What is Single Malt?

What is Single Malt?

2
min
Whisky, In the details

Both whisky and scotch can be defined as Single Malt. But what does that mean, and how is the distillation process differ from blended whisky and scotch?

Bourbon, Scotch, and Whisky: What's the difference?
Neat, on the rocks, watered or mixed: How should you drink your whisky?

What is Single Malt?

2
min
Whisky, In the details

Both whisky and scotch can be defined as Single Malt. But what does that mean, and how is the distillation process differ from blended whisky and scotch?

If you are an experienced whisky or scotch drinker, then you may be familiar with the difference between single malts and blends, however, this can be confusing to many newcomers to the category.

So what does 'single malt' mean?

Well, much of the confusion with this categorisation stems from the use of the term ”Single” This does not mean a single grain or single barrel, it simply refers to the fact that the whisky or scotch was produced in a “single” distillery.


There are also three separate stages to the process of making a Single Malt, which also lends to the confusion. First, malt is fermented into a raw beer called a “wash.” This adds fruity and creamy flavours to the malt and makes alcohol. Second, the wash is distilled into a spirit. This attains the alcohol percentage and the desired flavour balance. Thirdly, the spirit is aged in barrels.


There is a common misconception that a Single Malt means single-batch or single-barrel, when in fact there are many whiskies and scotches that are a blend of batches and barrels.


*The term Single Barrel is what is used to characterise a single-batch whisky or scotch that is bottle directly from an individual ageing barrel.


What is Single Malt?

2
min
Whisky, In the details

Both whisky and scotch can be defined as Single Malt. But what does that mean, and how is the distillation process differ from blended whisky and scotch?

If you are an experienced whisky or scotch drinker, then you may be familiar with the difference between single malts and blends, however, this can be confusing to many newcomers to the category.

So what does 'single malt' mean?

Well, much of the confusion with this categorisation stems from the use of the term ”Single” This does not mean a single grain or single barrel, it simply refers to the fact that the whisky or scotch was produced in a “single” distillery.


There are also three separate stages to the process of making a Single Malt, which also lends to the confusion. First, malt is fermented into a raw beer called a “wash.” This adds fruity and creamy flavours to the malt and makes alcohol. Second, the wash is distilled into a spirit. This attains the alcohol percentage and the desired flavour balance. Thirdly, the spirit is aged in barrels.


There is a common misconception that a Single Malt means single-batch or single-barrel, when in fact there are many whiskies and scotches that are a blend of batches and barrels.


*The term Single Barrel is what is used to characterise a single-batch whisky or scotch that is bottle directly from an individual ageing barrel.


Bourbon, Scotch, and Whisky: What's the difference?