Difference Between Single Malt & Blended Scotch Whisky
Do you fancy a glass of smooth whisky but you get perplexed about the single malt or blended because you cannot distinguish between the two? If this sounds like you, this article comes to your rescue, because here we bring you a quick guide to the world of that fine Scotch.
As the basics go:
Whisky is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from a fermented grain mash and allowed to age in typically oak barrels. Finer whiskies are allowed to age for longer periods.
So, what types of whiskies are single malt and blended scotch?
Well, single malt and blended whiskies are essentially the types of Scotch whiskies.
Scotch whiskies from the Scottish Highlands are the celebrated whiskies around the world. The fine process of making a Scotch involves malting, drying, mashing, fermentation and distillation. These are malt or grain whiskies, originally made from the malted barley, and any whisky to be labelled as ‘Scotch’ requires strict adherence to EU regulations.
What do these regulations specify?
The Scotch Whisky Regulations sternly reinforces the production, labelling, packaging and advertising of Scotch whisky. Few key points regarding the production are as follows:
– It should be produced at a distillery in Scotland.
– It is made from water and malted barley mash and fermented by adding yeast.
– The whiskey should age in oak casks of a capacity not exceeding 700 litres for a minimum period of three years.
– The minimum ABV should be 40%
Delving a little deeper:
The smoky and earthy Scotch whiskey is primarily divided into two categories namely, single grain and single malt. These categories are further sub-categorized as blended malt scotch, blended grain scotch and blended scotch whisky.
Malt Whisky is made from fermented mash of malted barley and made at a single distillery is distilled twice, and its subcategory includes single and blended malt. The primary difference between the lies in the process of distillation.
Produced & bottled exclusively in one distillery, single malt whisky is made from a batch of grains, primarily the fermented mash of malted barley and water. The aging period for the earthy single malt whisky is a minimum of three years in wooden casks, and needless to say that the older it gets, the heavier its price tag. The taste varies according to the region of production.
Blended malt whisky, as the name suggests, is a blend of two or more single malt whiskies from different distilleries. The master blender ensures the consistency of the blend is maintained.
Blended Scotch whisky is a blend of both, malt and grain whiskies from different distilleries and left to age for a minimum period of five years. While it has a pleasing taste, the blended Scotch lacks the typical character & flavour of single malt. Blended Scotch is believed to lead by a whopping 90% of total whisky production in Scotland.
As they famously say ‘a good Scotch is like a fine memory’, to conclude, whether you prefer to have it on the rocks or with water, you now know what profile your Scotch carries.