Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Single malts are made from 100% malted barley and produced at a single distillery using a pot still distillation process. Characteristic taste profile is unique to their region.
There are 6 main regions of single malt whisky
Highland: The Highland is by far the largest region in Scotland, which means there is a wide range of different styles and flavour profiles in the region. The more recognised Highland distilleries are Dalmore and Glenmorangie.
Lowland: Whiskies from this region are considered to be soft and light in character, with malty, grassy notes and subtle, delicate aromas. The Lowlands are home to just three working distilleries: Auchentoshan, Bladnoch and Glenkinchie.
Speyside: This area has almost half of the distilleries operating in Scotland Speyside is is considered to be the most complex and sweetest of all single malt whiskies, Among the several acclaimed distilleries are Glenfiddich, The Glenlivet and The Macallan.
Islay: This region is known for its peaty smokiness and strong flavoured single malt whiskies. Examples of distilleries include Bowmore, Lagavulin and Laphroaig.
Scotch from the Islands is typically diverse in terms of flavour profile bridges gap between malt whiskies from Highlands and Islay powerful, bursting with flavour with recognised smokiness to some less common peppery notes.
There are only three remaining distilleries – Glengyle, Glen Scotia, and Springbank. Flavour profile is influenced by a heavy sea so the salt and brine can be detectable as well as the peat that’s used in the whisky production here.
Blended Scotch Whisky
Blended Scotch Whisky is a blend of different single malt whiskies and so-called grain whisky(the difference is that malt whisky is made exclusively from malted barley and grain whisky uses much simpler and more economical method of a continuous column still and the wide variety of grains).
Comparison of Single malt and Blended Scotch whisky
Blended whiskies are estimated to make up to 90% of all Scotch whisky sales worldwide and are considered to be more approachable for whisky drinkers. Grain whisky is cheaper to produce and age(it doesn’t need to spend that long time in a barrel to be considered good enough to sell).
Traditional single malts typically offer a wide diversity of flavours over grain whiskies which is the reason for not using exclusively grain whisky in the blend and that’s why whisky connoisseurs quickly move to single malts.