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SIP&Share Collective: Malt Whisky

Our latest whisky group meet up had us learning all about Malt Whiskies with Reece of @reecesims aka our @whiskeymuse. The in-class setting had our group bunched together to learn what is malt whisky and then test our new knowledge by seeing if we were able to differentiate between what it is we are tasting from one bottle to the next.

Malt whisky is defined as whisky made from 51-100% malted grain, more malt than anything else (makes sense). From there it is classified as a single, blended, pure, etc. This designation is earned through the distilling process. If prepared by a single distillery and uses 100% malted barley it is a Single Malt, this classification can be given to any whisky from any country in the world. If the distillery is solely in Ireland and the mash is composed of 95-100% malted barely it is called a Single Pot Still.

Malt whisky prepared by 2 different distilleries within the same country is called a Blended Malt if that country is Scotland and if it is comprised of 100% malted barley. If the country is Japan and it is still a100% malted barley, it is a Pure Malt.

If prepared by 2 different distilleries from multiple countries it is called World Malt or International Malt if 100% Malted barley from only Japan. But if it is out of USA or Canada and it is 51%+ malted rye it is called Malted Rye.

Alot of jargon that is hard to retain, it is much easier classifying your malted whiskies by how they taste. Grain preparation, fermentation, distillation, and maturation affects the flavouring of malted whiskies. And the results are as follows:

When tasting we are looking for which whiskies that can be defined as “delicate”, described as having a butterscotch flavour or being citrusy. Such as The Dublin City Single Malt and the Glenmorangie that we were trying today.

Malted whisky can also be cereal-y with flavours of tropical fruits such as our whisky from Odd Society and/or Commodore.

Shinobu PM and Nikka Miyagikyo are two from Japan and both prepared with hints of smoke and incense. Mildly peated.

Given these clues, we were then set about trying to identity each sample, and then rank them based on our preference for aroma, taste, body, finish, and overall perception. We did not know what we were trying, but were told to simply enjoy it blind.

After we put pen to paper, we were then given the reveal as a group and either rejoiced or sighed based on whether we guessed correctly. And for the luckily few, daring enough to ask, we got a couple of top ups on our favourite sips. Another great whisky seminar, and one step closer to claiming intermediate whisky knowledge.

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