Why "peaty" means "smoky"
Odds are you've overheard Grandpa Frank puttering on about "peat” between sips of his Laphroaig 15 before, but, believe it or not, he wasn't talking about your deadbeat Uncle Peter (I'm guessing).
Scotland is virtually covered in bogs, peat bogs to be precise, which are basically layers upon layers of plant life that's been slowly decomposing over thousands of years. Scottish distillers extract vegetation from these bogs, dry it out like hay, light it on fire, and spread damp malted barley over it to dry. This process infuses the malt with a strong smokiness, and later, when distillation magically turns the malt to alcohol, this characteristic is imparted into the final product: old Franky's beloved whisky. So, even though this means your favorite Scotch is basically mud-flavored, it's always been done this way, people like it, and thus, peatiness is a thing.
To chill or not to chill?
If you're planning to drink your Scotch mixer-free, there are two main ways to do that. The first, neat, is as easy-peasy as it gets -- a couple of ounces just poured into a glass, preferably a tulip-shaped whisky glass or a brandy snifter. These glasses both feature full, rounded bowls that taper towards the rim, which works to showcase the liquor's color, body, smell, taste, and finish. If it's a particularly fancy bottle, those in the know also recommend adding a few drops of water to bring out flavors that otherwise might have been masked by the liquor's boozy punch.