07 FEB 2018

07 FEB 2018 Video


What is Scotch made from?

LEARN SCOTCH VOICE OVER EWAN GUNN A drink of Kings and Princes, poets and politicians Scotch is embraced by a new generation of drinkers as a proud symbol of national pride, and global success… SYNC EWAN GUNN GLOBAL SCOTCH WHISKY MASTER I am Ewan Gunn, Global Scotch Whisky Master. And I'm going to take you on a whistle stop tour to find out more about why Scotch is the world’s favourite whisky. SYNC EWAN GUNN Did you know that Scotch sells more in terms of value and volume than any other international whisky. And is known and loved globally. Scotch has long been known as aqua vitae the water of life - it is the pride of Scotland exported from our homeland to millions of bars everywhere.   SYNC EWAN GUNN The world’s favourite whisky was born in Scotland over 500 years ago and made the same way today its footprint stretches from the romantic west coast, through the whisky heartland of Speyside, to the vibrant urban central belt. The timelessness and magic of Scotch is encapsulated in our distilleries, scattered all over Scotland, many at the heart of their communities. Some, like Lagavulin and Talisker are in heartbreakingly romantic locations. Others, like Mortlach, veil the mysteries of their spirit with an impenetrable complexity. Through these distilleries, we make the very best grain whisky, and the very best malt whiskies, all to make sure that we can craft the very best blends including the world’s most valuable spirit: Johnnie Walker. THE FACTS SYNC EWAN GUNN Here are some Scotch facts: Scotch can only be made in Scotland. Scotch can only be matured in oak casks. A Blended Scotch can potentially contain over 100 different Scotch whiskies. The age on a bottle of any Single Malt or Blended Scotch refers to the youngest whisky in the mixture’. There are just over 100 distilleries in Scotland – every drop of Scotch in the world will have come from one or more of them. Scotch Whisky offers a wider range of tastes, textures and flavours than any other type of spirit. SYNC EWAN GUNN Making Scotch inspires a passion rarely found in these modern times, shared by those in large and small companies alike. We are proud to have generations of craftsmen in our coppersmiths, cooperage, maltings, distilleries and warehouses, all carrying on their family traditions in whisky making, and sharing their skill, experience and enthusiasm with new-comers’ MAKING SCOTCH SYNC EWAN GUNN So how do we make it? Lets first talk about how we make single malts, because they tend to have a wide variety of flavour and style. Only three basic raw materials are used to make Scotch - water, cereals and yeast. MALTING SYNC EWAN GUNN The first step is malting, which is done in 3 stages: First of all steeping, when the barley is soaked in water. And then germination, when the barley starts to grow and generate energy. And lastly kilning, where we halt the growing process. KILNING SYNC EWAN GUNN During Kilning we can chose to add peat smoke. This is peat. And depending on how much peat smoke we expose the barley to, we will achieve differing levels of smokiness in the final whisky. SYNC EWAN GUNN Some examples of heavily peated whisky would be Lagavulin or Caol Ila. A medium peated whisky would be Talisker and a great example of a lightly peated whisky would be Oban. And finally, an unpeated whisky: Cardhu is a great example. MASHING SYNC EWAN GUNN The Next building block of flavour is Mashing. Mashing is when we take the crushed up barley and drain water through it, initially at a temperature of around 64C but increasing over time. And this extracts the fermentable sugars needed to make alcohol. FERMENTING SYNC EWAN GUNN Fermenting is the next building block of flavour. We take the sweet liquid from the mashing, cool it down, and add yeast to make alcohol for the very first time. SYNC EWAN GUNN At this stage we are basically making a beer that will be roughly 8 or 9% ABV but how long we leave it after the alcohol has been created makes for a marked difference in the final character of the spirit. The beer like liquid is now called Wash. DISTILLATION SYNC EWAN GUNN Distillation is the next building block of flavour. The wash is distilled in copper pot stills. Now alcohol boils at a lower temp than water and as long as we keep the boiling temp a bit below 100C the water stays and the alcohol separates as a vapour and is then cooled back down to a liquid. The first time we do this the end product is still not strong enough to be called a spirit. And we call this liquid “Low Wines”. Now traditionally in Scotland we do a double distillation. So we distill the low wines a further time and after a second distillation we have a spirit of approximately 70% ABV. Distilling slowly allows lots of copper contact and this gives you a light and delicate spirit. Distilling quickly on the other hand minimizes copper contact and this gives you a heavier/oilier spirit. MATURATION SYNC EWAN GUNN The final building block of flavour is Maturation and is one of the most influential, as between 30% - 70% of the final flavour profile can come from the cask. And that is why having a good wood policy and skilled Coopers is imperative if you want to have great Scotch. Main species are American Oak (which tends to give vanilla and caramel sweetness), and of course European Oak which tends to gives richer fruity notes. Most Blended Scotch Whiskies and many Single Malts will contain a combination of both styles.   BLENDING SYNC EWAN GUNN The final stage, often taking place many years later, is blending. In the case of a Single Malt Scotch Whisky, this is when several casks from the same one distillery are blended together to create a consistently great liquid. In the case of a Blended Scotch Whisky, this is when many casks of Scotch, from Single Malt and Single Grain Distilleries are combined by our skilled team of blenders to create a consistent, balanced and excellent liquid. SYNC EWAN GUNN There’s never been a “right” or “wrong” way to enjoy your Scotch. From classic cocktails on the menus of the great hotel bars a century ago, to unusual serves in the hipster bars of Hoxton, Kreuzberg and Williamsburg, Scotch cocktails have always been cool.