If there's one way to capture the wilderness and people of Scotland in a glass, it's with whisky. When you taste a whisky, you experience barley from Scotland's fields, pristine water filtered through Scottish mountains, and expert craft passed down through generations. But Scotland has also had a considerable influence on the history of tea, from the Scottish horticulturist Robert Fortune who stole tea seeds from China, to the early Scottish tea planters in Darjeeling. Tea is what it is today in part because of Scotland. So if whisky captures Scotland in a glass, how do you capture Scotland in a mug? With whisky tea! Whisky has a myriad of flavours, from sweet dried fruits, to floral bouquets, to medicinal smoke. Tea also ranges from delicate fruity aromas to deep malty sweetness. We married these two together to create five whisky teas representing Scotland's whisky regions.
Our Lowland Whisky Tea blend uses a 12-year-old Single Malt. The nose of the whisky was very spicy, tasting of ginger and cardamom, with hints of lime and citrus fruit. We used a lot of spices in this blend to enhance the sweet, spicy notes in the whisky. We were unable to get hold of lime pieces when developing the blend, so instead, Esther opted for lemongrass with natural fruit flavouring to bring out the tropical citrus notes. We also added rooibos to give an extra hint of vanilla and honey! You can also use this blend to make delicious pancakes: https://www.pekoetea.co.uk/blogs/blog/pekoetea-lowland-whisky-tea-scotch-pancakes?_pos=8&_sid=211a01546&_ss=r.
Islay whiskies are famously smoky and peated. We use the Machir Bay whisky from the Kilchoman Distillery, which gives medicinal smokiness with a hint of citrus and lemon. The Islay Whisky Tea blend combines five different teas for the base to replicate the nose of the whisky! The blend has a hint of star anise to bring out the medicinal notes. In her 'Making of the Whisky Tea Collection' blog post, Esther explains: 'I had to be careful not to overpower the blend by adding too much Lapsang because I wanted the other flavours to come through and create something that was more complex like a good Single Malt should be.' If you like iced tea, then see our previous post for a delicious Islay whisky iced tea recipe: https://www.pekoetea.co.uk/blogs/blog/islay-whisky-iced-tea?_pos=7&_sid=211a01546&_ss=r.
We used a 15-year-old Single Malt in our Campbeltown Whisky Tea blend, which has a very spicy, chocolate and fruity flavour profile. The black tea base combines four different teas, including Keemun, which is naturally chocolatey, and Ceylon tea which has a spicy favour profile. The combination of natural fruit flavours with currants and cacao nibs enhances the flavour of the whisky, and a hint of pepper brings out the spiciness.
The river Spey is the second longest and the fastest-flowing river in Scotland. The abundant supply of pure water helps give Speyside whiskies their smooth and complex flavours, with delicious hints of sweet fruit and vanilla. We are proud to have collaborated with the Glen Moray Distillery, using their 15-year-old in our Speyside Whisky Tea! It has a very pleasant muscatel flavour on the nose, in addition to the classic sweet and fruity Speyside flavour. The blend combines base teas that bring a sweet, malty flavour to enhance the whisky, and apple and strawberry pieces to bring out its sweetness and fruity notes. Esther says: 'It took several attempts to get the balance just right, but I am really pleased with the result, a deliciously dark, vanilla, fruity sweet tea blend.'
The Highlands are the largest Scotch Whisky region by area so it has the largest variation in flavours! For our Highland Whisky Tea, we used a 12-year-old single malt. The notes of cinnamon and currants, and the slightly spicy taste of the 12-year-old whisky were perfect for our Highland blend! The blend ended up tasting like a traditional fruity tea cake just by enhancing the flavours of the whisky we chose. The tea base is a blend of Assam and toasted Oolong, decorated with colourful heather flowers. It is an easy-drinking whisky tea blend, perfect in the afternoon with a slice of cake. Read about the making of our whisky tea blends here: https://www.pekoetea.co.uk/blogs/blog/whisky-collection-whats-the-story?_pos=9&_sid=211a01546&_ss=r.