three types of whisky are produced in scotland: malt, grain and blended.
malt whisky takes its name and flavours from the way it is produced. the is allowed to before being toasted over a fire in a malt kiln, and the mashing, distillation and processes begin. after distillation, single malts are allowed to for between eight and fifteen years on average before bottling. single malts - whiskies from a single distillery - are familiar to most drinkers, and many of the big-name brands are single malts, for example, macallan, glenmorangie, and glenfiddich.
other types of malts include single cask malts which are the product of a single distillation and bottled straight from the maturing cask. this process ensures that the particular character of the distillation is emphasized. single-cask malts are stronger than ordinary malts - anything up to around 65% abv (alcohol by volume) - and are usually about twice the price.
vatted malts where single malts of different ages and from different distilleries (but usually owned by the same parent company) are mixed together.
grain whisky is distilled in a different way from malt whisky, using a patent still. its main - , maize or another - is left unmalted, but one thing it shares with malt is that both have to for at least three years before they are allowed to be called 'whisky'. unlike malts, grains get the maturing time. the 10-year-old invergorden is one of the few grain whiskies available since most goes to blending plants where it is mixed with single malts to form the third type of whisky - blended.
single malts may be the most brands in the whisky industry, but the blends are its steady, background performers. bells, johnnie walker, whyte & mackay and teacher's are likely to be the varieties that most new drinkers coming to whisky will try first. and no matter what impression you get from the ads or from 'connoisseurs', it's worth remembering that most of these blends can taste just as good as - and in some cases, better than - some the single malts you'll hear people raving about. deluxe whiskies such as dimple or the antiquary are blends which have a higher proportion of older and better quality malt in their mix.
distilling takes place in pairs of copper pot stills with tall 'swan-necks'. one is usually larger than the other, otherwise their shapes, heights and sizes vary from distillery to distillery. the life of a still is between 15 and 30 years, depending on how hard it is used.
the two main operations in distilling are turning liquid into vapor and then vapor into liquid i.e. vaporization and then . distillation is simply a means of by these operations. a liquid can be separated from solids or one liquid from another and either the distillate or the residue collected.
in this up to this point no mention has been made of whisky. this is simply because the spirit produced cannot be termed scotch whisky until it has been d in oak casks for at least three years.
if it is intended to sell the malt spirit as a single malt whisky then at least eight years maturation or preferably ten to twelve years will be necessitated
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