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Source of Malting Barley

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Source of Malting Barley

Postby Leither » Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:58 pm

The following is from the 'B'Laddie B'log':

The UK malting industry is the third largest in the world. It has a long history of supplying fine malts for a wide range of purposes, but its main use is providing malts for brewing and distilling. It provides malt to 14 of the largest 20 brewers in the world, as well as supplying the smallest micro breweries.

The UK is able to grow good quality malting barley, and UK maltsters buy around 1.8 million tonnes of this every year, from which they make about 1.5 million tonnes of malt. 652,000 tonnes or 43% of this malted barley is grown in Scotland.

37% goes to distillers – 241,000 tonnes - producing 96 million litres of alcohol. 156 million litres of Scottish malt whisky were produced in 2005 – 2006 figures not yet available. Therefore one can deduce that 62.5% of single malt whisky produced in Scotland came from Scottish barley. And 37.5% didn’t.


Now I'm not sure if the above stats are correct but I do know for a fact (from first hand experience in that I live and work beside Leith docks and have done for a few years now!) that imported malting barely is on the increase.

To me the fact that a bottle of whisky states 'Product of Scotland' surely suggests that all constituent products should be sourced from Scotland for it to be seen as authentic Scottish produce.

As such I applaud Bruichladdich for sourcing only Scottish malting barley.

Are there any other distillers who are as transparent with their sourcing?

Any views on this issue with distillers apparently being squeezed with the rising cost of malt and pushing whisky prices up?

How important to you is the sourcing of the constituent elements of any produce?
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Postby irishwhiskeychaser » Fri Jun 22, 2007 4:44 pm

I did hear that either last years crop or this years crop had very low yields due to weather issues therefore maybe this year they have had to import more to make up the short fall. Interesting observation though .... but it is all down to what you the term product of Scotland ...

Is it a product solely sourced and made in Scotland

or a

Product that is 100% produced in Scotland.


and there is a difference

:?
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Postby vitara7 » Fri Jun 22, 2007 5:10 pm

its like anything else that is produced. you source parts from all over the world and as long as a certain percentage of the final lean value product is mad eint he country where final production is made then that counts as its country of production.
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Postby Spirit of Islay » Fri Jun 22, 2007 6:06 pm

what the problem was is that the good little scientists took the barley, removed the dormancy factor out of the genes (so that the barley would react quicker in the malting process) and put it back in the field . Then last year just as the crop was about to be harvested it got soaked by the torrential downpours and started growing again whilst still attached to the original plant !
So much for playing God.......
:headbang: :headbang: :headbang:
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Postby Admiral » Tue Jun 26, 2007 4:40 am

Barley is one of Australia's main exports, and a huge amount leaves our shores for export to the UK. One would have to assume that a reasonable chunk of it ends up at the malting houses.

I'll do some research and see if I can find anything.

CHeers,
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Postby Lawrence » Tue Jun 26, 2007 5:01 am

A quick google search turned up;

http://www.ukmalt.com/maltindustry/industry.asp

I spent several hours trolling through UK government sites last year looking for malting stats and much (I seem to remember) to my surprise almost 90% of the barley used in malting was grown in the UK.

Perhpas the barley imported from other countries was used for non malting purposes???
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jun 26, 2007 5:05 am

I've run across a couple of American whiskies/whiskeys recently that make it a point of pride that they use Scottish malt--strange enough, considering that there is plenty of barley grown in the US, and there isn't enough Scottish malt to supply Scottish distillers. As "food miles" becomes an increasingly common concept, this sort of thing is harder and harder to accept. But I can certainly understand that there simply is not enough barley in Scotland to meet demands. If the SWA were short-sighted enough to insist that scotch whisky must be made from Scottish malt, there would be hell to pay in the marketplace. It's a wonderful ideal, but realistically speaking, you've got to get it wherever you can.
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Postby Lawrence » Tue Jun 26, 2007 5:07 am

A bit more info;

2006 MALTING BARLEY CROP

FINAL COLLATION OF SCOTTISH AND ENGLISH MALTING BARLEY PURCHASES FROM THE 2006 CROP

WINTER BARLEY VARIETY England total tonnes As %
of type Scotland total tonnes As %
of type Combined total tonnes As % of combined type As % of total purchases


Fanfare 17095 3.2% 0 0.0% 17095 3.0% 1.0%
Flagon 55720 10.5% 0 0.0% 55720 9.6% 3.3%
Maris Otter 37426 7.0% 0 0.0% 37426 6.5% 2.2%
Pearl 395400 74.3% 46535 99.1% 441935 76.4% 26.4%
Other 26194 4.9% 420 0.9% 26614 4.6% 1.6%
SUB TOTAL 531835 100.0% 46955 100.0% 578790 100.0% 34.6%


SPRING BARLEY VARIETY England total tonnes As %
of type Scotland total tonnes As %
of type Combined total tonnes As % of combined type As % of total purchases


Cellar 32767 7.2% 2400 0.4% 35167 3.2% 2.1%
Cocktail 200751 44.2% 28892 4.5% 229643 21.0% 13.7%
Decanter 0 0.0% 68734 10.7% 68734 6.3% 4.1%
Optic 185428 40.8% 392191 61.2% 577619 52.7% 34.5%
Oxbridge 0 0.0% 41872 6.5% 41872 3.8% 2.5%
Tipple 23270 5.1% 0 0.0% 23270 2.1% 1.4%
Troon 1500 0.3% 36078 5.6% 37578 3.4% 2.2%
Westminster 6326 1.4% 205 0.0% 6531 0.6% 0.4%
Other 4491 1.0% 70711 11.0% 75202 6.9% 4.5%
SUB TOTAL 454533 100.0% 641083 100.0% 1095616 100.0% 65.4%

GRAND TOTAL 986368 688038 1674406

English Winter Barley as a % of all barley bought = 31.8%
English Spring Barley as a % of all barley bought = 27.1%
Scottish Winter Barley as a % of all barley bought = 2.8%
Scottish Spring Barley as a % of all barley bought = 38.3%
100.0%

English Barley as % of total bought = 58.9%
Scottish Barley as % of total bought = 41.1%


That didn't quite work, here's the link;

http://www.intute.ac.uk/socialsciences/ ... ey&limit=0
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Postby kallaskander » Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:17 am

Hi there,

barley supply seems to be a old problem

http://www.bopcris.ac.uk/bopall/ref7882.html

The sources for barley are international nowadays

http://business.scotsman.com/agricultur ... =862302007

In Germany we have a growing campaign for the Reinheitsgebot for beer in the respect of the usage of genetically altered brewers barley. It seems to me that in some parts of the world genetically changed plants are not a very big issue but they are here.
And I would not like to see my single malt made from barley which has been constructed in a laboratory. I have sent a question to the SWA about what their position is in that respect.
The background was that whisky is (or must it read was already?) a natural product and in parts emphazises that fact for marketing and advertising reasons. I would not be too happy to know that the industry makes whisky from barley designed to order which was not bred naturally by generations of farmers.
And when I say industry I do know that whisky making is big busines and is done on an industrial scale today. Whisky making leaves its root from an art and a craft behind more and more. Have you ever looked into the workings of a modern food processing facility? Than you know what I mean when I see dangers in the ongoing industrialisation of whisky making. But would we like to see such a perversion become state of the art? Not me.
And I know the story that Golden Promise is said to have been created by exposing barley grains to radiactivity.

Greetings
kallaskander
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Postby Admiral » Fri Jun 29, 2007 4:49 am

In doing some research about exports of Australian barley, it seems the vast majority of it goes to Asia, rather than to Europe.

Cheers,
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Postby Jack Skellington » Sat Jun 30, 2007 1:14 pm

"241,000 tonnes - producing 96 million litres of alcohol. 156 million litres of Scottish malt whisky were produced in 2005 – 2006 figures not yet available. "

Comment states that 96 million litres of alcohol was produced! 156 million litres of whisky, remember water is added back in to reduce, alcohol production will always be lower than whisky.
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