Malta Whiskey: Features and Manufacture

He Malt whiskey Or"malt whiskey"as it is called in English, is an alcoholic beverage made from a fermented dough originated mainly from a malted grain.

Unlike other whiskeys, this type has a more artisan process that has wanted to be preserved for centuries. Usually, the primary grain is barley (unless otherwise noted), although it may also be made from malted rye or other grains but in this case it would be specifically called rye malt whiskey instead of malt whiskey.

Malta Whiskey: Features and Manufacture

There is also the so-called"pure malt whiskey"produced in a single distillery and for that reason is called"pure".

Therefore,"single malt"are distilled by a single manufacturer, in a single place and only with malt. Instead, the"blend"is obtained by mixing distillates from several producers and in addition they are typically a mixture of malt and other grains such as wheat, rye or corn.

Characteristics of malt whiskey

  • It is quite common to think that"single malt"whiskey has higher quality than the"blend"but this is not quite correct. To create a perfect blend and to make a"blend"is considered an art.
  • Producing a malt whiskey involves a higher cost because its manufacture is not in series nor are high volumes produced.
  • Malt whiskey is made exclusively with malted barley, without malting corn or various cereals.
  • It is distilled in stills and aged between 8 and 15 years before bottling.
  • It is distilled continuously.
  • "Single malts"are usually aged.
  • As for the types of whiskeys, there is not one better than the other, they are simply different types and everything depends on the taste of the consumer.
  • Mixing whiskeys are distilled in aluminum columns.
  • Malt whiskeys are produced in copper stills.
  • The water used is a fundamental part of the process in Scotch whiskey, it comes from the Highlands of Scotland and is used to lower the alcohol level to the liquor in the later stages of the process.
  • The"blend"had its origin in the early 1800s in order to produce a more consistent product in the market and to be able to use other grains, which would make its cost more accessible.

How to drink malt whiskey?

Malt whiskey should be served as well as"cognacs"and"armagnacs", at room temperature and preferably at coffee time, although it is good at all times, according to the preference of the consumer.

It is not recommended to add ice to a good malt whiskey, this is only possible for younger malt whiskeys and other types of whiskey.

It is recommended to take it"on the rocks", so it is not advisable to add water, siphon, soda, soft drinks or anything else because this would ruin its unique flavor, although this as everything depends on the taste of the person.

It is a very expensive drink that is produced through an exceptional unique process in small quantities by people with a lot of preparation and also involves years of waiting in the stores while it evaporates little by little and acquiring flavor.

Taking into account all the arduous process involved for the enjoyment of this exquisite drink, in addition to its cost, experts reject the mixture with any other ingredient or even ice. This would practically miss the exquisiteness of it.

It is left to the discretion of the consumer to decide whether to take advantage of it in its natural state or modify it.

Malta Whiskey Making

For the production of pure malt whiskey, an old process is followed from only three ingredients, which are barley, pure and soft water from the Highlands of Scotland and yeast.

1- The malted : The first thing to do is to soak the barley in water and let it germinate until roots appear. During this germination process, the barley will produce some enzymes that allow barley starch to be converted into soluble sugars.

This process of germination is stopped by roasting barley or"green malt"in a malt oven called"kiln"above a peat fire, it produces smoke, which gives a peat taste to the final product.

2- The Soak : After the malting process, continue to soak where first the malt and barley should be ground, once ground, should be mixed with hot water.

After this, it is poured into a vat called"mash tun", later, the soluble starch is transformed into a sugary liquid which is called"wort"or must. It is removed from the cell to continue with the fermentation.

3- The fermentation : After cooling, the must must be transported to large vats which are called"washbacks". In these will proceed to ferment with yeast and it becomes a liquid of low alcoholic level that has the name of"wash".

4- The distillation : The so-called"wash"is distilled twice in large copper stills. During the first distillation a liquid called"low wines"is produced, after which this resulting distillate is transferred to the stills to produce brandy.

During this part of the process the distiller's ability to give the quality and the traditional flavor of the whiskey is highlighted, during this part of the process it will only be possible to take advantage of the second fraction of the second distillation.

5- Aging : At this moment, we proceed to deposit the aguardiente obtained in oak barrels that will be stored in the cellars and left to stand for several years. With the passage of time, the brandy loses its acrimony and begins to take the delicate and characteristic taste of pure-bodied malt whiskey.

6- The bottling : After aging, it is reduced to the desired alcoholic strength by the addition of water, carefully filtered and bottled with an automatic machine, sealed and labeled.


  1. How to enjoy a good malt whiskey. Recovered from
  2. How to drink a malt whiskey. Retrieved from
  3. Scotland: single malt and blended. Recovered from

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