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WHISKY - FAQ's VI

When was blending introduced?

Blending was pioneered by Andrew Usher in Edinburgh in the early 1860s. It was only after this practice became common that a taste for Scotch Whisky spread first to England and then throughout the world.

The reason for this was that Pot Still Malt Whisky was inclined to be too strongly flavoured for everyday drinking, especially by people in sedentary occupations and warm climates. By combining Malt Whisky with Grain Whisky, which has less pronounced characteristics, the demand for a whisky that is milder in flavour and more suited to the conditions of modern life can be met. What is the percentage of Malt and Grain Whiskies in blended Scotch Whisky?

There is no fixed percentage and the proportion differs from one blender to another. No brand owner is willing to reveal the proportions of the different whiskies used, but the blender determines the proportion according to the character he is seeking for his blend. This character is determined not only by t…

WHISKY - FAQ's V

THE MAKING OF GRAIN WHISKY

1. Scotch grain whisky is usually made from 10-20% malted barley and then other unmalted cereals such as maize or wheat. The starch in the non-malted cereals is released by pre-cooking and converted into fermentable sugars. The mashing and fermentation processes are similar to those used for malt whisky. 2. The wash is distilled in a continuous or Coffey still, named after its inventor Aeneas Coffey. It has two tall columns - a rectifier and an analyser. Cold wash is pumped in at the top of the rectifier and meets steam. The columns in fact act like a heat exchanger. The alcohol is cooled, condenses and flows away as Scotch grain spirit at about 94% alcohol by volume. 3. The distilled grain spirit is lighter in character and aroma than most malt whiskies and therefore requires rather less time to mature. The bulk of matured grain whisky is used for blending. THE MATURATION PROCESS

While maturing, the whisky becomes smoother, gains flavour, and draws its gol…

WHISKY - FAQ's IV

THE MAKING OF MALT WHISKY

The origins of malt whisky distilling in Scotland are lost in the mists of antiquity. They date back at least to the monks of the 15'" century and probably long before. Although the distillers' art has been understood since earliest times, the subtle aromas and flavours of whisky have never been fully explained, even today. The ancient term using beatha, which is Gaelic for the Latin aqua vitae or 'water of life', was corrupted in the 18'" century to usky, and then to whisky. The following description is a generalisation of the process. It should be remembered that each distillery has its own unique specifications.

1. Malting

Best quality barley is first steeped in water and then spread out on malting floors to germinate. It is turned regularly to prevent the build up of heat. Traditionally, this was done by tossing the barley into the air with wooden shovels in a malt barn adjacent to the kiln. During this process enzymes are ac…

WHISKY - FAQ's III

What are the principal by-products of Scotch Whisky?

The liquids and solids remaining after distillation are not wasted, nor are they allowed to pollute rivers or coastlines. In recent years the Scotch Whisky industry has invested heavily in developing methods of treating the residue of distillation so that it now makes an important contribution to the animal foodstuffs industry.
Most distilleries now possess by-products plants or, in the case of smaller distilleries in remote areas, send their waste material to the area plants which process it into dark grains. These are extremely rich in protein and are sold in palletised form to farmers who use them to enrich cattle food. Grain Whisky distilleries usually recover the carbon dioxide produced during the fermentation stage. This has several applications in industry and in the production of soft drinks.
What is meant by Under Bond and Duty Paid sales, respectively?

(a) Sales Under Bond are sales on which the Excise Duty has not been p…

WHISKY - FAQ's II

What is patent still distillation?

Unlike Malt Whisky, Grain Whisky is distilled in a continuous operation in a Patent Still. This is sometimes known as the Coffey Still, after Aeneas Coffey, who developed it in 1831.

Steam is fed into the base of the analyser and hot wash into the top. As the two meet on the surface of the perforated plates, the wash boils and a mixture of alcohol vapours and uncondensed steam rises to the top of the column. The spent wash runs down and is led off from the base. The hot vapours enter the rectifier at the base and as they rise through the chambers they partially condense on the sections of a long coil through which wash is flowing. The spirit vapour condenses at the top of the rectifier and is run off through a water-cooled condenser to the spirit safe and on to the spirit receiver. Once the spirit begins to be collected it runs continuously until the end of distillation. Because of the rectifying element present in this process the distillate is gen…

WHISKY - FAQ's I

What is a single whisky? A single whisky is the product of one particular distillery.
What is meant by saccharify?

To saccharify means to convert to sugar. In whisky distilling it refers to the process which takes place during the malting and mash-tun stages by which enzymes in the malt, referred to as diastase, turn the starch in the cereals into sugar ready for the fermenting action of the yeast.
What is diastase?

When conditions of temperature and moisture favour germination, the embryo and associated parts of the barley grain secrete a mixture of enzymes commonly known as diastase. These act to modify and make soluble the starch in the barley, thus preparing it for conversion at a later stage to maltose.
What is wort?

Wort is the liquid drawn off the mash-tun in which the malted and unmalted cereals have been mashed with warm water. Wort contains all the sugars of the malt and certain secondary constituents. After cooling, it is passed to the fermenting vats. In Malt distilleries th…

Some of the less common spirits

By the word other sprits or less common /known spirits, we mean the various spirits produced in the different countries. There are around 400-600 varieties.
Some of them are: Aquavit -- literally mean water of life. It’s made in Scandinavian countries from potatoes or grains flavored with Caraway seeds, orange peel cardamom &herbs.
Arrack / Raki: The word arrack comes from Arabic word which means juice or sweet It is called Raki in Turkey. It is popular spirit made from the sap of a tree
Calvados:  is a spirit made from apples or pears in Normandy. Calvados is the name of district in Normandy.  Apple jack is similar apple brandy made in USA.
Grappa / Marc: Grappa is a kind of Italian brandy made from the residue of Grape skin. The fine Brand of Grappa is Negroni (Grappa Bianca)         There is a French equivalent of grappa is also made from dried grape skins pulp & seeds the Marc
Karpi: is a fruit Brandy made from Cranberry in Finland.
Kirsch: The colorless spirit made in Black …

Some of the less common spirits

By the word other sprits or less common /known spirits, we mean the various spirits produced in the different countries. There are around 400-600 varieties.
Some of them are: Aquavit -- literally mean water of life. It’s made in Scandinavian countries from potatoes or grains flavored with Caraway seeds, orange peel cardamom &herbs.
Arrack / Raki: The word arrack comes from Arabic word which means juice or sweet It is called Raki in Turkey. It is popular spirit made from the sap of a tree
Calvados:  is a spirit made from apples or pears in Normandy. Calvados is the name of district in Normandy.  Apple jack is similar apple brandy made in USA.
Grappa / Marc: Grappa is a kind of Italian brandy made from the residue of Grape skin. The fine Brand of Grappa is Negroni (Grappa Bianca)         There is a French equivalent of grappa is also made from dried grape skins pulp & seeds the Marc
Karpi: is a fruit Brandy made from Cranberry in Finland.
Kirsch: The colorless spirit made in Black …