Scotch whisky, also known as "Scotch", is known and loved worldwide for its unique and complex taste. But how is this famous drink actually produced? Let's take a closer look at the process.
The production of Scotch whiskey begins with malting, a process in which the barley is soaked in water and then allowed to germinate. This creates the necessary enzymes to convert the barley's starch into sugar. After a few days, germination is stopped by drying the barley in a large oven.
The malted barley is then ground into a coarse flour called "grist". The grist is mixed with hot water in a large vessel known as a "mash tun". The water dissolves the sugar in the grist and creates a sweet liquid called "wort".
The wort is transferred to a large vessel called a "washback" where yeast is added. The yeast converts the sugar in the wort into alcohol, a process that takes a few days and results in a strong, beer-like liquid known as "wash".
The wash is then distilled in large copper stills, known as "pot stills". The distillation process takes place twice. The first distillation is called "wash distillation" and the second is called "spirit distillation". After the second distillation, you have a strong alcoholic liquid called "new make spirit".
The new make spirit is transferred to oak barrels, where it must mature for at least three years. During maturation, the spirit interacts with the wood, giving whiskey its characteristic color and taste. The longer whiskey matures, the more complex and refined its flavor becomes.
The production of Scotch whiskey is a complex process that requires time, patience and expertise. The result is a drink with a rich and varied taste that can be enjoyed in many different ways. So the next time you enjoy a glass of Scotch, you can appreciate all the hard work and years that have gone into making it. Cheers!