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A Guide to Buying and Drinking Single Malt Whiskey

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Single malt whisky can be made by a single distillery using one malted grain (typically barley). The most well-known is single malt Scotch whisky which is also the basis for the other single malts produced throughout the world. Ireland, Japan, America, Canada, and several other countries also create great single malts. Drinkers from India and in the U.S., France, Germany, Spain, and Singapore consume the highest amount of whisky and Scotch overall globally, as well as an growth of single malts production as well as sales. Since it typically costs more and is more expensive, many drinkers prefer single malts in a straight-lined manner or reserve whisky to drink in high-end cocktails.

Single Malt in comparison to. Blended Whisky

Whisky labels can be a bit confusing, so it’s a good idea for whisky drinkers to understand a few common terms. While scotch is an obvious case, the distinction between single malt and blended whisky is applicable to all whiskies around the globe. The most important thing to consider is the number of distilleries that contributed to the creation of the whisky.

Single Malt Whisky: A blend of malt whiskys made at one distillery using a single type of malted grains.
Blended Whisky: A mix of malted barley and grain whiskys sourced from multiple distilleries. This includes scotch brands like Johnny Walker as well as Chivas Regal.
Blended Malt Whisky Blended Malt Whisky of malted whiskys produced at various distilleries (it does not include grain whiskies).
Whisky Single-Grain: It is distilled from multiple grains which includes barley, corn or wheat, in one distillery.

Fast Facts

Ingr├ędients: Barley malted or another malted grain
Proof: 80-130
ABV: 40-65%
Calories in a 1-ounce shot: 95-116
Origin: Scotland, Ireland, Japan, U.S., and more.
Taste: Smooth, oaky and roasted grain
Aged 5 years old or more
Serve Straight, with a splash of ice Cocktails with a premium finish

What Is Single Malt Whisky Made From?

Whisky that is single malt produced as any other whisky is made The grains are fermented by yeast to convert sugars into alcohol. Then, the liquid is then distilled into an alcohol-based beverage that is concentrated before it’s aged in barrels blended, then bottled. Whisky makers who distill single malts apply a few unique techniques throughout the process, and they’re often similar to the process used in making whisky called scotch.

Whisky made from malted whiskey begins its life the same way as beers. It is typically made from barley (though some use rye) The grain’s raw materials are malted by the process of soaking them in water in order to kick off the germination process followed by the application of heat to stop the sprouting process entirely. The process of malting makes the grains more prone to fermentation. Barley that is unmalted (or other grains) can be used in different whiskies, but not single malt whisky.

Also, in blended scotch, single-malt Scotch whisky makes use of peated malt. Drying the barley with locally-sourced peat creates the whisky’s distinctive smoky flavor. While some single malt distillers outside of Scotland employ peat Most prefer kiln-dried or roasted malt.

One of the most confusing aspects for single malt whisky the term “single.” It does not mean the whisky is in a singular barrel or even just a single batch. They are instead blended whiskies aged in barrels created at one distillery.

No matter the kind, the majority of whiskies around the world are blended. This is how distillers create the same taste in their whisky year in and year out and the whisky you’re drinking now is nearly exactly the same as the one you drank the previous year. If the distillery was relying on only a single batch or barrel, the whisky’s profile will change with each barrel and the environmental conditions add different flavors to the final whisky as it ages. This is why whisky’s best-selling whiskies are blended, whereas single barrel whiskies or batch whiskies tend to be reserved for limited-edition releases.

The fact that single malt scotch is usually blended is somewhat surprising to many drinkers. For instance, The Glenlivet 18 Year Old Single Malt Scotch mixes various whiskies that have been aged in different barrels for at least 18 years. Important to the single-malt definition, all whiskies were distilled from malted barley at The Glenlivet Distillery.

Single malt whiskys can be bottled at 40% alcohol per volume (ABV, at 80 proof) or more. Most are under 100 proof, though a few can reach 130 proof.

What does Single Malt Whisky Taste Like?

Generally, whisky is a woody, oaky and roasted grain alcohol usually with vanilla, caramel fruit, or nut notes. Single malts tend to enhance and soften these flavour characteristics simultaneously, so the drink is superiorly smooth. Scotch is a great example it also has an smoky, peaty flavor.


Single malt whiskies from Scotland are most well-known and must be made from malted barley. Although distillers generally employ the same techniques, the taste varies. Scotland’s single malt whiskys showcase regional differences and create a unique flavor profile due to the hyper-local climate and distilling practices. As an example, whisky from the Highlands is lighter, Speyside whisky is seen as elegant, and whisky made in islands Islands is generally slightly salty because of Ocean air.

Likewise, single malts produced from other regions have distinct characteristics and methods of production. Japanese single malts rival those from Scotland because the distillers who created them studied the scotch style. Irish whisky distilleries typically offer single malts, which are considered to be more refined than the country’s more popular blended whiskies. Several American and Canadian single malt whiskies are impressive, as many craft distillers are experimenting with grains other than barley and other techniques to create their whiskies a distinct look.

The market of single malts expanded dramatically since Glenfiddich introduced its early bottles on consumers in the U.S. market in the 1960s.1 The expansion of this category is fascinating and it’s exciting to look at the outstanding single malts coming from Australia, France, Germany, India, Taiwan, and many other countries.

Where to Buy Single Malt Whisky

Single malt whisky is a well-known reputation and the typical liquor store should offer at least a few choices. To get the most selection, seek out one that offers an broad selection of premium spirits or one that specializes in whisky. Based on the regulations for shipping the place you reside buying online provides the most extensive selection of single malts that you can explore.

In the majority of cases, expect to spend more on an individual malt whisky than for a blended whisky. The reputation of a distillery and the age of that particular bottle also play into the cost. A 50-year-old single malt Scotch whisky produced by a well-known distillery can cost more than a single malt from 15 years ago. American craft whisky for instance.

How to drink Single Malt Whisky

Due to the price single malt whisky is typically consumed straight, particularly at the luxury level. It may be served on the rocks or with an addition of soda or water, to release the aromas and tastes. Single malts are a very nice cocktail, though. If you are confident mixing single malts with your favorite bar drink, do so because it will produce an outstanding high-end drink. No matter the whisky most important factor is to ensure that you, the drinker, appreciate the whisky you’re drinking.

Cocktail Recipes

Single malt whisky rarely required in cocktails. It’s best in simple recipes using just a couple of other ingredients to enhance and highlight the whisky. The best place to begin is with one of the most well-known Scotch cocktails.

Robert Burns
Rob Roy
Rusty Nail
Scotch & Soda

Popular Brands

A number of whisky brands make single malt whisky. Certain specialize in it while others offer a few selected bottles that are in their top list.

Irishman Irish Whisky
It is the Glenlivet Scotch Whisky
Highland Park Scotch Whisky
Knappogue Castle Irish Whisky
Macallan Scotch Whisky Macallan Scotch Whisky
Nikka Yoichi Single Malt Japanese Whisky
Yamazaki Single Malt Japanese Whisky