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How is Single Malt Scotch Whisky Made?

There are many books written about single malt and the way it is actually produced. It doesn’t resemble to any other spirit you may have tried so far. Actually, it is so hard to get it matured in special casks that the price can rise to outrageous levels.

This is the world of single malt whiskey, the most desired spirit throughout the world that has millions of fans. Every time you want to taste such a delicacy, you have to wonder the precise way distillers are making this product in the first place.

Here, we will review the major steps you need to follow if you want to produce high-quality, single malt Scotch whiskey.

Steps to Distill Single Malt Whiskey

There are various steps in the process, each one having its own importance. You may need to keep them all balanced so that you can take the highest quality whiskey you can ever have.

First Comes the Malting and Mashing

When you desire to create a single malt whiskey from scratch, you need to have the best quality malted barley. This is abundant in places like the Highlands of Scotland, where great valleys with crops are everywhere.

Then you need to ensure the proper water resources and find a premium-quality yeast. This is important since you have to mix them all together. The yeast is the ingredient which causes bacterial creation of alcohol in the mixture.

Sometimes, you may have the barley dried over peat or smoky wooden parts so that you can alter the flavor of your single malt whiskey. Then the mush, which is the mixture of barley, water, and yeast, is put in great metal containers and is mixed with boiling water to give a caramel like color and taste to your whiskey.

Fermentation and Distillation

This is the most important part of the whiskey production procedures. The wort passes to another container where more yeast is added. Then there is an increase in alcoholic grades that can reach levels of 8%-10%.

Additionally, the wort passes to the boiling chambers, where you can vaporize and liquidize the steam of it later in greater casks. This is where the whiskey comes up to 20% alcoholic grades and is ready to pass to the oak casks that are going to be its home for many years to come.

Maturation Time and Release to the Market

Finally, when whiskey comes to the oak barrels, it has to stay there for a minimum of three years. Then it can be officially called Scotch whiskey that comes from a single malt grain distillation.

The more you keep the whiskey in the casks, the better it is for its quality and flavors. Most single malt Scotch whiskeys have taken their special wooden, fruity, or vanilla flavor from the oak cask they are placed inside.

It is a common practice to keep single malt whiskey in the casks longer, since you can create a great myth in the public about the scarcity of your product. This has been used in modern marketing to give single malt whiskey an exceptional place among others.


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