Most single malt Scotch whisky is sold at a strength of between 40% and 45% alcohol. However, whiskies that are not diluted at all and are sold at “cask strength”, i.e. they are bottled at the strength at which they come from the cask. All malt Scotch whisky is matured in oak barrels that are second-hand: that have been previously used to mature some other alcoholic drink somewhere in the world. As a result Scotland is the destination of a constant flow of empty and dismantled bourbon casks from the USA, sherry and port casks from Spain, Burgundy and Claret casks from France, to name just a few, Edradour to my mind is a world leader in experimentation, love this distillery and the drams that emerge from it. The process of making malt whisky has the same stages wherever in Scotland it is made. Many distilleries do not have maltings, preferring to buy their barley already malted from one of the very large industrial maltings that now are available.
The best way of understanding the process is to book with MCLEANSCOTLAND on a bespoke whisky tour, they will take you to various distilleries, offer masterclasses, whisky schools and tastings – they have many industry experts working with them, many of them friends. With a team of 8 driver guides, plus Liz and Paul, you are in the best of hands, no matter if you know it all (no one knows everything) or just starting out, their tours are an education, fun and very more ish.