The Art of Making Scotch Whisky


One of the most exciting things about college, hostels and teenage is drinking with friends. It is hard to forget those crazy drunk nights with friends. Being in the hotel industry we had a good excuse, whisky was in our syllabus! We had to drink whisky to know what it tastes like or which whisky tastes better, otherwise how will we guide and recommend a good whisky to our restaurant guests? Well, at least this is the excuse I gave my father when I wanted to try his Scotch whisky. He didn’t buy it, but he let me try a sip anyway.


Actually whisky drinking got even more exciting when learned about how Scotch whisky is made. We had always heard about the flavours in our spirits, our professors would especially talk about different Scotch whiskies. Back then, it was just alcohol that mattered. Until those four hours that change my entire perspective of whisky drinking.


Years passed by, and I even lived in England for a while. My interest in the process of making whisky grew more and more. Interestingly in Scotland malt whisky is specifically, whisky that is made with hundred percent malted barley mash. Grain whisky is all other types of whisky, it may be made with wheat, rye, maize or even un-malted barley. The character of pure malt whisky slightly has stronger, and slightly harsher flavours. When grain whisky is blended with malt whisky it neutralizes the harsh flavours and makes the whisky smooth in taste. Malt whisky is known to have more flavour than grain whisky. A blend of both types of whisky gives blended Scotch whisky the best of both worlds.


The main contents in whisky making are water and barley. Only copper pot still distilled whisky is termed as a malt whisky. After fermentation and distillation, the spirits are treated and sent for maturation. In Scotland, there are four whisky regions, Highlands, lowlands, Islay and Campbeltown. Most of the distilleries are located in Speyside in North East Scotland, which is also where Sir Walter Millard had gone on search of the finest blended Scotch. A search, which had resulted in creation of Black Dog, blended Scotch whisky.


Triple Gold Reserve by Black Dog is a blend created by Master blender Richard Paterson, which uses a combination of malt whiskies and grain whiskies. A variety of malt whiskies that give this label unique dimensions in flavour and a spectrum of aromas, while the grain whiskies make it a smooth and delicate blend.


The great thing about TGR by Black Dog is that it undergoes a triple maturation process; making its taste comparable with any 12 Y O blended Scotch whisky. First, the malt whiskies are matured separately, to rid the spirit of harsh and unwanted flavours. Second, the grain whiskies are matured separately to allow them to develop their own individual flavours and character. The first two maturation procedures are done in used Bourbon barrels. This helps the whisky to mature without taking the toasty flavour of fresh oak barrels. Instead the used Bourbon barrels not only absorb unwanted tastes but also give the whiskies a distinct character.


Triple Gold Reserve by Black Dog uses whiskies from all four of the whisky regions of Scotland, giving it a complex yet rare personality. These whiskies are then carefully blended by the Master blender to create that perfect blend. This blended Scotch whisky is then matured for a third time, this time in ‘dry’ Oloroso Sherry butts, which make the whisky pure gold. The flavour of Sherry in the background goes really well with the flavour of whisky. This third maturation helps in building an exceptional taste in the whisky, where the flavour is built by this special triple maturation technique.


It heightens your pleasure, when the senses experience this Scotch whisky, because it has developed a character with complex procedure over the straightforward maturation and age. My understanding of the rarity of such a blend has made me appreciate the many tones and aromas in this whisky even more, only because it is so different. Soothing in a very special way. It may be just grain and water, but the red tape procedure, blended and multiple maturation stages transform it into what is truly triple the gold in the Scotch whisky world.


Disclaimer: The content in this article is meant only for readers above 25 years of age.


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