Before everything else, it is important to know what a whisky is. It is a spirit that originates from yeast, water, and grains. Distillation is done during production. For this to be called scotch, the substance has to be distilled, matured, as well as bottled particularly in Scotland. The word “whisky” comes from the Gaelic word “uisge beatha,” meaning water of life. Now let’s try to find out more about the single malt scotch whisky.
Six Categories of Scotch Whisky
There are six categories of scotch whisky. These are single malt, blend, blended malt, single grain, blended grain, and single cask single malt. The single malt is distilled on copper pots. This has been blended together from a distillery. It has been aged for three years or more.
The blend is a whisky that comes from one or more single malts or one or more single grain whiskies from various distilleries.
Blended malt is the same as the blend but it is a mix of single malts that have been distilled at more than a single distillery.
Single grain, on the other hand, is whisky that comes from grains except barley that has been distilled in a distillery.
Blended grain is like blended malt, but it involves more than one grain.
Single cask single malt is the type of whisky that is bottled from a cask of whisky. It has been distilled at a single distillery and matured until it becomes ripe for bottling.
Defining the Single Malt Scotch Whisky
So when you say, single malt scotch whisky, it refers to a malt whisky that comes from a single distillery. Single malts are usually associated with the single malt scotch, but these are produced in different countries. Based on the UK’s Scotch Whisky Regulations, a single malt whisky must exclusively be made from malted barley. This has to be distilled using pot stills at a single single distillery. This has to be aged for a minimum of three years within oak casks with a capacity that does not exceed 700 litres. When it comes to American whisky, single malt whisky comes from malted rye instead of the malted barley.
There are different flavor profiles for whisky. It all boils down to personal choice. Your whisky flavor profile can be smoky, sweet, creamy / smooth, peated, or spicy.
Smoky malt often gets its smoky flavor from the level of char found inside the casks that mature whisky. This is so unless the grains are dried with smoke. Whisky can have a sweet flavor in several ways such as oak wood that can give caramel and vanilla notes. There are also grains that can give fruity flavors. Peat can also have sweet notes. When it comes to smoothness of whisky, it has something to do with how well the malt has been distilled and the length of time of its maturity.