As we all know by the name, Scotch whiskey was first made in Scotland. The art of production of Whiskey comes with time and practise. Most of the people who make whiskey are from families who have been making Scotch whiskey for years. Initially, it was made from malted barley, and later many commercial distilleries started to make whiskey with rye and malt.
Malting and Mashing:
Simple and natural ingredients like malted barley, water and yeast are used for making single malt whiskey. The barley is first malted by steeping it in fresh spring water, and it is spread across the floor for germination. The starch in the barley is converted to sugars, and when it is mixed with yeast, it gets converted into alcohol. The process affects the spirit’s end flavour. If the barley that is used is dried for a long time, then it gives a smoky flavour.
Once the barley is dried, malt is nicely ground into flour, and it is called as the grist. The Grist is mixed with hot water, and this mixture is called the mash tun. The sugar in the malt gets dissolved, and you will get sweet liquid named wort. There are solid wastes which are generated in this process, and it is given to the local farmers to feed their cattle.
Fermentation and Distillation:
The fermenting process is done by passing the sweet liquid in a large container which is often called as the washback, and the liquid gets fermented when yeast is added to it. The sugar in the liquid gets converted to alcohol, and a fermented liquid gets created named wash. The wash has about 8% of alcohol by volume.
Usually, single malt whiskey is double distilled in separate copper pots. These copper pots are large pots, and they are heated from the outside. As the pot is heated, the liquid on the inside gets vaporised and rises to the top.
The vapour is directed through a condenser, and it is turned back to its liquid form. You will get a liquid which has about 20% of alcohol by volume. Now, this liquid is passed to the next copper pot. The same distillation process is repeated here, and a higher quality spirit is collected at the end of the process.
Maturation and Release:
Scotch Whiskey must be matured only by using oak casks for at least three years. When the spirit is made to develop in these oak casks, it turns golden in color. By law, the maturation must be done in Scotland, but the casks are usually imported from other parts of the world like America, Europe etc. The imported barrels might have been used for maturing wine, bourbon, sherry etc. Once the whiskey is matured, it is served to the whole world as Stock Whiskey.