Theres only really 5 ingredients involved in making a good whisky: Malted Barley, Water, Yeast, an Oak Cask…and time. Lots of time.
Master distillers can sometimes nose hundreds of samples before selecting the few that will go making the final product, and some have insured their noses with policies into the Millions!
Different casks bring different results; those made out of American Oak will have more of a “Wooody” characteristic, and those of European Oak will allow for more of the seasoning (what was previously in the cask; sherry, wine etc) to influence the spirit.
“Single Malt Scotch Whisky” basically means:
“Single” - One distillery only (NOT one cask) More than one distillery = “Blended”
“Malt” - Spirit made from malted Barley - If it doesn’t say “Malt” then there’s probably other grain in there
“Scotch” - distilled and matured on Scottish soil
…and you can’t call it “Whisky” unless it’s spent least three years maturing (in an oak cask).
And this one is one of our favourites:
The French drink more Scotch Whisky than they do Cognac. Vive la France!
Keep your eyes peeled for more information and updates on progress, but for now: