What Is Single Malt Scotch?

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Single malt scotch is a type of whiskey that comes from Scotland and contains malts that come from a single distillery. There are many blended scotch whiskeys that can use malts from the same distillery, but they are mixed with those from elsewhere as well. This is a strong drink that is highly regarded by connoisseurs who shop by brand and by region, because the ingredients used to brew it are so specified and unique.

Considerations

  • All single malt scotch is distilled and aged in Scotland, as the name suggests. There are very precise rules as to the labeling of scotch, and those liquors that do not abide by them cannot put the put the name scotch on their label. Not only does the ingredients that make the scotch have to be from Scotland, the drink also has to be aged in oak barrels that remain in Scotland for a minimum of three years.

History

  • Whiskey has been blended in Scotland at least since the end of the 15th century, which is when the earliest reference to the beverage can be traced back to. Scotch whiskey was taxed eventually, which caused it to be produced illegally. However, in the early 1800s, new laws were passed that required distilleries to be licensed, but made the production of their single malt scotch more profitable. Glenlivet was the first distillery to open under this law. Single malt scotch is rarely made compared to all the scotch coming out of Scotland these days, with only 10 percent of scotch being of a single grain, and a smaller percentage being made from malted grain.

Geography

  • Single malt scotch is made by distilleries that operate all across Scotland. The grains grown in the country vary depending on the area, though. Because of this, there are five different regions for single malt production. These are the Speyside, Highland, Islay, Lowland, and Cambeltown single malt regions. The Highland region to the north is bordered by Speyside on the coast, a small region, and has an offshoot called the Island regions that include the small and large islands just off the coast.

Features

  • There are only three ingredients in single malt scotch: barley, yeast, and whiskey. The barley is regional and gives the scotch a distinct flavor and aroma that allows brands to be distinguishable. The grains in this particular liquor are malted, which means that they are soaked in water for 2 to 3 days so that enzymes are produced that convert starch into sugars that can be used by the yeast in the mixture to ferment the liquor.

Warning

  • Single malt scotch is a powerful whiskey that should be handled and drunk responsibly. The alcohol content averages around 40 percent, but some brands are much stronger. Always be aware of the strength of the scotch you are drinking and of your own tolerance level. Drinking too much scotch can cause alcohol poisoning that has the potential to permanently damage your liver and kill brain cells. Extreme cases of alcohol poisoning can result in death.

Warning

  • Single malt scotch is a powerful whiskey that should be handled and drunk responsibly. The alcohol content averages around 40 percent, but some brands are much stronger. Always be aware of the strength of the scotch you are drinking and of your own tolerance level. Drinking too much scotch can cause alcohol poisoning that has the potential to permanently damage your liver and kill brain cells. Extreme cases of alcohol poisoning can result in death.

Warning

  • Single malt scotch is a powerful whiskey that should be handled and drunk responsibly. The alcohol content averages around 40 percent, but some brands are much stronger. Always be aware of the strength of the scotch you are drinking and of your own tolerance level. Drinking too much scotch can cause alcohol poisoning that has the potential to permanently damage your liver and kill brain cells. Extreme cases of alcohol poisoning can result in death.

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