Scotch Whiskey

Scotch Whiskey is whiskey that was made in Scotland. It is often referred to simply as Scotch. Whiskey can only legally be called Scotch whiskey if it was actually produced in Scotland. Whiskey that is referred to as Scottish Whiskey is counterfeit.
It is distilled from water, malted barley, and whole grains. The whiskey has an alcoholic strength of less than 94.8% by volume, but it's strength when it is bottled is not less than 40% by volume. It is matured in oak casks for at least three years and a day.
The four categories of Scotch whiskey are single malt, vatted malt, blended, and single grain. Malt whiskey is made of malted barley. It is distilled in pot stills. In order to malt barley, the barley is soaked in water to the point of germination. It is then dried with smoke.

Single malt Scotch whiskey is made entirely out of malted barley. The whiskey comes form one distillery. If malt whiskeys from one or more different distilleries are mixed, it is called vatted or blended malt whiskey.

Single grain Scotch whiskey is grain whiskey that is made from one distillery. Grain Scotch whiskey that is made from a mixture of grain whiskies from different distilleries is called blended grain whiskey.

The first step to making malt Scotch whiskey is malting the barley. Once the malted barley is dry, it is ground into grist (a coarse flour). The grist is placed into a large container called a mash tun and mixed with water to produce mash. During this process, the sugars produced during malting are dissolved.

The sugary liquid that this process produces is called wort. The wort is placed in a container called a "wash back" and mixed with yeast. The mixture is then allowed to ferment. The product of this process is called "wash." The wash is then distilled to produce a purer form of alcohol.

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