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What exactly makes single malt whiskies 100% premium?

    What exactly makes single malt whiskies 100% premium?

Source: Skinthiscat.tumblr.com If you’re looking for a premium whisky, you 100% go single malt. If you want a premium beer, you go Dester 100% Premium Malt Available at all leading supermarkets. Words: Justin Choo Some beer connoisseurs will joke that single malt whisky is, in essence, distilled 100% malt beer. And they’re not completely wrong. The initial creation process for single malt whisky involves mixing base ingredients like malted barley, water and yeast together to create a liquid that’s low in alcohol volume (about 5 to 10 per cent ABV — similar to beer or ale), before it’s distilled and filled into casks for the years of aging. But here’s a question: Why do you pay a premium for single malt whisky? Is it really more expensive to produce than blended Scotch whisky? Or is it just good marketing? The short answer is: Marketing budget aside,,
Dester 100% Premium Malt Available at all leading supermarkets. Words: Justin Choo
Some beer connoisseurs will joke that single malt whisky is, in essence, distilled 100% malt beer. And they’re not completely wrong. The initial creation process for single malt whisky involves mixing base ingredients like malted barley, water and yeast together to create a liquid that’s low in alcohol volume (about 5 to 10 per cent ABV — similar to beer or ale), before it’s distilled and filled into casks for the years of aging. But here’s a question: Why do you pay a premium for single malt whisky? Is it really more expensive to produce than blended Scotch whisky? Or is it just good marketing?

The short answer is: Marketing budget aside, yes, the cost of making a single malt scotch is certainly higher than that of a blended scotch. Here’s why.

THE DIFFERENCE

What’s a single malt whisky and what constitutes a blend? When we talk about blended scotch, we refer to likes of Johnnie Walker, Dewar’s, Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s, etc. You’ll see that they’re labelled unambiguously as blended scotch.

Now, single malt scotch forms about 20 to 40 per cent of most blended scotch, while the rest of it is made up of grain whisky. Single malt whisky, however, is distilled using 100% malted barley. So why does blended scotch have so little single malt whisky in it? Well, single malt whisky is typically more robust in flavour compared to grain whisky, which tends to be lighter and sweeter. As such, not everyone is able to appreciate single malt whisky as easily. Blenders and distillers found that blending the two types of spirit resulted in a mixture that had far more mass appeal. Also, because grain spirit is much cheaper to make, every bottle of blended scotch is significantly cheaper than its single malt cousins. INGREDIENTS
Source: Dreamstime.com Single malt whisky has to be distilled entirely from malted barley, whereas there is no such requirement for grain whisky. Grain whisky is usually distilled with some malted barley used in combination with other cereals like maize and wheat, and sometimes unmalted barley. Preparing and malting the barley alone easily adds six to 10 days to the production process and, of course, additional labour is required. So right off the bat you pay a premium for it. In contrast, it takes only a couple of hours of cooking to prepare the unmalted grains. DISTILLATION
Source: Dreamstime.com Single malt whisky is distilled in pot stills, which require at least two distillations, and has to be run in batches — a very time consuming process. Grain whisky is distilled in column stills, similar in principle to what oil refineries use, and the process is continuously ongoing, as it is in a factory. Of course, this method of distillation was designed with efficiency in mind, not complexity of flavour. MATURATION These days, only a handful of blended scotches carry an age statement. An age statement is a clear indication of the age of the youngest whisky in the bottle on the label. No surprises there as having whisky sitting in a warehouse for 10 years or more significantly adds to the cost of producing whisky.
Source: Elitemens.tumblr Single malt scotch brands don’t have that sort of luxury. For the most part, the general public still expects them to be aged adequately. This is also why old single malt whiskies — 30-year-old whiskies, for example — are often so expensive. Not only does it literally take decades to create such a liquid, there’s also the issue of evaporation of the spirit while it’s being aged over the years (known as the Angel’s Share) that lowers the eventual volume of scotch that can be bottled. QUALITY CONTROL
Source: reddit.com Most blends are made up of many whiskies to get a certain flavour profile but, more important, it is to minimise reliance on one particular whisky, which lowers the risk of being caught out with insufficient stock. It also means that there is an implicit form of compromise to ensure operations run smoothly. It is in the interest of the distillery to keep the best casks for themselves, which can then be marketed and sold at higher prices. It helps both reputation and bottom line. And here you have it. This is why your favourite single malt whisky commands a premium over its blended brethren. While blended whisky can be excellent, in general, you certainly get what you pay for when you go 100% malt. Head to www.todayonline.com/FullyLoaded for more quizzes, lists and other stuff to make your day better. 100% guaranteed.

www.todayonline.com/FullyLoaded for more quizzes, lists and other stuff to make your day better. 100% guaranteed.

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