Distilled Spirits – Scotch Whisky

Distilled Spirits - Scotch Whisky

The history of Scotch whisky dates back to the Christian monks in the 4th and 5th centuries, and taxes on its production began in 1644. By the late 18th century, there were eight legal distilleries and many more illegal ones. In 1823, restrictions on distillery licenses were lifted, marking the beginning of the modern era of whisky production. Two significant events in the popularization of whisky were the introduction of the patent still in 1831 and the destruction of wine and cognac production in France due to the Phylloxera.
Scotch whisky is a distilled beverage produced exclusively in Scotland and recognized as one of the finest in the world. It is distilled two or even three times and must comply with the standards set by the Scotch Whisky Order of 1990. These standards include being processed in a Scottish distillery using water and malted barley with an alcohol by volume of 94.8°.
Additionally, it must age in oak barrels that previously held whisky, with a capacity of no more than 700 liters, for a minimum of three years in Scotland. The addition of additional substances, apart from water or caramel as a coloring agent, is not allowed, and it cannot be bottled with less than 40% alcohol by volume.
The legal definition of Scotch Whisky was first established in 1933, and additional regulations were introduced in 1988 and 2009. These regulations state that Scotch whisky must be processed in a Scottish distillery using water and malted barley, and the addition of other cereals is permitted. It must be distilled to an alcohol by volume of 94.8° to preserve the flavor of the ingredients. Aging is carried out in oak barrels in Scotland for at least three years. The addition of additional substances, except for water or caramel as a coloring agent, is not allowed, and it cannot be bottled with less than 40% alcohol by volume.

The official categories of Scotch Whisky according to regulations include Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Single Grain Scotch Whisky, Blended Scotch Whisky, Blended Malt Scotch Whisky, and Blended Grain Scotch Whisky. Each of these categories has specific production requirements and must be highlighted on the label.

Single malt Scotch whisky is produced using malted barley and distilled in pot stills. On the other hand, single grain Scotch whisky may contain unmalted barley and other cereals and is distilled in continuous column stills known as Coffey stills. While there are multiple malt whisky distilleries, there are currently only seven grain whisky distilleries, primarily located in the Lowlands, Scotland.

The production of malt whisky begins with malting the barley, which involves soaking it in water and then allowing it to germinate. Malting releases enzymes that convert starches into sugars. After germination, the malted barley is dried using smoke, and some distilleries add peat to the fire to give it a distinctive flavor.
The labeling of Scotch whisky can vary, but it often includes information about the distillery, alcohol content, and age. Age is determined by the time the whisky has spent in barrels, and the numbers on the label indicate the age, such as 12, 18, 24, or even 36 years.

Scotch whisky combines history, tradition, and marketing for its international dissemination. It is recognized as a high-quality beverage, and each label can identify the distillery or provide details about the product. The alcohol content is typically between 40% and 46%, and lower alcohol content may indicate an economical or locally produced whisky.

Scotch whisky is an appreciated and globally recognized drink, with a wide variety of styles and flavors that adhere to the standards established by Scottish regulations and traditions.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Carrito de compra0
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping