The congener of “Smoked bacon” is parts of the “Smokey” sub category as part of the “peaty” head category.
“Smoked bacon” is a congener that must be chemically linked to a lot of chemicals. For an overview one can look at this page and this page on the “the good scents company” website. This website does not have a “peaty” congener, but it does have one for “smokey”
When I started writing about whisky congeners I thought the congener of “Smoked Bacon” would be something simple. Everybody knows bacon! Right? That is what I thought. I was wrong!
I buy my bacon in the super marked and then I fry it in butter or oil until it get really hard and you can eat it like a crisp. In Dutch we often, but not always, call this “uitgebakken spek”. Pork products are used in many dishes in Holland. Very very many. How many of them use “smoked bacon”? I actually would not know because I never think I bought it.
Anyways, since this congener is about the Scottish Whisky, let’s find out how the Scottish use smoked bacon!
If you google “Scottish Smoked Bacon” and select “Videos” you get a total of “0” hits. If you put that same search into YouTube you do get some hits.
I have tried finding a traditional Scottish recipe for smoked bacon. Truth be told I found so many from all over Scotland, all different. Some smoked bacons are smoked with Beech wood, some Oak wood, some with Cedar. I was hoping that all smoked Scottish Bacon would use Oak as a fuel, just as with smoked kippers. This is not the case. Since Beech wood smoke would probably smell different to Oak, the smell would still be “smokey”, but which was the one intended by the people making up the Revised Scottish Whisky Flavour Wheel? I could not tell you.
For a wikipedia link for “Bacon” please click here.
I have been to the England and Scotland a couple of times now and I have had some bacon at breakfast. Truth be told I am clueless if these bacons were smoked or not. Some were hard and dry, some fatty and sorta rubbery. How did these smell? I honestly cannot remember.
What I can remember is that I ones noted a tasting note on Compass Box Enlightenment which was Salty Pork or “Schwarzwälder Schinken” or black Forrest ham.
For a link to what Black Forest ham is, see wikipedia. Now Black Forest Ham is not only seasoned by smoke and salt, but also by herbs. So its not quite the same.
What I think I am seeing is that the “Smokey” group has been given a reference that people know from their daily live and menu. By pointing out the smell of smoke from a fire, smokey noses from a meat (bacon), a fish (kippery) and a dairy product (cheese) a link could be suggested between the typical chemicals (Guaiacol) in smokey whisky’s and everyday products.
I will probably go back to Scotland and when I do I will ask for some smoked bacon. If I ever do I will post a picture below this very line! If the picture is not there I have yet to taste Smoked Scottish Bacon!
I am a dad and husband first. I have a job designing train interiors. As a hobby I try to learn everything I can about what makes whisky what it is. This blog is a nerdy effort to document my findings in a diary kind of way. (bribes are welcome!)