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Chill Filtering

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Chill Filtering

Postby dlh11 » Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:21 pm

I am a new member and new whisky drinker. I have read about chill-filtering and don't like the idea at all! Some single malt Scotches indicate on the bottle that they are "Non Chill Filtered", e.g. Ardbeg 10 yr old. How does one tell about other single malts? Are most single malts non chill filtered?
Thanks for the info!!
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Re: Chill Filtering

Postby The Third Dram » Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:39 pm

dlh11 wrote:How does one tell about other single malts?
Are most single malts non chill filtered?

First of all, let me welcome you to the forums dlh11. :thumbsup:

There are quite a few threads here (try the Questions & Answers forum, for example) on the subject of chill filtering. But just to offer you a relatively quick 'take' on the matter, any whisky that has not undergone chill filtering will likely advertize that fact on the label, as there IS a certain cachet affiliated with such products these days.

That said, you'd be short-changing yourself if you elected to stick exclusively to experiencing non-chill-filtered whiskies. There are many, many truly excellent single malts and blends out there that ARE chill filtered prior to bottling. And to not allow yourself the opportunity to try such spirits would be a shame, pure and simple.
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Re: Chill Filtering

Postby Wub » Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:27 pm

Of course you can't avoid chill-filtered whisky, and there's always a question of whether non chill-filtered whisky actually tastes better, let alone noticably different in normal situations (could a master taster do a blind test and identify which whisky is chill-filtered and which isn't? And if if they could, does that mean we could too?). I'm all for non chill-filtered, and non caramel-coloured whisky, but I'd prefer not to pay a premium for it, especially if I'm not paying for a noticable improvement in taste but simply the impression that I'm drinking something more "natural" or "original".

When I read this thread earlier today I was reminded of Iain Banks' 1993 novel Complicity, in which the protagonist is a journalist initially writing an article on chill-filtering and caramel-colouring in the whisky industry. The "conspiracy", set out in the second chapter (which is called "Chill Filter"), is that the big companies are discouraging distilleries from releasing whiskies that are non chill-filtered as a "Unique Selling Point" because it would only highlight the fact that the big companies' products are chill-filtered.

And re-reading that chapter tonight I couldn't help thinking of Diageo. As far as I know they don't release non chill-filtered versions of any of their whiskies, probably because by doing so it would imply that there is something inferior about the rest of their product. Still, from what I've seen Lagavulin 16 usually beats Ardbeg 10 in the polls.
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Re: Chill Filtering

Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:15 pm

Which polls are those? If they are of the general public, well, Lagavulin has been more widely available for many years, and is generally better known. Poll the membership here, though, and I think you'll find an awful lot of crazed Ardbeggars. Apples and oranges, anyway--it would be more relevant to compare filtered and unfiltered versions of the same whisky, if it were possible.

It does seem a little odd to pay a premium for omitting a production step. However, most ucf whiskies are also 43-46% abv.
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Re: Chill Filtering

Postby The Third Dram » Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:55 pm

Wub wrote:And re-reading that chapter tonight I couldn't help thinking of Diageo. As far as I know they don't release non chill-filtered versions of any of their whiskies, probably because by doing so it would imply that there is something inferior about the rest of their product.

What about Diageo's 12YO Special Release Lagavulin, as well as any number of the firm's other cask strength bottlings? No chill filtering to be found in those.
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Re: Chill Filtering

Postby Wub » Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:57 pm

MrTattieHeid wrote:Which polls are those?

I was probably thinking of this one:
http://www.whiskymag.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=10591

The Third Dram wrote:What about Diageo's 12YO Special Release Lagavulin, as well as any number of the firm's other cask strength bottlings? No chill filtering to be found in those.


OK. I did look at my bottles of the 12yo and Port Ellen before writing that, but I guess I didn't read the small print. On the 12 it says that some clouding may occur when adding water and that is normal with "unfiltered" whisky, so that implies there is no chill-filtering (and read literally, no filtering of any kind, so maybe I should watch for splinters).
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Re: Chill Filtering

Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:35 pm

Wub wrote:
MrTattieHeid wrote:Which polls are those?

I was probably thinking of this one:
http://www.whiskymag.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=10591
Got me! :D Good on ya, mate.
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Re: Chill Filtering

Postby Pure Pot Head » Sat Sep 05, 2009 11:46 pm

Here's a couple of Irish Non chilll filtered, Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve and the mighty Redbreast 15.

There might be others I'm not aware of if anyone else out there knows?
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Redbreast15yo2.jpg
Jameson RVR.jpg
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Re: Chill Filtering

Postby cathach » Sun Sep 06, 2009 2:47 pm

Knappogue Castle

Connemara (Cask Strength & Single Casks)
Tyrconnell (Port, Madeira, Sherry Finish & Single Casks)

Some of the rest of the range from Cooley Distillery are only lightly filtered, Lockes 8yo and the regular Tyrconnell and Connemara have a noticeable haze or greasiness when water is added.

Bushmills Single Casks
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Re: Chill Filtering

Postby borgom » Sun Sep 06, 2009 5:13 pm

Sure some Irish NCF that are darn expensive!
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Re: Chill Filtering

Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:19 pm

Very annoying the prices all right and there is no justification for it either.

Still I'd pay a small premium for Irish Whiskey bottled at 46% rather than 40% as there is a notable difference.
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Re: Chill Filtering

Postby borgom » Thu Sep 10, 2009 1:37 am

Unfortunately in Australia it's almost impossible to get anything other than very common Jameson and Bushmills bottlings. There's no hope of finding any examples of NCF Irish. Even Redbreast 12 is almost impossible to find.
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Re: Chill Filtering

Postby Pure Pot Head » Sat Sep 12, 2009 4:06 pm

Even Redbreast 12 is almost impossible to find.


Maybe if they put it in a can with Coke or 'Dry' it might become more popular down there! :wink:

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Re: Chill Filtering

Postby borgom » Sun Sep 13, 2009 1:22 pm

I want to be offended PPH but that is unfortunately too true....
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Re: Chill Filtering

Postby p_elliott » Sat Oct 03, 2009 10:48 am

Any bourbon made by Wild Turkey that is over 100 proof is not chill filtered.
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Re: Chill Filtering

Postby Pure Pot Head » Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:34 am

How come it's probably cool to have 'chill filtered' on a beer label but uncool to put it on a whisky bottle. What the whiskey marketing guys should do is out a big fat sign on the label saying something like 'Special Chill Filtered Edition' or 'Single Chill filtered' and we'll be off again on another journey of microcosmic nano analysis comparisons between who's chill filtration tastes the best. :D

I think a couple of ice cubes does the chill bit for me quite nicely.

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Re: Chill Filtering

Postby Pure Pot Head » Tue Oct 06, 2009 4:27 pm

For those of us who appreciate good beer, it isn't.


Ahh! I see. I need to look out for non-chill filtered beer so.

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