What makes a Single Malt?
To be a single malt scotch, the 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 for at least three years and one day.
“Malt” indicates that the whisky is distilled from a “malted” barley. Several types of grains can be malted (for example, barley, rye and wheat are all grains which can be malted); however, in the case of single malt Scotch, barley is the only grain used.
“Single” indicates that all the spirits in the bottle come from a single distillery.
Bottlings containing malt whisky from multiple distilleries are called ‘blended malt’.
There are 5 distinct regions in Scotland with regards to single malt distilleries. Each region is known for the distinct characteristics in its whiskies, which are a result of the water sources and atmosphere (closer or further from the sea etc).