What is Scotch?
Scotch is the term for whiskey that is made and produced in Scotland. Some people refer to it as “Scotch whiskey” to differentiate it from other whiskeys that are produced in other countries, while others simply call the drink as “Scotch”.
Scotch whiskey may come as single malt or single grain, blended malt or blended grain, or simply blended. All these categories basically come from barley and other cereal grains. Most Scotch whiskeys are of the blended category though because of the combination of several single malt types of whiskeys. Aging of this drink is done in oak barrels for a period of several years, with 3 years as the minimum.
Making the malt in Scotch whiskey starts with the cleaning and soaking of barley grains in huge tubs for days or weeks. This process will allow the seeds of the barley to germinate and with the help of an enzyme called “diatase” these will turn into a soluble form of starch. A drying process will then follow to remove the starchy pulp. At this point, the cereal or barley grains are considered “malted”. These are then combined with hot water with the resulting mixture forming the “wort”, which is a form of sugary and sweet liquid. This sugary liquid will then be transferred to another tank or container for it to undergo fermentation. This particular fermentation process is stimulated by the introduction of live yeast and the result would be the conversion of the sugary and sweet liquid to alcohol. The process of distillation follows to remove the solids remaining in the alcohol. After which, the distilled alcohol or liquid will be stored in oak barrels for long periods of time, usually from 3 years to up to 15 years.
There are four regions in Scotland which are famous for the production of whiskeys namely Lowland, Highlands, Campbeltown, and Islay. Of these four regions, most distilleries are located in the Highlands. But another area has the most number of distilleries in Scotland and it is in Speyside.