Single Malt Whisky

Sylvia Simm | 23. February 2024

Single malt is a household name among whisky connoisseurs! What exactly is 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 distillery, hence the word 'single', and is made exclusively from malted barley, or 'malt' in English.
90% of all single malts worldwide come from Scotland! However, Ireland and Japan are also known for their single malt production 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 soaked and allowed to germinate, then dried and ground. The resulting malt is then soaked in water, which is known as mashing. The sugar is dissolved out of the malt during this process. Yeast is added to the mash for fermentation and the liquid is then distilled. Distillation takes place in copper stills, the pot stills.
The distillate is stored in oak barrels. The duration of storage has a significant influence on the flavour of the single malt.
You can read about the entire production process in great detail here .

Table of content

Scotland

The origins of single malt production lie in Scotland. Here, the rules of the Scotch Whisky Association govern the production process. In addition to the exclusive use of malted barley and the origin from a single distillery, it is also stipulated that the whisky must be stored in an oak cask for at least 3 years and have an alcohol content of at least 40%.

It is interesting to note that in the early days, only single malt was produced, which was then replaced by blended whisky 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 single malt back onto the market. To this day, single malt remains the premium segment, even though blends clearly predominate on the market with 90%.

Ireland

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 distilleries also produce single malt as standard. The opinion that Ireland mainly produces blended whiskey is outdated.

Japan

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 single malt!

USA

American single malt whiskey 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 maturation must take place in a distillery in the USA. The spirit may be distilled at a maximum of 160 proof, which corresponds to 80 % vol. Alcohol, may be distilled. It is matured in oak barrels with a maximum capacity of 700 litres and bottled 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!

Conclusion

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!
Slainte!

Single Malts from different countries

Athru Annacoona 14 Years
Athru Annacoona 14 Years
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
Athru Keshcorran 14 Years
Athru Keshcorran 14 Years
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
Athru Knocknarea 14 Years
Athru Knocknarea 14 Years
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
Athru Oloroso Single Cask 17Y-2004/2022
Athru Oloroso Single Cask 17Y-2004/2022
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
Ballykeefe Single Malt
Ballykeefe Single Malt 11%
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
Bushmills 25 Years
Bushmills 25 Years
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
Bushmills 10 Years
Bushmills 10 Years
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
Bushmills 30 Years
Bushmills 30 Years
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
Bushmills (B-Ware) 10 Years
Bushmills (B-Ware) 10 Years
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
Bushmills (B-Ware) 10 Years
Bushmills (B-Ware) 10 Years
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
Bushmills Causeway Collection (B-Ware) 30Y-1991/2021
Bushmills Causeway Collection (B-Ware) 30Y-1991/2021
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
Bushmills Causeway Collection Banyuls Cask 11Y-2011/2022
Bushmills Causeway Collection Banyuls Cask 11Y-2011/2022
0,7/ l · incl.  VAT
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