single malt and what makes it so special? We want to dedicate a separate page to this exquisite spirit.
Single malt comes from a single , hence the word 'single', and is made exclusively from malted , or ' ' in English.
90% of all single malts worldwide come from Scotland! However, Ireland and Japan are also known for their and single malts are also produced in Germany with good results.
The production of every single malt whisky begins with the production of the malt. For this, the barley is and allowed to , then dried and ground. The resulting malt is then soaked in , which is known as . The is dissolved out of the malt during this process. is added to the mash for and the liquid is then distilled. takes place in copper stills, the pot stills.
The distillate is stored in . The duration of has a significant influence on the of the single malt.
You can read about the entire production process in great detail here .
The origins of single malt production lie in Scotland. Here, the rules of the Association govern the process. In addition to the exclusive use of malted barley and the origin from a single distillery, it is also stipulated that the must be stored in an oak cask for at least 3 years and have an of at least 40%.
It is interesting to note that in the early days, only single malt was produced, which was then replaced by for over a hundred years between 1853 and 1963. This was because the Scotsman Andrew Usher experimented with different whiskies and blended them together as early as the 1840s. He wanted to develop a consistent flavour. The resulting blends were initially called vatted whisky and so began the era of blended whiskies. In 1963, Glenfiddich was the first distillery to bring back onto the market. To this day, single malt remains the premium segment, even though blends clearly predominate on the market with 90%.
For a long time, single malt was produced exclusively by the Bushmills distillery in Ireland. Nowadays, the large Cooley distillery and numerous small and new also produce single malt as standard. The opinion that Ireland mainly produces is outdated.
Since the 1920s, Japan has been producing whisky based on the Scottish model and in accordance with its legal requirements. The Scottish tradition and Japanese craftsmanship result in exquisite single malt whiskies. Interestingly, the Japanese prefer blended whisky to !
American single malt from the USA is a novelty on the market! It became official in August 2022. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau decided on the following rules: American single malt whiskey must be made from 100% malted barley and the production and must take place in a distillery in the USA. The spirit may be distilled at a maximum of 160 , which corresponds to 80 % vol. Alcohol, may be distilled. It is matured in oak barrels with a maximum capacity of 700 litres and with at least 40% vol. alcohol. Scotsman Brogan founded the Boulder Distillery in 2015 and launched the first American single malt on the market. A few more followed and we are excited to see what is yet to come!
When savouring a single malt, we can always expect a fine distillate according to the following criteria:
- Single: from a single distillery
- Malt: from malted barley
- Matured for at least 3 years in oak barrels
- At least 40 % vol. alcohol
Distillation art at its finest!