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So the new question is, do distilleries make many single malts that actually come from different batches?
“That's what I do. I drink, and I know things.” (Tyrion Lannister)>>> Whisky reviews by Slàinte Mhath <<<
@kroman Your explanation of a batch is my conception of a single malt. The batch all came from the same stills at the same time, was aged in the same type of casks for the same length, combined after aging, and then bottled.
I will just add a couple of point to the excellent info you have already been given above:
1) Single cask bottlings can be better or worse than standard "batch" bottlings. This is especially so if the single casks are from an independent bottler (not bottled by the distillery itself). If you want to get a good feel for a particular distillery, you are better off trying one of the standard "batch" bottlings. It will reflect the house style that the owners feel best showcases the distillery's character (within constraints of cost, cask availability, etc.). If your only experience with a distillery is a single cask bottling, you might decide you don't like that distillery without realizing that the cask is not very representative of the distillery style.
2) I would recommend adding Benromach 10 year old to your list of malts to try. It is about an 80/20 mix of ex-bourbon-matured and ex-sherry-matured whiskies (both 9 years old) that are then finished (after mixing) in ex-sherry casks for another year. It is made from barley peated to about 10-12 ppm, and is an excellent all-rounder for the price.
You are correct. Independent bottlers buy whisky from a producer, bottle it, and bring it to market; normally, but not always, the distillery name will be disclosed. The better independent bottlers usually buy new-make spirit from a distillery, have it filled into their own casks, and age it either in contracted warehouse space or in their own warehouses.
Benromach is a small Speyside distillery owned by Gordon & MacPhail, one of the best independent bottlers. (It is becoming more common for independent bottlers to buy or build their own distilleries to supplement their businesses as distilleries increasingly want to keep more whisky for themselves due to high demand.) G&M have a reputation for using high-quality casks to mature their whiskies, and Benromach benefits from this.
@kroman ...My conception of a blended malt is different batches being blended together and bottled.
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