Scotch whisky is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from malted barley, water, and yeast.
It must be distilled in Scotland to be called scotch whisky, and there are different types, including single malt and blended scotch whiskies.
Scotch has been around for centuries and is one of the world’s most popular types of whisky.
If you’re interested in learning more about this delicious spirit or simply want to start experimenting with different types of scotch, read on.
Origins Of Scotch Whiskey
The origins of scotch whisky are shrouded in mystery, but there are a few things we do know for sure.
One of the earliest references to whisky production in Scotland comes from the Exchequer Rolls, which record that malt was being sold to make aqua vitae in 1494.
By the 18th century, dozens of distilleries produced whisky for domestic and export markets.
The 19th century saw even more growth with the introduction of new technologies and the rise of the blended scotch whisky industry.
Types Scotch Whiskey
There are five categories of Scotch whisky: single malt, blended malt, single grain, blended grain, and blended.
- Single Malt Scotch is a whisky distilled at a single distillery using only malted barley.
- Blended Malt Scotch whisky is made from a blend of two or more single malt whiskies. Generally speaking, it is lighter and more balanced than single malt Scotch.
- Single Grain Scotch is a whisky distilled at a single distillery using only grain.
- Blended Grain Scotch is a blend of two or more single grain whiskies from different distilleries. Grain whisky is made from wheat, rye, or corn and tends to be lighter and sweeter than other types of Scotch.
- Blended Scotch whisky is made from a mix of single malt and single grain whiskies.
Each type of Scotch whisky has its own distinct flavor profile that can be affected by factors such as the type of cask used for aging, the geographical location of the distillery, and the length of time spent aging.
The Distillation Process
The distillation process of scotch whisky is relatively simple, but it’s important to understand the steps involved to appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into making this delicious spirit.
First, a mash of malted barley and water is fermented in wooden washbacks.
This produces a liquid known as ‘wash’, which is then distilled twice in copper pot stills. The first distillation drives off the lighter alcohols, leaving behind a liquid known as ‘low wines’.
These low wines are then distilled a second time, resulting in a spirit around 70% ABV.
This spirit is then transferred to oak casks, where it will mature for at least three years before being bottled and enjoyed.
Scotch Whisky In Summary
Scotch whisky is a drink with a long and storied history.
Whether you’re a fan of the smoky, peaty single malts or the lighter blended varieties, there’s no denying that luxury scotch whisky is a complex and delicious drink.
We hope this article has given you a better understanding of scotch whisky and why it’s such a popular choice around the world.