- WHISKEY IN THE SPOTLIGHT -
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About whiskeyWhisky, whiskey, whiskie, whisky or wiskey? There are actually only 2 correct terms: whisky and whiskey. The other alternatives are incorrect spellings. Whiskey and whiskey are the same, only in Scotland and Canada the spelling without 'e' is used: whisky. In other countries, mainly the United States and Ireland, the term whiskey is used. So delete wisky, wiskey or wiskie from your vocabulary and use the right terms: whisky and whiskey.
How is whiskey made?Barley is moistened to let it germinate. This creates malt. To stop the sprouting and to keep the sugars, the malt is heated up on an eestfloor. This is a floor where the heat of an open fire can pass through. Depending on the fuel used, the malt gets its taste. Turf is often added to the fuel to obtain a peat taste. This malt is finely ground and turned into "grist". This first step is usually performed by a malting company. There are however still a few distilleries that perform the malting process themselves. The grist is transported into a mash tun where water is added. This mixture of water and grist is called "the wash", is heated and with the addition of yeast the sugars are converted into alcohol. In this way, a kind of beer of 7-8 % ABV is created that is called "wort". The wort is now distilled in a pot still. The alcohol evaporates at 78.3 ° and is collected. This first distillate is again distilled in a spirit still to get rid of all impurities. Irish whiskey is distilled a third time. The distillate is diluted to an spirit between 60 and 65 % ABV and stored in barrels. According to European legislation, Scottish whisky must be kept in barrels on Scottish soil for at least 3 years.
Whisky VocabularyWhen you talk about whisky, you sometimes come across a number of terms that are not entirely clear. You can find a number of the most important terms below:
Single cask whisky: whiskey that comes from one barrel. Usually limited editions.
Single malt whisky: whiskey from 1 and the same distiller. The most common single malt. Single malt whiskeys are a blend of different barrels from the same distiller to get a consistent taste.
Blended malt whisky: whiskey, made from barley, but from various distilleries.
Blended whisky: whiskey, from various distilleries, from different cereals. The most sold type of whiskey.
Cask strength: whisky bottled at full barrel strength, without the addition of water. This whiskey can easily contain 50-60 ° ABV (alcohol percentage).
Independent bottler: an independent bottler, buys barrels from various distilleries to bottle them themselves. These whiskeys are not blended. Usually, these are unique whiskeys. In general, these are single cask whiskeys. Examples are Gordon & McPhail, Signatory, The Octave.
Non-Chill filtration: the whiskey is not extra filtered to remove impurities. This may cause a haze to appear in the whiskey. The whiskey is not inferior because of these impurities. However, by applying chill-filtration to a whiskey, some taste can disappear from the whiskey.
Non coloured: sometimes caramel (E150A) is added to the whiskey, to give it a more beautiful dark colour. Although this dye does not give off taste, he can add a certain bitterness to the whiskey. Non-coloured whiskeys have no added colourings.