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WMWS WINE SCHOOL 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 SCOTCH 101

WMWS WINE SCHOOL 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 SCOTCH 101

SCOTCH
All Scotch whisky was originally made from malted barley. Commercial distilleries began introducing whisky made from wheat and rye in the late 18th century.
There are two kinds of Scotch Whisky:
​Malt Whisky which is made by the Pot Still process and Grain Whisky which is made by the Patent Still (or Coffey Still) process. Malt Whisky is made from malted barley only, while Grain Whisky is made from malted barley together with unmalted barley and other cereals.
A single malt is made with malted barley in pot stills at a single distillery. The goal is to achieve very distinctive flavors and nuances that exemplify a single distillery's style.
​A blended scotch whisky is made by combining several single malts with wheat and/or corn whiskies in column stills.
Whisky can be called 'Scotch' only if it is distilled and matured in Scotland.
SPEYSIDE DISTILLERIES
Home to the most elegant and inspired whiskies in Scotland, Speyside is also home to the most distilleries in the Country, some of which include Aberlour, The Balvenie, Cardhu, Cragganmore, Glenfarclas, Glenfiddich, Glenglassaugh, The Glenlivet, Glen Moray and The Macallan.
The largest amount of Scotch production from the highest number of distilleries comes from Speyside, in the northeast of the country. Despite not being too large of an area, this is where around 50% of all Scotch is produced. Speyside's product comes from the 50 distilleries, over half of the country's total number of Scotch producers. Speyside: Once considered part of the Highlands, this area has almost half the total number of distilleries in Scotland and is therefore officially recognized as a region unto itself. Speyside is known for producing sweet whiskies, with mellow notes and fruity flavors.
HIGHLANDS
​If you roughly drew a line between Edinburgh and Glasgow, everything above that would be the Highlands. Geographically speaking, it's the largest whiskey producing area, which includes the cities of Inverness, Aberdeen and Dundee.
​They're much more spread out than in Speyside, but there are over 30 distilleries in the area.
Known as medium bodied whiskies, they are typically lighter and more luxurious than their brothers Islay, but stronger than the ones in the Lowlands. Today there are many highland distilleries, some of which include Aberfeldy, Balblair, Ben Nevis, Clynelish, The Dalmore, Dalwhinnie, Glen Ord, Glenmorangie, Oban and Old Pulteney. On the islands, you can find Arran, Jura, Tobermory, Highland Park and Scapa, as well as Talisker still operating today. While many whisky connoisseurs believe the islands should have their own region, they are still technically classified as a part of the highlands.
LOWLANDS
Generally considered the lighter and most delicate whiskies, the Lowland distilleries often produce spirits with very little to no peat. Today the only distilleries still in operation are Auchentoshan, Bladnoch and Glenkinchie. However, a fourth distillery has recently opened called Daftmill, but its first release is still in production and is not expected to be released to the public until sometime in 2015.
This area is famous for utilizing the triple distillery method, which increases the alcohol content but leaves the final whiskey lighter, as it removes heavy components like oil and protein. You'll find it in the southernmost part of Scotland.
CAMPBELLTOWN
​​​The small western coastal town of Campbelltown used to be the hub of Scotch distilling with early worldwide distribution. That is, until overproduction, American prohibition, and the depression hit sales hard.
With the majority of its bottles aged at the 10 year mark, the region is home to just three active distilleries which include Glen Scotia, Glengyle and Springbank.
Purists still consider Campbeltown one of the most important zones of Scotch production, purely because of their huge impact at the turn of the 20th century on popularizing the stuff. Single malts made there contain both the sweet and the savory, with briny, smokey notes jostling with fruit, toffee and vanilla.
There are only three distilleries left here, including old Glengyle, which was founded in 1872, shuttered in 1925, and was just reopened in its original location in 2004.
ISLAY - (MY PERSONAL FAVORITE)
This small island off the west coast of the mainland is only 25 miles long, but contains nine distilleries. To the uninitiated, their Scotch can be a bit intense, given that it packs a powerful wallop due to the quality of its peat (soil made of decayed moss matter).
​Considered the heavy-hitters of Scotch whisky, these spirits are usually heavily peated, often oily and even sometimes compared to iodine. Islay is home to a current eight distilleries which include Ardbeg, Bowmore, Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain, Caol Ila, Kilchoman, Lagavulin and Laphroaig.
There are eight active distilleries and the industry is the island's second largest employer after agriculture
The level of smokiness a Scotch achieves is determined by the time and type of smoldering peat the barley is exposed to during its drying process. The peat on Islay, fed on a constant diet of rain and seaspray, is particularly pungent and adds a strong smoky, earthy taste with a touch of salty seaweed. If you think you can handle it, cop a bottle of Ardbeg to put some bag on your pipes.
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO GIVE US A CALL (631) 537-2800 AND/OR COME BY OUR SHOP FOR A VISIT. TO TAKE A LOOK AT OUR INTERESTING SCOTCH SELECTION.
WAINSCOTT MAIN WEBSITE
BRADLEY KRAMER

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