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Question about "marrying" Single Malt Whiskys:

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Question about "marrying" Single Malt Whiskys:

Postby SpermWhale » Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:03 pm

Hello everyone! I just joined today. I am a 27-year-old guy from Toronto, Ontario. I have just recently gotten into single malts and have a couple of questions for you folks.

Okay, so when a Single Malt is done aging in the cask, what happens next? According to my research, if it goes straight into a bottle after that, that is called "cask strength," and the alcohol content is usually high. So what usually happens is the master blender (or whoever) will marry the Single Malt with the SAME single malt in order to lower its alcohol content? :? Or do they add water to it to lower the alcohol content and then bottle it? I just want to know how this "marrying" process with single malts is done.

Also, what would be the best Single Malt cask strength out there and how much is the alcohol content?

Thank you for reading this post
~SpermWhale
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Re: Question about "marrying" Single Malt Whiskys:

Postby LeoDLion » Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:47 pm

I read somewhere that cask strength single malt whisky is diluted with water to the final %abv which is around 46% or so. I like to know what water is use but this maybe a guarded secret. Could it be from the spring water nearby? As for the best cask strength whisky, I like Arran, very potent so one needs to be careful.

I also read that the master blender may mix single malts from the same distillery but from different casks to achieve the desired taste.

Both methods should be legal and the product may still be called single malt whisky.
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Re: Question about "marrying" Single Malt Whiskys:

Postby MacDeffe » Mon Jul 11, 2011 3:17 am

Standard OB is usual batches of several thousands bottlings. For this hundreds of casks can be used

For single malt whisky these casks are from the same distillery, for blends the casks will be from different ones

These casks are vatted together and left in a tank (usually) for a period to "marry". The prroces can vary forom producer to producer. The period af marriage can be up to months, and water can be added before or after (usually before).

There is no "best" single cask cask strength. The ABV in the cask can vary depending on the fill strength and the age of the whisky.

You, as a whisky drinker, can have a prefereed ABV when drinking

Getting your whisky at cask strength allows the drinker to add the prefereed amount of water him/herself

For me its hard to set a certain value, 55% can be too much in one whisky, and in another bottle 63% feels comfortable to drink neat

Steffen
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Re: Question about "marrying" Single Malt Whiskys:

Postby bredman » Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:38 am

LeoDLion wrote: I like to know what water is use but this maybe a guarded secret.

The vatting is conducted at the bottling hall. For most whiskies the final reduction water will be local to the bottling hall.
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Re: Question about "marrying" Single Malt Whiskys:

Postby LeoDLion » Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:08 am

bredman wrote:
LeoDLion wrote: I like to know what water is use but this maybe a guarded secret.

The vatting is conducted at the bottling hall. For most whiskies the final reduction water will be local to the bottling hall.

Tap water? At least it should be filtered but not run through activated carbon.
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Re: Question about "marrying" Single Malt Whiskys:

Postby bredman » Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:26 pm

LeoDLion wrote:
bredman wrote:The vatting is conducted at the bottling hall. For most whiskies the final reduction water will be local to the bottling hall.

Tap water? At least it should be filtered but not run through activated carbon.


I should have said that for all whiskies the final reduction water will be local to the bottling hall. Some bottling halls are adjacent to the distillery although not many. Bruichladdich, and Springbank/Longrow/Hazelburn, not sure if there are any others, Bladnoch i think. I don't know of the provenance of any bottling hall water, be it treated tap water or spring water etc..
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