Regarding the addition of water: The lady who guided us through the Edradour distillery (Highlands, near Pitlochry) advised us to add a wee bit of water, but keeping in mind that “it took us 18 years to get the water out, so please don’t drown it!”. Pure Malt. This is not a beginner question at all. It is this type of Scotch that most blended Scotch whisky is made from. Not only regulating production, the act also governs the labeling, packaging and the advertising of Scotch whisky within the United Kingdom. The regulations does seem to require that a single grain whisky include some malted barley. I mentioned that I would be following up with a tasting of the samples he was kind enough to give me, and I shall do so tomorrow. Scotch whisky is commonly made from malted barley or grain with the spirit aged in oak casks for a minimum of three years. Scotch whisky has long been my favorite spirit. As far as an investment, I like to be liquid in my investments, but not that liquid. Your initial distinction between two kinds of whisky – malt and grain – and the three possible combinations of these are good, as are your definition of a single malt, but the problem lies with your definition of grain whisky. Independent Bottlers. Most grain whiskies are produced predominantly from grains other than malted barley, while your description seems to imply that malted barley is still the main ingredient. This list, while partial, are a few of my favorite whiskeys, all of which I highly recommend. Despite the process being painstaking and lengthy, distilleries such as The Balvenie and Highland Park view it as a tradition and pride themselves on their malting floors. Please let me know if you have any questions. Allow it to stream in front of your teeth and touch your gums and the inside of your lips. Hundreds of examples can be given regarding this instance starting with Whiskey and Tequila themselves. Typically when more than one cask is used, the reason behind it is to introduce varied flavor profiles into the batch. While, I do recommend adding a splash of still water to the dram, I appreciate and understand what a cooling process does to a perfected whisky. From those two types, three subcategories are formed. This way should you have company over, if they are inclined to try a dram of Scotch but don’t have the appreciation for it, rather than wasting a remarkable whisky on a plebeian’s palate, I always keep a bottle of 12-year-old Glenlivet and Glenfiddich in my bar. Bravo on the article. If not, I will change my name – a lot of my info comes from Mark Twain and so Mark the First may be a good name. From those two types, three subcategories are formed. There are five basic types of Scotch: Single Malt, Blended Malt (a.k.a. While I don’t recommend diluting your whisky with 50% water, I always suggest adding a splash. For the distilleries located on the west coast of Scotland, particularly on the islands, the water has a much higher peat content due to the water running through peat bogs, which cause it to have a slightly brown tinge. Probably, but in the company of others who aren’t afraid to try new things. My respect for Remy Martin Cognac was lost almost entirely after they changed their marketing campaign to focus on a younger demographic. Repeat this process at least three times, each time bringing the glass closer to your nose and breathing in more through your nose and less through your mouth. What do their names mean? was King of England but James the Sixth of Scotland became James the First of England when Queen Elizabeth (who was simply Queen Elizabeth at the time and did not become Elizabeth the First until Elizabeth the Second, or my mum, came along some 350 years later) died which makes the numbering confusing enough without Queen Mary of England (Henry the Eighth’s eldest child) and Queen Mary of Scotland at the same time being different ladies, and Henry the Fourth having come in two parts. Scotch whisky: Scotch must be distilled, aged, and bottled in Scotland. As for wine, don’t start me on that..! While many whisky connoisseurs believe the islands should have their own region, they are still technically classified as a part of the highlands. Known as medium bodied whiskeys, they are typically lighter and more luxurious than their brothers Islay, but stronger than the ones in the Lowlands. In this particular entry, it documents that Cor was given eight bolls of malt to make aqua vitae throughout the months of 1494. Tour the Virtual Distillery. I would really like to (strongly) clarify that I do not condone nor suggest at any point in the article that Scotch should be diluted with ice. It’s those regulations that ensure that each bottle of Scotch is produced to the same exact standards and in the same exact way. I suggest however that we should opt for a national anthem to which we can also dance. Maybe touch on the “Scotch Culture”, what it is, where it comes from, and how to take part in it. Unfortunately, prices and availability really depend on where you live. Much less romantic, much less photogenic, but far more efficient. What this shows is that despite being the earliest written reference, distillation was well underway come the fifteenth century. However, Loch Dhu has made a name for itself despite its “youthful mentality” and is often regarded as an investment piece. What this does is changes the style of the whisky based on the type of flavor profiles the producer wants in its stock. On an entirely unrelated note I see that Islay malts are referred to as being heavily ‘peaked’. I enjoyed it and learnt a great deal from it. As an example, while bourbon casks are commonly used for aging, so are sherry casks. Entirely made in Scotland, Scotch is … . For example, a 12 year old bottle of Macallan could cost half the price in the United States as it may in parts of Canada, not to mention other countries around the world. It may be the illustrations which give this impression. Dear Trinity, I look forward to your article submissions. By 1780 there were eight legal distilleries in all of Scotland competing against more than four hundred bootleg operations. A very readable guide to a great drink. Nearly 90% of Scotch whisky sold each year is a blended type. Regardless of this matter, I would like to compliment you on a very thorough and well written article. Thanks, […] funny how something as simple as a drink can evoke a feeling or emotion. With alcoholics around the world craving a substitute, the doors to the global marketplace opened wide for Scotland’s distillers and Scotch whisky became the world’s new popular drink. Cheer Yes, I’m very familiar with the bootleg operations in Scotland, however, just because they make their product in Scotland does not allow them to call it “Scotch whisky”. Hence we just list a few hoping most of you will find these links helpful. Somehow I didn’t see your comment until just now. Excellent question! If you are dead set on drinking Scotch on the rocks, I recommend no more than two ice cubes or else you might as well toss it down the drain. While it may seem like a waste of good Scotch, and it is (unless you use it for cooking), it also will act as a purifier eliminating any odors or flavors already in the glass that could alter the taste or aroma of your dram. For most cask strengths, though, I do find that I need water, but even if it is an old friend, I tend to give it at least one little sip before diluting it. Garbage I suppose. It must comprise a minimum alcoholic strength by volume of 40% (80 US proof). Be sure not to bring the glass too close, as the strength of the alcohol can often numb a novice’s senses. I would highly recommend that if you’ve never tried Scotch whisky before, that you begin with a gentler, more subtle bottle such as the Auchentoshan 12 year or the Dalwhinnie 15 year, and not with a dram of Lagavulin or Laphroaig. As well to define a “best” cask would be very difficult. It would be stirring to hear the Royal Enclosure at Royal Ascot singing I’m Henry the Eighth I am and perhaps even more so to hear the men singing There’s a Hole in my Bucket with responses from the ladies. The King of Scotland in 1495 to whom you refer was James the Fourth while Henry the Seventh, who was the father of King Henry the Eighth (he who wrote: Every question is important and I’m glad you asked! Lovely article (and am very glad I found this website). 1. Those categories are blended Scotch, blended malt Scotch, and blended grain Scotch. The first distillation called Wash Still is where the alcohol is heated until it boils and its vapor is condensed into liquid and carried through the coiled pipes. That way you can save the premium whisky for those who will truly enjoy it. Generally considered the lighter and most delicate whiskeys, the Lowland distilleries often produce spirits with very little to no peat. Bladnoch Flora and Fauna beats all lowland whiskies into a cocked hat,I’ve had the benefit of having 2 bottles of said whisky,not tonight ,mind,and it’s a glorious amalgam of all scotch,quite simply one of the best. The purpose of chill filtration is to conform whisky so that there is no cloudiness once water is added. The production of Scotch whisky begins with water. It sounds like the tour guide at the distillery you visited is very wise. It’s production process sounds fairly standard compared to the other spirits you mention: vodka, tequila, gin. By switching the batch from a bourbon cask to a sherry cask you are altering (and enhancing) the complexities of the flavor profile. I do have interesting tid-bit if you wish, about tasting a dram. Let it touch your cheeks, the roof of your palate and the bottom of your mouth under your tongue. One final tip for the Scotch connoisseur is to always keep a few basics on hand. It’s as much about spirit as science, and one of the most romantic epicurean experiences out there. Dalmore´s best single malt whisky, as many users have said, the Dalmore 12 single malt scotch whisky is matured for at least 12 years in American white oaks casks hat used to contain Bourbon. The fact that it’s so unique and different is what attracts me to it. 3. Companies such as Compass Box purchase whiskies and blend them to create new products with certain characteristics. However, I think popularity does not equate with perfection, or even quality for that matter. With the majority of its bottles aged at the 10-year mark, the region is home to just three active distilleries which include Glen Scotia, Glengyle, and Springbank. You can buy it here – a set of 4 costs less than $30. Now, thanks to new technology, distilleries were able to mass produce a smoother spirit at a significantly lesser cost. This in probably a beginner question: for aging whisky can be considered the time spent in the bottle or it is irrelevant ? I hope this response has helped to clarify some of the points you brought up. It would be very interesting, I think. Not a chance. Scotch malt whisky producers traditionally operate in five specific Scottish regions: the Highlands, the Lowlands, Campbeltown, Islay, and Speyside. On any given evening you can usually find me in my living room enjoying a dram or two as I listen to my records or watch an old movie. There are two main categories that encompass every type of scotch on the market: single grain scotch whisky, and single malt scotch whisky. I thought the text was pretty clear that chilling the drink mutes the flavour and hurts the whisky when I read it. Scotch Whisky A-Z Of Scotch Whisky New Scotch Whisky Special Offers Exclusive Bottlings Top 10 Whiskies. What makes each one distinct and special? According to the various combinations of grains and malts, Scotch can have different types of flavours. Categorizing the taste is more difficult given the amount of Highland distilleries in operation, but they tend to be light, fruity, and spicy. Divided into five distinct regions, Scotland produces a variety of whiskeys that take on certain flavor profiles based on the region they’re distilled in. At the same time, we know that every human being has (at least slightly) different taste buds and we are not interested in enhancing a herd mentality by providing cooking recipes telling others what to do and how to enjoy their drinks based on our own palette. After swirling the whisky in its glass, you’ll notice fine beads that will form on the sides of the glass. One half is then transferred to Matusalem Oloroso Sherry casks. The single Scotch whisky is of two types: single malt Scotch and the single grain Scotch. The History of the Independent Bottlers. Would like to know your opinion of Loch Dhu. Also find the detailed list of Scotch Whisky brands, including single malts, blended whiskies and more The majority of scotch sold is blended and it is preferred for scotch cocktails. Checkout our Spirits and Cocktail Guide, © Copyright 2010 - 2019 - Gentleman's Gazette LLC. The Scots produce two broad categories of whisky: single malt whiskies (one whisky from a single distillery) and blended whiskies (a mixture of two or more whiskies from two or more distilleries). The next step in whisky making is called the Fermentation Process. Then, the process is repeated and the spirit is re-distilled until it reaches approximately 70% alcohol. Then, if they enjoy it they can play around a bit perhaps by trying their next glass without any additional water. The Hokey Cokey and Knees up Mother Brown would seem to be the strongest contenders until one considers the Virginia Reel which has a caller so that no previous instruction is required and already has royal connections being named after Good Queen Bess, or Good Queen Liza as her father seemed to have preferred. Those types are single malt and single grain. A cloudy spirit will indicate that the whisky has not undergone chill filtration. … Other spirits, especially tequila also take a lot of time and effort to be produced. This is why (in the article) I encourage people to add a splash of still water to the dram as it will open it up and allow them to enjoy it without mutilating their senses. A grain whisky is a whisky made out of any other grain than malted barley (wheat being, as far as I know, the most common in Scotland, while corn and rye are popular over in North America). The Scotch Whisky Association: the name says it all – contact them if you want to find more sources to buy, Master of Malt: UK based online store, ship to many countries, The Whisky Exchange: UK based online store, ship to many countries, The Whisky Barrel: U.S. based ships worldwide, Love Scotch: U.S. based online store specialized in Scotch, Scotch Whisky Auctions: the name says it all, Alexander & James: German online store with gift service. The true term for this is, Click here If you are looking for tasting notes by an experienced Scotch whisky drinker, Did you enjoy this article? Chilling whisky or drinking it ‘on the rocks’ is a capital crime in many eyes. While many people stack ice cubes in their glass before pouring the whisky overtop, nothing short of adding another liquid could harm your tasting experience more. recommending drinking Scotch with ice? I’ll stand by my original assertion that Mr Shapira missed the mark on his intended audience. 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