What is Single Malt Whisky?
Posted by harish16sgh on July 12th, 2018
Single malt whisky is one of the most popular whisky types, also known as the ‘original’ whisky of Scotland. Alcohol lovers have a special affinity for this one of a kind beverage, owing to its unique flavour.
Many a time, people are confused about single malt Scotch whisky, assuming that the whisky is labelled single malt, as it is the product of a single batch of production or a single barrel of whisky. However, single malt whisky is named so, as it is made in a single distillery, where the whisky is distilled from a fermented mash made of malted grain. Thus, the term single malt means that the whisky is the product of a single distillery; this applies to all single malt whisky brands and single malt whisky names one may encounter in the market.
How is Single Malt Whisky Prepared?
Single malt whisky is made from only malted barley. The grain is first soaked in water for a few days to let it germinate. After some days, the germination is stopped with the help of heating and then the malt is mashed into a coarse flour. Hot water is then added to the flour to extract the sugars; this stage is called mashing. Next stage is fermentation in which yeast is added to the wort that is produced during mashing. The yeast feeds on the sugar and creates alcohol content in the wort, which now becomes a wash. This wash is further distilled and then diluted. After dilution, the ageing process is initiated in which the whisky is placed in oak casks to mature, and this ageing induces flavours in the whisky.
Single Malt Scotch Whisky
By law, Scotch (both malt and grain whiskies) must be matured in oak casks in Scotland. The preparation of single malt scotch is done in the same manner as single malt whisky, but the difference comes from ageing. As per strict regulations, the single malt Scotch whisky must be aged for a minimum of three years in the oak casks in Scotland, to be recognised as single malt scotch. The ageing time can be stretched up to twenty years. However, fermentation time, style and size of the stills, and the cut vary amongst distilleries.
Speaking of single malt scotch whiskies, one must also try single barrel scotch that is the product of a single barrel of whisky and is a pure form that is not mixed with any whisky from other sources. A single barrel scotch whisky is a rare brew and has a unique colour, aroma and flavour.
In most of the cases, single malt whisky bears the name of the distillery where it has been produced. It also carries an age statement along with details about any special treatment that the brew has undergone.
Thus, it goes without saying, single malt whisky brands are a league of their own. With the above-mentioned details, one can easily pick the right single malt whisky brands and enjoy the experience of the unique brew.
The author of this article discusses Single Malt Scotch Whisky and the preparation process of this whisky.Also See: Single Malt, Malt Whisky, Malt Scotch, Scotch Whisky, Whisky, Single, Scotch
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