A Guide to Single Malt Scotch Whisky | Man of Many

It was a long road from the grain to The Glenlivet. Without taking hours of your life, Scotch whisky evolved from a drink called uisge beatha (don’t try to pronounce it, it’s Gaelic–you might hurt your voicebox), which means “water of life” (not dissimilar to France’s eaux de vie). Though spirits had been distilled in Europe for some time, and more rudimentary alcohol to some extent, in northern Africa, before that, whisky was a different beast. Scottish whisky found early popularity with thanks to King Henry VII, who, in 1495, gifted eight bolls (that’s a lot) of malt to one Friar John Cor, to distil around 1,500 bottles of uisge beatha.

History of Scotch Whisky

The very basic recipe calls for barley or grain, yeast, and Scottish water. Seeing as this article is about single malt Scotch whisky, we’ll stick to that, as the others can get very confusing.

How Scotch Whisky is Made

The difference between a single malt and every other style of whisky is not so vast, yet the final product is celebrated with good reason. Single malts are those which have been made entirely from malted barley (no other grain content), and made within a single distillery. Different ages of whisky can be used in the final package, but the youngest whisky is the one which must be displayed on the label (it is not uncommon for, say, a twelve-year-old expression to have a small amount of older whiskies added to give colour, richness and texture).

What is Single Malt Scotch Whisky?

In a word: yes. But regionality of single malt whiskies is more a matter of personal preference than anything else. While certain regions have slightly different practices in terms of production (for example, the burning of peat on Islay will produce a smokier whisky), the essential recipe for whisky is used unanimously across the different regions of Scotland.

Does the Whisky Region Matter?

The simplest rule is: as you like it. While purists will turn their nose up at the slightest encroachment on their precious spirit, most sensible connoisseurs or bartenders will proffer that if you’re paying for it, you can have it however you like. While a whisky and coke will seldom be improved with a more expensive dram such as a single malt, however, there are ways to taste a beautiful premium spirit that you should definitely try out before adding your favourite mixer.

How to Drink Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Hailing from bonnie Speyside, The Glenlivet 12 Year Old is one of Australia’s, nay, the world’s best loved whiskies, though it’s been on a mysterious hiatus for a short time..

The Glenlivet 12 Year Old

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