Whiskey Advocate Article, “Peat Done Differently” feat. Thornton Distilling Co.

Check out the Summer 2024 issue of Whiskey Advocate to read more about “Praire Peat,” our forthcoming American Single Malt Whisky. Head Distiller Ari Klafter sat down with Julia Higgins to discuss utilizing local peat to capture terroir in whisky.

This project has been a long time coming beginning with our early research and search for local peat in 2017, to finally connecting with Jeff the peat farmer in 2019.

At the time a locally sourced peat had never been used in the US and based on the 3 years it took Andy to locate a local supply we discovered why it hadn’t been done. We decided early on to never use commercial agricultural peat, like the type you’d use in a home garden. So we needed a local partner with the quality of peat we felt would do our whisky justice. We then had to pore over peat samples, work out the logistics for harvesting, wait for the ground to thaw, drive out and harvest peat by hand, dry the peat for 6 months at the distillery, bring it to our maltster in southern Indiana to use it to smoke locally grown malt, bring the malt back to the distillery, make the first batches of our whisky, fill casks. And then we waited, and have continued waiting for over three years while our casks mature.

We believe peat is the truest expression of terroir in whisky and the aroma and flavor peat imparts to the whisky is unique to the environment in which it develops over thousands of years. With notes of prairie grass and wildflower, we feel that Prairie Peat captures the essence of the American Prairie in a glass.

Distilled with spring water from our historic artesian limestone well and made with locally sourced grains, our whisky has a truly unique identity to the Midwest, and we are very excited to share with you when it’s finally ready.

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Check out the Summer 2024 issue of Whiskey Advocate to read more about “Praire Peat,” our forthcoming American Single Malt Whisky. Head Distiller Ari Klafter sat down with Julia Higgins to discuss utilizing local peat to capture terroir in whisky.

This project has been a long time coming beginning with our early research and search for local peat in 2017, to finally connecting with Jeff the peat farmer in 2019.

At the time a locally sourced peat had never been used in the US and based on the 3 years it took Andy to locate a local supply we discovered why it hadn’t been done. We decided early on to never use commercial agricultural peat, like the type you’d use in a home garden. So we needed a local partner with the quality of peat we felt would do our whisky justice. We then had to pore over peat samples, work out the logistics for harvesting, wait for the ground to thaw, drive out and harvest peat by hand, dry the peat for 6 months at the distillery, bring it to our maltster in southern Indiana to use it to smoke locally grown malt, bring the malt back to the distillery, make the first batches of our whisky, fill casks. And then we waited, and have continued waiting for over three years while our casks mature.

We believe peat is the truest expression of terroir in whisky and the aroma and flavor peat imparts to the whisky is unique to the environment in which it develops over thousands of years. With notes of prairie grass and wildflower, we feel that Prairie Peat captures the essence of the American Prairie in a glass.

Distilled with spring water from our historic artesian limestone well and made with locally sourced grains, our whisky has a truly unique identity to the Midwest, and we are very excited to share with you when it’s finally ready.

Screenshot
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