In almost every single Scottish whisky distillery there is a spirit safe through which every drop of new make flows. The spirit safe is an eye catching polished brass case with glass panes designed for two purposes: To allow the distillery to analyse and control the flow of the new make To keep track of the volumes of whisky made for tax purposes Prior to 1983 only one key existed to release the padlock on the side of the safe, held by the local Customs and Excise officer.
Elemental copper has unique properties making it ideally suited for the production of whisky. The metal is both soft and malleable but extremely tough. It is also an excellent conductor of heat. For these reason the earliest illicit whisky makers made use of it very early on. Copper has a lot more to offer however as it has a significant influence on the character of the new make spirit. Copper The chemical element copper (lat.
In both Irish and gaelic sláinte is pronounced Slahn-che and means health. Sláinte is infact a short form of Slàinte mhath (Scottish) or Slàinte mhaith (Irish) and pronounced as Slahn-che ‘va. Sláinte or Sláinte Mhath is commonly used as a drinking toast in Scotland and Ireland. As pronunciations vary from region to region it’s not uncommon to hear people say slange or slange Var when they clink their glasses. Spelling variations also abound.
Jim Beam, Jack Daniel’s, Wild Turkey, Maker’s Mark and Woodford Reserve are just five of a myriad of Bourbon and Tennessee whiskey distilleries where sour mash is the production method of choice. For the consumer this is a widely recognised but little understood phrase adorning bottles. In truth it’s surprising that the phrase ever made it onto the bottle as the process refers to nothing other than the manipulation of pH to prevent bacterial growth.
Image courtesy of Peter Schill
Drum maltings were once the shining star of maltster replacing floor maltings & Saladin boxes. Now these to are a footnote in the history of whisky. Learn more about the malt made in a rotating drum with Whiskipedia. What is drum malting A drum malting system is used for the steeping and malting of barley and other grains. The steeping system allows the grain to be washed, extracting any dust and other foreign impurities, while at the same time humidifying the grain to begin the malting process.