someone asked you the difference between a Single Malt Scotch and a Blended
Scotch Whisky, could you explain it? To make things even more confusing, the
Scotch Whisky Association enhanced their definitions in late 2009 and added
more terms. Here are some definitions that I hope will help. (They are taken
from the Scotch Whisky Association's website ; scotch-whisky.org/uk)
Single Malt Scotch Whisky: a Scotch Whisky distilled at a single
distillery (i) from water and malted barley without the addition of any other
cereals, and (ii) by batch distillation in pot stills. From 23
November 2012, Single Malt Scotch Whisky must be bottled in Scotland. (A pot
still is a type of still where heat is applied directly to the pot containing
the liquid. This is known as batch distillation.)
So , a single malt is a Scotch Whisky made from malted barley with batch distillation in one
distillery .As of 2012, it must be made in
Scotland to be called a Scotch Whisky. The "single" implies that it
comes from a single distillery.
Some examples are Oban, Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, Macallan
Single Grain Scotch Whisky: a Scotch Whisky distilled at a single
distillery (i) from water and malted barley with or without whole grains of
other malted or unmalted cereals, and (ii) which does not comply with the
definition of Single Malt Scotch Whisky.
Still from a single distillery, but other whole grains or cereals may be added.
Some examples are Invergordon, Port Dundas, Strathclyde
a blend of one or more Single Malt Scotch Whiskies with one or more Single
Grain Scotch Whiskies.
Scotch Whiskies make up the vast majority of the whisky produced in Scotland.
Some brands are Cutty Sark, Chivas, Johnnie Walker, etc.
is an excerpt from the Cutty Sark site that describes their process.
Cutty Sark blend is made up of around twenty renowned single whiskies,
predominantly from the Speyside region in Scotland, which are blended with high
quality grain whiskies. These single malt and single grain whiskies are matured
in carefully selected American oak casks. The malts are blended together, as
are the grains, before the complete blend is 'married' together for a further
Malt Scotch Whisky:
a blend of Single Malt Scotch Whiskies, which have been distilled at more than
distilleries, only malt cereals, no grain.
Walker Green Label, Pride of Islay, Pride of Orkney
bit about the process from Johnnie Walker Green Label's website
Walker Green Label is a rich blend using only malts drawn from the four corners
of Scotland – the naturally vibrant flavors provide unparalleled depth,
substance and intensity. Each of the malts is specially selected by the Master
Blender to create the perfect balance in the whisky.
malt whisky is matured for a minimum of 15 years to deliver rich, full layers
of flavor. Coupled with the blending mastery of Johnnie Walker, it ensures the
characteristic smoothness and distinctive flavor of Green Label. Four signature
malts provide the key taste influences for this 15-year-old whisky. Talisker™
introduces power and depth of character, Caol Ila™ contributes mystery and
intensity and, at its heart, Cragganmore™ provides a sweet maltiness, while
Linkwood™ adds a final touch of finesse."
Grain Scotch Whisky:
a blend of Single Grain Scotch Whiskies, which have been distilled at more than
Please check out the Scotch Whisky Association's website for everything you ever wanted to know about Scotch whisky.
And come by Skyview on December 4th and December 18th for in store Scotch tastings.
See you then!