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Single Malt Whisky Tasting

Single Malt Whisky Tasting


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Published by Duncan McRae

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Published by: Duncan McRae on Oct 22, 2010
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Demystifying Whisky Tasting Single Malt the Malt Whisky April 2009 Category

Single malt whisky can be confusing

Over 2,000 single malt whiskies on the market

What is single malt Scotch whisky? .

Scotch whisky is at least 1. leading to moonshine distillers ‡ In 1823 small still production was made legal again & modern whisky making began .000 years old ‡ Brought to Scotland by Irish monks ‡ In the 1500s. alcohol changed from medicine to a social beverage ‡ Scottish government banned distilling in 1800s.

Whisky blending led to a global boom for Scotch ‡ In the 1800s Scots began to blend whiskies. which consumers found much more palatable ‡ By the 20th century Scotch became a global spirit ‡ The 21st century is now seeing a resurgence of interest in single malt for it¶s premium quality and craftmanship .

Single malt whisky is made from only three ingredients Barley Yeast Water .

. known as µmalting¶. which gives a unique smoky flavour. It is during malting that µpeat¶ is used for certain distilleries.Barley is malted to release starch Barley is soaked & heated in a kiln. This releases the starch from the barley ± like getting a sweet out of it¶s wrapper.

water and yeast are combined together to ferment Malted barley is milled to make a rough flour called µgrist¶. The wort is cooled and yeast is added. This is then mashed with hot water to produce a sweet liquid called µwort¶. Grist Mashing Fermentation . known as µwash¶.Malted barley. The mixtures ferments to make a crude beer.

size and number of stills and how the distillate is condensed can have an important influence on the character and flavour of the finished product.The µwash¶ is distilled twice to make spirit The wash is boiled in copper pot stills. . and the resulting vapour is condensed to produce spirit There are two distillations: first in a wash still and the second in a spirit still. The shape.

with a lighter coloured spirit.Spirit must be matured for at least 3 years in oak casks to make Scotch Maturation accounts for a significant part of the flavour of malt whisky. Up to 2% of maturing stocks disappear through evaporation each year ± µthe angel¶s share¶ . and a darker coloured spirit. European oak casks (ex-sherry) produce sweet & fruity notes. American oak casks (ex-bourbon) produce sweet vanilla & coconut notes.

There are six main whisky making regions in Scotland .

The key to understanding single malt whisky is flavour .

the type of oak used for maturation etc.The flavour map plots every single malt whisky according to its flavour Smoky Y-Axis Depends on the complexity levels and amount of peat used in the malting process which gives the flavour its smokiness Light Rich X-Axis Depends on the µdistillery characteristics¶ ± the shape of the stills. Delicate . the length of distillation.

The map shows how whiskies from the same region can sometimes have very different flavours Smoky Ardbeg Caol Ila Talisker Highland Park Oban Cragganmore Blair Athol Lagavulin Mortlach Light Glenkinchie Royal Lochnagar Clynelish Glenmorangie Glenfiddich Auchentoshan Rich Macallan Bunnahabhain Delicate .

experts have identified four key flavour styles: Light & Floral Fruity & Spicy Rich & Rounded Full-bodied & Smoky .Within the Flavour Map.

Light & Floral Tasting ± Glenkinchie 12 Year Old .

Fruity & Spicy ± Dalwhinnie 15 Year Old .

Rich & Rounded ± The Singleton of Dufftown 12 Year Old .

Full-bodied & Smoky ± Talisker 10 Year Old .

com .malts.I hope you continue to explore & enjoy the world of flavours in single malt whisky www.

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