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What is Single Malt Whiskey and How to Enjoy It?

by Gurpreet Singh Gill on November 27, 2021

Single Malt Whiskey

The term "single malt whiskey" refers to a whiskey that is produced by a single distillery using a single malted grain, which is typically barley. They are produced in Japan, Ireland, America, Canada and other countries. Over the last few years, it is becoming more and more popular with all time high sales. This has now created a global shortage of sought after single malt whiskies.

Single Malt Whiskey

What Is Single Malt Whiskey Made From?

Word single can be a confusing part of single malt whiskey. It doesn’t represent that single malt whiskey came from a single barrel. The raw barley grains are malted by soaking them in water to start the germination process, then heat is applied to stop the grain from sprouting completely. This makes them susceptible to the fermentation process during which yeast is introduced.

What Does Single Malt Whiskey Taste Like?

Single malt whiskey tastes like woody, roasted, oaky, grain alcohol. It may have caramel, vanilla, fruit, or nut notes as well. In the case of scotch, there's also a peaty, smoky nuance.

Single Malt Whiskey

Different types of single malts from different countries

  • Scotland's single malt whiskeys are the most famous and should only be made from malted barley. In general, they are produced in the same way, although they do not all taste the same.
  • Japanese single malts can compete with Scottish ones but are less popular than Scottish Whisky.
  • Irish whiskey distillers often offer single malts that are viewed as more refined than the more common blend. These are usually less harsh to the throat than their counterparts from Scotch Single Malts.
  • American single malt whiskey is quite influential, and some craft distillers experiment with grains other than barley.
  • You can also find great single malts from Canada, France, New Zealand, Germany, India and Taiwan, as well as many other places.

Single Malt Whiskey

How to Drink Single Malt Whiskey?

Single malt whiskey is reserved for straight drinking, especially at the luxury level, mainly due to the high price. It can be served on the rocks or with a splash of soda or water. Single malts also make great cocktails.

How to best enjoy single malt whisky?

Single Malt Whiskey

  1. Clean whisky glass is a must, a good whisky glass is a wise investment
  2. Measure your Scotch Pour; a finger, roughly equivalent to 1 fluid ounce (30 ml). Two fingers is considered a full serving (so named as it’s the height of your finger against the glass).
  3. Bend the glass coating inward as much as possible. (be careful not to spill any)
  4. As the glass warms in your hand, the aroma starts to come alive, try and identify the flavours hints with your nose
  5. Let the whiskey roll down the back of your tongue. Depending on the alcohol content,
  6. Look at the scent you recognize in the nose. Is it the same?
  7. Add a few drops of fine clean water, swirl the glass and inhale the aroma. Repeat this step until you get a pleasant whiskey water ratio.
  8. The finish is that which is beyond taste.
  9. As time goes on, the alcohol will dissipate from the whiskey that coated the sides of your glass. This aroma will contribute to another layer of flavor to your taste experience.
  10. Enjoy
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