Whiskey on the trail

Watch the video and fill the gaps

   a cooling plant      a worm      air      Angel’s share      barley      diastase      drained      fermentation      germinate      green malt      malt      single malt      soaked      spirit      spread      starch      stills      sugar solubles      tubs      wash is boiled      washbacks      water      water of life      yeast   
The term ‘Aqua vitae makes a fast appearance in the Scottish history books in 1494 where there is an entry of been sold to one Friar John Cor to make the , but the term “whisky” actually appears rather later been derived from the Gaelic for “” ‘usquebaugh’/’uisge beath’.

In 1618, accounts of the funerals and wake of highland chieftain, mentions ‘usque’/’usge’ as been served, and from this point onwards Scotch whisky was produced in earnest.

William Grant and his family worked tirelessly to create their exceptional and the glenfiddich name very quickly became an assurance of quality.

Cristal pure from the Robbie Dhu springs, the finest Scots , pure highland and unusually small , all contributed to make William Grant’s glenfiddich a unique and much loved single malt.
This really is the perfect opportunity to take a look in close up at how Scotch malt whisky is made. It will vary between distilleries, and Glenfiddich has specific ways of doing things, but these are the basics principals.

Just like their Scottish forefathers who their barley in their local barn (stream), the malting process begins with barley being steeped in water. After two to four days the barley is and across a large stone malting floor, where it is allowed to . Some distilleries still turn the barley by hand daily, but mainly now have mechanised the process. After eight to twelve days, an enzyme called will have been produced which converts the barley to and , known in that trade as .
Once the malt has been cooled, it's transferred to ‘’, large wooden or stainless steel where can be added to begin the process. It takes about 40 hours for this to happen , famously at 21 degrees. Now, there was a time when PC simply referred to Police Constable, but in today’s climate where political correctness is the burning issue, it is almost controversial to say that the male dominated whisky making workforce of generations passed remembered the temperature for this tricky stage by comparison with a women of 21, which all sagely agreed was when she was at her most awkward.

After, the so that the alcohol level rises to roughly 23 degrees in a vapour, which then condenses in or traditionally coiled pipes in cold water. This piece of equipment has always been referred to as the ‘Worm’ and even though some of the newer, more technologically advanced versions have no coiled pipes whatsoever , to the whisky makers of Scotland is still .

A certain amount of whisky will evaporate during this final process. But even the thrifty Scott can do nothing to prevent this(!) and what’s lost has to be philosophically written off as the . At Glenfiddich, there is also an opportunity to see the whisky being bottled as this is one of the few distilleries to bottle on site .

It’s important too to remember that Speyside is not the only place to find great Scotch whisky.
There are plenty of Scottish islands that produce single malts of their own, distinctive characters, and there is a wealth of fascinating explanation to be undertaken to search them all out, once you have mastered the basics. But be warned, appreciating Scotch whisky involves a lifetime of efforts, once you’ve started, there is no going back!