The country of Scotland is famous for a lot of things; however nothing is as famous as the Scotch Whiskey. Lot of people tried to create an alternative beverage in different parts of world but its only in Scotland you can find the perfect environment and ingredients for making perfect whiskey. If you understand how the whiskey is made and its qualities, it only adds to the enjoyment of drinking the king of all drinks.
History of Scotch Whiskey: The first Scotch whiskey was created by Friar Jon Cor. It was made by King’s order and was called “aqua vitae”. As the whiskey became gradually popular the Scottish government enforced many unreasonable taxes on its production which resulted in many illegal transactions. However the Scottish parliament looking at the popularity of the whiskey and the out of control illegal production, made the Excise Act in the year of 1823 thereby making the production more profitable and the era of modern Scotch whisky industry began.
Scotch Whiskey, the modern production: The distillation process used for the making of the whiskey hasnt changed in last hundreds of years however the method has. The new distilleries are advanced technologically for maintaining the unique qualities of Scotch whiskey and keep up the popular demand.
In the beginning the barley is malted in water for three days. All ingredients of the malt and water must be top quality. The barley germinates and secrets enzymes necessary for distillation. Barley in then dried on smoldering peat. The barley now is mashed to flour that is called “grist” and then added to hot water which causes the starch in flour to be converted into sugar creating a liquid called wort. Now the yeast is added and the fermentation process starts in a massive vessel called “washback”.
Sugar and yeast react to make alcohol and the substance created is called “wash”. For distillation the “wash” is sent to copper pot stills. In this place wash is heated and it boils off alcohol. The vapor is gathered in a condenser, where it is cooled to liquid. This is still not the Scotch whiskey. It is “new-make spirit”. The spirit has to be matured in oak casks for at least three years. During maturation alcohol levels decrease and colors and flavors of casks are absorbed. The rich flavor and color of casks is transferred to the whiskey. In the end the whiskey is bottled.