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Non Chill Filtered

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Non Chill Filtered

Postby bond » Sat Jul 03, 2004 12:45 pm

I have been drinking Single Malt whiskies for close to Two years now with a marked preference for the heavier Islays.

I recently sampled a Ardbeg 10 YO 46% strength (non-chill filtered). I found the drink to be remarkably complex and wonderfully mighty on peat.

What exactly is non-chill filtered and how does it alter the constitution of whisky?
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Postby Lawrence » Sat Jul 03, 2004 6:47 pm

Jim Murray says "Chill Filtration: the removal by chilling of whisky of congeners (related to smell & taste). This is a purely cosmetic precaution used to prevent hazing when the bottled whisky is stored at cold temperatures. The greater the spirit is chilled during filtration, the greater the number of congeners will be removed"

This means that it will affect the taste (in a negative way) and a lot of companies are starting to offer whiskies without chill filtration such as Ardbeg (mostley) and Springbank.
Last edited by Lawrence on Sun Jul 04, 2004 3:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Stephen » Sun Jul 04, 2004 2:56 am

Here are some "non-chill filtered ":

OB:
Bruichladdich (new)

IB:
Peerless/Duncan Taylor
Blackadder (almost)
Murray McDavid (almost)
Old Malt Cask/Douglas Laing
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Postby Admiral » Sun Jul 04, 2004 8:04 am

There is no doubt that as the chill-filtration process removes congeners and fats that would otherwise cause haze or cloudiness in iced whisky, it also effectively removes many of the elements that contribute to the flavour of the whisky.

Chill filtration puts aesthetics before function - the whisky looks nice if you add ice, but you truly do lose a bit of flavour.

This has hit home to me particularly over the last 18 months as I've participated in many tastings put on by the SMWS, whose whiskies are non-chillfiltered.

Everytime I try these malts, I am amazed at just how much more juicy and flavoursome they are.
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Postby maltnutter » Mon Jul 05, 2004 5:59 pm

If we are talking un-chillfiltered, we have to reserve a few words for a'bunadh which i think has done more for unchillfiltered whisky than any other - apparently they have a similar single cask edition with both sherry and bourbon versions for sale at the distillery (ad in Whisky Mag 38 i think) - if a'bunadh is anything to go by, they should be real ripsnorters.

I have the Ardbeg also which is proving a most refreshing daily dram at the moment also.

However i can see how the majority of Scotch is chill filtered - i think blended whisky will always be chill filtered, but lets hope the level of this will reduce over time (apparently there is a difference in the chill temp) Maybe there should be a push for all single malts to have an unchill filtered version.
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Postby Lawrence » Mon Jul 05, 2004 6:05 pm

Good points about the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, the whole reason for being is un-molexted whisky, one cask is bottled and that's it.

And ofcourse the Aberlour a a'bunadh which is not molested either, you're correct maltnutter, Aberlour does offer a sherry and a boubon single cask at the distillery, I bottled my own sherry cask version at the distilley last September but have not opened it yet :shock:

However I did taste the cask and it is much like the a'bunadh but even stronger in flavour.
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Postby Admiral » Mon Jul 05, 2004 10:25 pm

Just out of interest, has there been much variation between the different batches of the a'bunadh? :?:

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Postby BruceCrichton » Mon Jul 05, 2004 10:38 pm

I think chill-filtration dates back to when whiskies were very rough and it did have the effect of smoothing them down.

Whisky makers are better these days and not chill-filtering means that more of the original taste is left over in the bottle.
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Postby Lawrence » Mon Jul 05, 2004 10:49 pm

I think the a'bunadh has not varied since it's introduction. I first tasted it around batch 7 and we now have batch 10 here in Canada. I've not been able to notice any differences from batch to batch.

I've heard various reasons for chill filtration and whatever the reason I hope it dies a sudden death :D
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Postby SpiritofShetland » Tue Jul 06, 2004 7:05 am

Hail the A'bunadh. I do belive the flavours have varied a bit, but then again I've only taste two editions against each other...
When it comes to this truly marvalous dram one must not forget to comment on Aberlour price-policy when it comes to this one - £35 for a bottle is extremely cheap in my book.

As for chill-filtering you will mostly avoid this horrid practise if you stick with whiskies bottled at 46% and above (I think).

It's a damn shame they use it, but it is because they know that many consumers would react if they didn't have it. Hazing and cloudy whisky would put some people off - it's the same as with the adding of caramel to the whisky to give enhance it's colour. Kudos to Germany and Denmark for demaning that it should state on the lable if caramel has been added.
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Postby jerome » Tue Jul 06, 2004 10:19 am

You can also try Isle of Arran Non Chill Filtered 46% abv - excellent!
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Postby Lawrence » Wed Jul 07, 2004 3:49 am

The Arran's I've had have both been excellent, especially when you consider the age.
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Postby Aidan » Wed Jul 07, 2004 7:04 am

I was at an Arran tasting about 6 months ago. I really didn't like it much, although almost everyone else at the tasting did.

There was one expression matured in Calvidos wood that was good though.
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Postby Lawrence » Wed Jul 07, 2004 7:46 am

Check out http://www.victoriasinglemaltclub.com and look at the May 2004 newsletter, we tasted two Arrans including one from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society which was matured in a gorda.
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Postby Jeroen Kloppenburg » Wed Jul 07, 2004 10:26 am

As far as I know, chill filtration was used and introduced by the guys behind Teacher's.

Some importer in New York had sent back a series of casks that were cloudy. They had been lying on a dock in the harbour ona cold January winter day...

And something that has to be added as well, not just ice, but also adding some water can make the whisky go cloudy.

Chill filtration makes the fatty acids, otherwise disolved, to clutter togheter so they're big enough to filter them out.

As for chill-filtering you will mostly avoid this horrid practise if you stick with whiskies bottled at 46% and above (I think).


At 46% the whisky will not go cloudy when it is being chilled a bit. Ofcourse, with the addition of some water the ABV will go down a bit again as well.. But at 46% at least consumers who are not aware that the haze has nothing to do with an inferior quality will not have to worry about it, as its simply isnt occuring at that strenght :)
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