Single malt whisky is often talked about, for example, popular brands are almost gone, so a lot of explanations have been made in various places these days. "Malt whiskey" is a whiskey that is fermented only with barley malt, distilled two to three times in a pot still, and aged in wooden barrels. In addition, products produced only in one distillery (that is, not mixed with multiple distilleries) are called "single malt whiskey".
On the other hand, blended whiskey is a mixture of malt whiskey and "grain whiskey". Blended whiskey is often cheaper than single malt whiskey, so I'm sure this "grain whiskey" is "cheap stuff to keep the price down" and "light taste and personality." I think many people think about it.
However, a "single-grain whiskey" has recently appeared. In other words, there is no malt in it. It is a whiskey made only for grains made in a distillery. And in some respects, this is more expensive than blended whiskies or even single malt whiskies.
The ingredients are different from the distiller, but the aging is the same as the malt whisky
Grain whiskey is a whiskey made from grains and malt as raw materials, which are roughly fermented, then distilled by a "continuous still", and aged in wooden barrels. This "cereal" can be wheat, rye, oats or corn. Barley is good. In addition, "malt" is not limited to barley malt, and may be wheat malt. I believe it may be because no manufacturer regularly publishes the ingredients of grain whiskey. By the way, the ratio of malt to grain of blended whiskey is rarely announced.
According to the manufacturer, the price of grain used as a raw material for grain whiskey is about one-third of the price of barley malt. You can save a lot. The raw materials are different, but the process of saccharification and fermentation into "mash" is the same as that of malt whisky. The next distillation process is different.
The "continuous distiller" used to distill grain whiskey is a somewhat complicated machine, so it is written as a "distiller" instead of a pot distiller like malt whiskey. When the first stage of malt is completed, the alcohol gas is continuously extracted from the malt passing through the still, instead of distilling the second stage and other stages separately.
When making raw wine, it will be aged. This is an important process of whiskey. This is very effective for grain whiskey. The barrels used are the same oak barrels as the malt whiskey. If it is a blended whiskey marked with 10 years of aging, the grain whiskey inside must also be aged for more than 10 years. In other words, you can save costs at the entrance of the raw materials to the distillation, but the cost of the aging process is the same as that of a single malt. Single-grain whisky that achieves a unique and deep taste through long-term aging is well developed, so the price will rise.
Grain whiskey is the protagonist
Aged grain whiskey has a smooth texture, making blended whiskey easier to drink. By the way, when making blended whiskey, you must first decide which grain whiskey to use. Grain whiskey is not the supporting role of malt whiskey, but the protagonist. It is the main part that determines the flavor and taste of whiskey, and it has enough potential for deliciousness.
Nowadays, it seems like a misunderstanding that both taste and personality are weak. With just a few "habits", you can enjoy each unique taste. In addition to single malt whiskey and blended malt whiskey, I will also pay attention to grain whiskey in the future.
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