COVID 19 hit us and a barrage of health tips came into your phone, one of which said drinking whiskey or vodka can help build immunity against the virus. We at Go Magic Trails came up with an idea. During times when you are self-quarantined and your city is under lockdown, it is the right time to up your knowledge game. So, we decided to bring in interesting pieces of information about whiskey and then take you on a virtual tour of how single malts are made.
The process of whiskey making can be traced back to the Mesopotamian civilization. From there, the knowledge travelled across to the European continent into monasteries and finally made it’s way into Scotland & Ireland around the 13th century. An hour’s drive from Edinburgh is a small town called Newburgh. On the outskirts of Newburgh is Lindores Abbey, the birthplace of whiskey in Scotland. It can be traced back to 1494 & is the oldest noted evidence of distilling. Britain fell in love with this drink that is described as liquid sunshine.
Scots perfected the art of distilling what they had in abundance, which was grain. Unlike Europe, which grew grapes and wine making became an integral part of the culture itself, whiskey making developed in a very unique way in Scotland. The fresh soft water and the weather in Scotland were highly conducive to the manufacturing of what the world knows as Scotch Whiskey.
Composition of Whiskies
- Single Malt – made exclusively with malted barley, water and yeast in one distillery.
- Grain – grain is the main ingredient here, this whiskey is made of corn, wheat or both.
- Blended – as the name suggests, this is a blend of both grain & malt whiskies.
The Process of Single Malt
The process of whiskey making can be defined in three major steps:
- Malting & Mashing
- Fermenting & Distilling
- Maturing & Release
For a whiskey to be called Scotch Single Malt, the drink must be made from malted barley, be aged for no less than three years and made in Scotland.
Indian Single Malts
Did you know?
- Eight of the top 10 bestselling whiskies in the world are Indian
- India’s climate means more water evaporates during maturation than in Scotland so the ABV rises
- Indian whiskey sold outside the EU is usually made mainly of molasses (like rum!) Technically, this does not qualify it be called whiskey at all, according to specialists and experts.
Amrut Distilleries and John Paul have mesmerized the whiskey world with their peated and non-peated varieties of whiskies. Jim Murray’s Third Finest Whisky in the World for 2010, Amrut Fusion is distilled from barley from Scotland and India, making this a true fusion of countries. The single malt from Amrut is made of barley grown in north west India and matured in New American Oak and ex-bourbon before bottling. The Paul John Classic Select Cask is an unpeated single malt whisky produced by John Distilleries in Goa. It has been matured in ex-bourbon barrels and bottled without chill-filtration at cask strength.
The Virtual Tour
We now take you on a virtual tour of Laphroaig & Glenfiddich, two of our favourite single malts. Enjoy the tour!