Grain whisky

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Barrels waiting to be filled with grain whisky at the Whyte and MacKay Grain Distillery in Invergordon Whisky barrels.jpg#file
Barrels waiting to be filled with grain whisky at the Whyte and MacKay Grain Distillery in Invergordon

Grain whisky normally refers to any whisky made, at least in part, from grains other than malted barley. This could be whisky made using corn, wheat or rye. Grain whiskies usually contain some malted barley to provide enzymes needed for mashing and are required to include it if they are produced in Ireland or Scotland. [1] [2] Whisky made only from malted barley is generally called "malt whisky" rather than grain whisky. Most American and Canadian whiskies are grain whiskies.

Definition

Under the regulations governing the production of both Irish and Scotch whisky, malt whisky must be produced from a mash of 100% malted barley and must be distilled in a pot still. [1] [2] In Scotland, a whisky that uses other malted or unmalted cereals in the mash in addition to malted barley is termed a grain whisky. [2] In Ireland, where regulations define "pot still whiskey" as one distilled from a specific mixed mash of at least 30% malted barley, at least 30% unmalted barley, and other unmalted cereals in a pot still, grain whisky refers to whisky produced from a mixed mash of no more than 30% malted barley in a column still. [1]

In both countries, grain whisky is typically distilled in a continuous column still in a manner that results in a higher percentage of alcohol by volume (ABV) but a less flavourful spirit than that derived from a pot still. As a result, grain whisky is seldom bottled by itself in either country but is instead used primarily for blending with malt or pot still whisky to create blended whiskies, which now account for more than 90% of both countries' whisky sales. The comparative lightness of the clearer, more-neutral-flavoured grain whisky is used in blends to smooth out the often harsher characteristics of single malts and single pot still whiskeys. Occasionally well-aged grain whiskies are released as single grain whisky if made at one distillery or blended grain whisky if combining spirits from multiple distilleries. [1] [2]

Outside Ireland and Scotland, the use of continuous column stills and the use of a non-barley mash are not so closely associated with the production of "light" whisky (whisky with little flavour due to distillation at a very high ABV). For example, nearly all American whiskey is produced using column stills, and all American whiskey that is labelled as "straight whiskey" (including straight Bourbon and straight rye) is required to use a distillation level not exceeding 80% ABV. [3] In the United States, whiskey produced at greater than 80% ABV is formally classified as "light whiskey" and cannot be labelled with the name of a grain or called malt, bourbon or straight. [3]

Related Research Articles

Scotch whisky Malt or grain whisky made in Scotland

Scotch whisky is malt whisky or grain whisky, made in Scotland. Scotch whisky must be made in a manner specified by law. As of 2018, there were 133 Scotch whisky distilleries operating in Scotland.

Whisky Type of distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented grain mash

Whisky or whiskey is a type of distilled alcoholic beverage made from fermented grain mash. Various grains are used for different varieties, including barley, corn, rye, and wheat. Whisky is typically aged in wooden casks, generally made of charred white oak.

Single malt Scotch is single malt whisky made in Scotland. To qualify for this category, a whisky must have been distilled at a single distillery using a pot still distillation process and made from a mash of malted barley. As with any Scotch whisky, a single malt Scotch must be distilled in Scotland and matured in oak casks in Scotland for at least three years.

Irish whiskey Popular spirit made in Ireland

Irish whiskey is whiskey made on the island of Ireland. The word 'whiskey' comes from the Irish uisce beatha, meaning water of life.

Single malt whisky malt whisky from a single distillery and made with malted barley

Single malt whisky is malt whisky from a single distillery. Single malts are typically associated with single malt Scotch, though they are also produced in various other countries. Under the United Kingdom's Scotch Whisky Regulations, a "Single Malt Scotch Whisky" must be made exclusively from malted barley, must be distilled using pot stills at a single distillery, and must be aged for at least three years in oak casks of a capacity not exceeding 700 litres. While the Scotch model is usually copied internationally, these constraints may not apply to whisky marketed as "single malt" that is produced elsewhere. For example, there is no definition of the term "single" with relation to whisky in the law of the United States, and some American whiskey advertised as "single malt whisky" is produced from malted rye rather than malted barley.

A blended whiskey is the product of blending different types of whiskeys and sometimes also neutral grain spirits, colorings, and flavorings. It is generally the product of mixing one or more higher-quality straight or single malt whiskey with less expensive spirits and other ingredients. This typically allows for a lower priced finished product, although expensive "premium" varieties also exist.

Pot still type of distillation apparatus or still used to distill flavored liquors such as whisky or cognac

A pot still is a type of distillation apparatus or still used to distill flavored liquors such as whisky or cognac, but not rectified spirit because they are bad at separating congeners. Pot stills operate on a batch distillation basis. Traditionally constructed from copper, pot stills are made in a range of shapes and sizes depending on the quantity and style of spirit desired.

Springbank distillery trademark

The Springbank distillery is a family-owned single malt whisky distillery on the Kintyre Peninsula in western Scotland. It is owned by J & A Mitchell & Company, who also owns the Glengyle Distillery, the oldest independent bottler, William Cadenheads, and several blended scotch labels. Licensed in 1828, Springbank is one of the last surviving producers of single malt whiskies in Campbeltown, an area that once had over thirty active distilleries. The distillery produces three types of peated and unpeated malt whisky that it bottles under three distinct brands. The majority of its distillate is bottled as a single malt, with a small percentage sold to larger blenders or ending up in one of J&A Mitchell's own blended scotch labels, such as Campbeltown Loch.

Blended malt whisky

A blended malt, formerly called a vatted malt, or pure malt, is a blend of different single malt whiskies from different distilleries. These terms are most commonly used in reference to Scotch whisky, or whisky in that style, such as Japanese whisky.

Malt whisky is whisky made from a fermented mash consisting primarily of malted barley. If the product is made exclusively at a single distillery, it is typically called a single malt whisky. Although malt whisky can be made using other malted grains besides barley, those versions are not called malt whisky without specifying the grain, such as rye malt whisky or buckwheat malt whisky.

Cooley Distillery Irish whiskey distillery

Cooley Distillery is an Irish whiskey distillery, located on the Cooley Peninsula in County Louth, Ireland, converted in 1987 from an older potato alcohol plant by John Teeling. On 16 December 2011 Beam Inc. announced plans to purchase Cooley for around US$95 million. The sale closed on 17 January 2012. Beam was then purchased by Suntory Holdings on 30 April 2014, and became its Beam Suntory subsidiary.

American whiskey Whiskey produced in the United States

American whiskey is whiskey produced in the United States. The primary types of American whiskey are bourbon whiskey, rye whiskey, rye malt whiskey, malt whiskey, wheat whiskey, Tennessee whiskey, and corn whiskey. All of these are made from mashes with at least 51% of their named grains.

J.P. Wisers Whisky

J.P. Wiser's Whisky is Canada's oldest continuously produced Canadian whisky. The brand was established in 1857, and Hiram Walker & Sons Limited currently produces it at their Windsor, Ontario, distillery. Since 1935, J.P. Wiser's has been the majority shareholder of Corby Spirit and Wine. Both companies came into ownership of international liquor company Pernod Ricard in 2005.

Korn (liquor) German colorless grain spirit

Korn, also known as Kornbrand or Kornbranntwein, is a German colorless distilled beverage produced from fermented cereal grain seed. In the production of Korn only the cereal grain types rye, wheat, barley, oats and buckwheat are permissible. Most of the production is based on rye or wheat; barley is mainly used to obtain the required malt for the brewing process, while oats and buckwheat are rarely used.The addition of food colorings, flavorings, or sweeteners is not permitted. Korn differs from vodka in that it is distilled to lower alcoholic proofs and less rigorously filtered, which leaves more of the cereal grain flavor in the finished spirit.

Small batch whiskey

Small batch whiskey is whiskey produced by mixing the contents of a relatively small number of selected barrels. Small batch whiskeys are commercially positioned for the upper-premium market. The term is most commonly used for American whiskey but is sometimes used for other whiskeys as well. For example, the Bowmore distillery in Islay, Scotland, has produced a single malt Scotch whisky labeled as "small batch".

Downslope Distilling

Downslope Distilling is a craft beverage distillery in Centennial, Colorado, United States.

Straight whiskey, as defined in United States law, is whiskey that is distilled from a fermented cereal grain mash to a concentration not exceeding 80% alcohol by volume (abv) and aged in new charred oak barrels for at least two years at a concentration not exceeding 62.5% at the start of the aging process.

Single pot still whiskey

Single pot still whiskey is a style of Irish whiskey made by a single distillery from a mixed mash of malted and unmalted barley distilled in a pot still. Somewhat similar to single malt whiskey, the style was defined by its inclusion of unmalted raw barley in the mash in addition to malt. However, small amounts of raw oats or wheat may have been used at times. This unmalted component is said to give single pot whiskey a "spicier bristle" and "thicker texture" than the otherwise similar single malt whiskeys. If the whiskey is not distilled completely on the site of a single distillery, then it may be termed pot still whiskey but not single pot still whiskey.

Australian whisky

Australian Whisky is whisky produced in Australia. As of March 2020, there were 293 registered distilleries in operation within Australia, of which approximately 50 have a whisky on the market. The Industry has shown steady growth since the early 90s especially in the boutique craft distilling scene.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 "Technical files setting out the specifications with which Irish Whiskey / Uisce Beatha Eireannach / Irish whisky must comply" (PDF). www.agriculture.gov.ie. Department of Agriculture, Forestry and the Marine. October 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 October 2016. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 4 "The Scotch Whisky Regulations 2009 - Guidance for Producers and Bottlers" (PDF). www.scotch-whisky.org.uk. Scotch Whisky Association. 2 December 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2016.
  3. 1 2 "Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits, Title 27 Code of Federal Regulations, Pt. 5.22" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-10-17.