In 1909, the Royal Commission approved the industry standard for the production of Scotch Whiskey. This introduction of state regulation was necessary to stop the flow of counterfeit goods by which unscrupulous manufacturers had flooded the market.
Below we classify the types of Scotch Whiskeys that exist, based on how they are made. But first, what drinks are eligible to be classified as Scotch Whiskey?
Requirements to be Scotch Whiskey
- In accordance with the current edition of the standard, Scotch whiskey is recognized as a drink made from grain distillate in Scotland.
- The distillate is to be obtained by fermentation of cereal mash. The main ingredients of the mash are water, cereals and yeast.
- For distillation, it is permissible to use both a classic two-chamber alambic still and a continuous distillation apparatus.
- The distillate strength should not be more than 94.8%.
- Each new batch of whiskey must be aged in oak barrels for at least three years. The volume of each barrel should not exceed 700 liters.
- The strength of Scotch whiskey should not be less than 40%.
- Of the additives, only the use of caramel color is allowed.
- The age of the drink is determined by the age of the youngest of the alcohols used to produce whiskey.
- Raw materials can be produced anywhere in the world, but aging must be carried out in Scotland.
Main Types of Scotch Whiskey
Single Malt Scotch Whiskey
- Single malt whiskey is made using Alembic copper stills. Distillation is carried out at least two times.
- The raw material is 100% barley malt.
- The distillate is necessarily produced at one specific distillery.
- Distillate for single malt whiskey may be from different years.
- Among the characteristic features of single malt whiskey are pronounced aroma of peat and brackish mineral flavor
The most famous brands of single malt whiskey are Glenfiddich, Talisker, Lagavulin, Glenmorangie.
Blended Malt Scotch Whiskey
This type of whiskey is a mixture of several single malt whiskeys from several distilleries.
Most famous brands of blended scotch whiskey are Monkey Shoulder and Johnnie Walker Green Label.
Single Grain Scotch Whiskey
- The distillate is produced from a mixture of malted and non-malted grains using continuous distillation technology in one specific plant.
- May contain more than one type of grain (both wheat, and corn, and rye).
- Very rarely drunk in its pure form. As a rule, single-grain whiskey is produced for use in other whiskey blends.
- Drinks from this category are much softer and stronger than single malt. They clearly give off notes of fruit like peaches and apples.
Among the most famous single-grain Scotch whiskeys are Carsebridge, Port Dundas, Cameron Brig.
Blended Grain Scotch Whiskey
- This is a variation of single grain whiskey.
- Blended grain whiskey is a drink made mainly from grain distillates from various distilleries (more than one). Everything else is the same as in single grain whiskey.
The Snow Grouse is a good example.
Blended Scotch Whisky
- The most common category of Scotch whiskey. The share of this type of whiskey in the total production of whiskeys is about 90%.
- Blended Scotch Whiskey includes the possibility of mixing both malt and grain alcohols from various distilleries.
- Each manufacturer determines its own blend formula, but as a rule the proportion of malt alcohols is about 25%.