? The following whiskies all share this flavour profile.....