What is Scotch Whiskey?
Before dining Scotch, we must first define whiskey in general. As a form of distilled alcohol made from barley, wheat, corn, and other fermented yeasts, typically aged in casks and barrels, whiskey is an alcoholic beverage enjoyed by millions around the globe.
Coming in several forms such as Irish whiskey, Scotch, and bourbon, you can imagine that each bolsters its own unique palates, flavors, and tasting notes. The differences between each type of whiskey are several, inclusive of its origins, distillation process, ingredient profile, maturation process, and grain selection, among other factors.
Scotch whiskey, in particular, is a type of whiskey made in Scotland, offered in either a malt or grain whiskey-type, with a third option being a blend of the two. Interestingly enough, Scotch whiskey, by law (yes, you heard that right! By LAW), must be aged in oak barrels for a minimum of three (3) years.
Related: Best Whiskey Cocktails
Depending on what region you get your Scotch from will largely determine the flavors and pettiness of the scotch itself; whether Carmel notes, smokey accents, high peaty levels, or fruity aftertastes, among other characteristics.
These Scottish regions include Campbeltown, the Isles, The Highlands and Lowlands, and Speyside.
Scotch is undeniably one of the most desirable whiskeys on the market and has been for decades and decades. Of course, it may take some time for your palate to adjust, but once you’ve acquired its distinct taste, you’ll never go back. So, how is its unique taste & flavor made? Let’s get into it…
How is Scotch Whiskey Made
Scotch whiskey is made quite similarly to its welcomed counterpart, Irish whiskey. Originally made from malted barley, its process largely depends on the type being produced (i.e. malt, grain, blended). With that said, below will be a detail of the broad step-by-step process of making Scotch whiskey.
Starting with the malting process, we begin with malting barley in water, mixing it with yeast, and creating the base alcohol contents. Depending on the flavor profile you’re going for, you may dry it over peat for the peaty, smokey notes adored by many.
Next is the fermentation and distillation process. Once the liquid is fermented and the ABV% has increased, the distillation process begins, typically in a pot still.
Finally, once the ABV% reaches about 20%, It’s time for maturation. As mentioned earlier, Scotch is aged for a minimum of 3-years in oak barrels, however, typically for much much longer periods.
All that’s left to do once the maturation period is complete is to pour and enjoy!