Have you ever been to a decent bar, asked for the Single Malt Scotch, and got overwhelmed because of the confusion between blended and single malt scotches? Or have you ever been confused between the brands of the scotch?
If your response is Yes, then read further to trace the reason behind Single Malt Scotches’ hype and the top 4 brands for the same.
In layman’s language, Single Malt scotch is an attribution to a Single Malt whiskey that gets produced only and only at distilleries in Scotland.
In general context also, scotch refers to a whiskey made at a distillery in Scotland.
The processes and materials used in the Single Malt Scotch production differentiate it from other scotches and whiskey.
Preparation of a Single Malt Scotch
In the process of malting, barley gets diluted in water to facilitate the process of germination.
After a specific period, germination gets halted through the application of heat.
The malting process during the production of Single Malt Scotch is different from that of other blended malts.
It is so because of the usage of specifically barley, instead of rye and wheat, used in blended ones.
The process is then followed by transportation of the germinated barley(green malt) to the kiln to get it dried up under specific temperature conditions.
In this process, the formation of a sweet liquid wort takes place.
It is done by moulding the dried malt obtained during malting into a grist, followed by the addition and stirring of extremely hot water.
The fermentation process gets initiated by cooling down the sugary liquid, wort to a specific temperature, and adding yeast to the large vessels, known as washbacks.
Single Malt Scotch’s fermentation process gets finished within two days, leaving about 7% alcohol as the residue.
Also, congeners’ production occurs in fermentation, which is responsible for the taste of Single Malt scotch whiskey.
Once the fermentation gets finished, unlike the blended scotch preparation, the washbacks get distilled and heated.
Then, the alcohol gets evaporated and condensed into the liquid.
Though column stills are available, that eases the process of distillation. Pot stills have been preferred since the inception of production.
The alcohol content further gets transferred to a Spirit Safe where distillation occurs for the second time, leaving 60-70% alcohol.
The Single Malt Scotch whiskey then gets transferred to a barrel made up of oak, specifically and kept for a long time, with at least three years in Scotland only.
Best Single Malt Scotch Brands
- Glenfiddich 18 Year
Managed and produced by William Grant & Sons, the 18 years old single malt ranks among the most demanded single malt in the world.
With the aroma of apple and wood, it is the strongest whiskey wrapped in an elegant and attractive bottle.
Though the price of the scotch raises as high as $71.81 online, the process that the malt undergoes justifies the cost.
Apart from the high quality and texture, the number of years engraved on the bottle attracts people.
- Benriach The Smoky Ten
The bright gold and smoky Applewood taste of this Benriach Single malt scotch come from the Benriach distillery in Scotland.
The procedure of application of the Highland peat increases the texture and slight sweetness of the drink.
Among other single malt scotch whiskeys of Benriach like Heart of Speyside and The Twelve, a combination of peated & unpeated spirits distinguishes the Smoky Ten.
Also, the procedure of maturation for this kind of malt takes at least ten years in three special casks.
Owing to its smoky flavor and unique maturation process, the malt justifies its $56.13 cost on the internet.
- The Glenlivet XXV (25 Years Old)
Being one of the rarest and oldest single malts that have maintained its relevance over the years, Glenlivet XXV is worth trying.
This particular malt gets matured in Sherry casks, handpicked by the supervisors.
That imparts floral flavour to the twenty-five years old single malt scotch.
Coming to the whopping cost of $421.87 on Master of Malt, the hardships endured during supervision for twenty-five years might compensate for the same.
- Ardbeg Corryvreckan
It is regarded as the best single Malt one would ever have to taste.
Salty, sea sprayed peaty taste refreshed with notes of vanilla and citrus.
The single malt scotch is named after the whirlpool in the north of Islay.
According to several whiskey sommeliers, the first sip of this particular single malt tastes like
Deep penetrating dark chocolates blended with spices, hot peppers, a dash of cherries, and blueberries.
Adding more to the list, the Corryvreckan malt bagged Best Single Malt Whisky in 2010 at the World Whisky Awards. Also, Jim Murray, the famous whisky critic, appreciated and titled it the best No Age Statement Scotch in one of his Whisky Bible editions.
The authentication and appreciation from one of the top critics overweigh the price of $98.27, available on the Whisky Exchange.
Why is Single Malt Scotch So Expensive?
We know that our readers would get curious to know the reason behind the exorbitant price of the
single malt scotches after going through the brands mentioned above.
Henceforth, we have analyzed the top two points mainly responsible for the expensiveness of the
single malt scotch.
Status Symbol: The fact that single malt scotch gets produced only in Scotland gravitates the scotch admirers towards paying a hefty amount for a bottle. Furthermore, weirdly but truly, the age imprinted on the bottles, 25 years, for instance, is viewed as a status measure due to the scotch’s ancientness.
Older the scotch, the heftier the cost: A majority of people correlate the exorbitant cost of an old scotch with its age and uniqueness, which is partially correct. The cost of a single malt scotch, especially older ones, cost more because of Angel’s Share. Angel Share is the terminology used to refer to the amount of scotch lost during the maturation process.
Owing to the long period in producing the malt, a significant amount of scotch gets evaporated.
Thus, the old single malts cost more not because of their age but because of the scarcity.
Henceforth we advise our readers to consume liquor only after crossing the legal barrier, thereby keeping good care of the liver.
We at Robust Story would like to know your thoughts on the four single malts mentioned above.