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Single Malt Whisky

Whisky. The most popular spirit in the world. Enjoyed, collected and sampled by millions and the cornerstone of any bar. But, although you may enjoy it, so you really know much about it? In this article, we at Frootbat decided to dig a little deeper into where single malt whisky hails from, how it’s made and why it’s considered so very special.

Single malt whisky is considered to be the finest expression of the whisky family. With the highest price points and discussed enthusiastically by whisky connoisseurs, this is very special stuff indeed. So where does it actually come from?

Although single malt whisky can be made in any country in the world, its link to Scotland and its ‘Scotch’ remains extremely strong, with most distillers using the Scotch Whisky Regulations to produce the expression.

The History of Single Malt Whisky

Whisky is thought to have been originally brought over to Scotland from Ireland by monks six centuries ago. The first mention of the spirit has been traced back to the 1494 Exchequer Rolls that detail Friar John Cor making ‘aqua vitae’ (the Latin translation for water of life, which was widely used as the term for spirits) by order of the then king.

Soon after this, in 1505, the distillation of whisky was put into the hands of the barbers. An odd seeming choice, perhaps, but would have certainly made for an enjoyable haircut!

The following centuries, however, weren’t so kind to the early whisky fans. The various governments of Scotland started to tax the production of whisky, making it so expensive to produce that a black market of illegally produced Scotch began to emerge. The English Malt Tax of 1725 shut down much of Scotland’s whisky’ production and drove many Highlanders to bootlegging. Luckily, in 1823, Parliament passed an act making commercial distillation much more affordable again. It as a Mr. George Smith who was the first person to take out a license for a distillery under the new law, which began the 1824 official founding of the Glenlivet Distillery. Now one in 50 jobs in Scotland is supported by the whisky industry.

What Exactly is Single Malt Whisky?

With such a rich and controversial history, it may not surprise you to discover that single malt whisky still carries a bit of controversy with it today. By its very name, ‘single malt’ still creates a little confusion amongst spirit fans…

Many people assume that “single malt” refers to a single whisky from a single barrel.
This is actually not the case. What a “single malt” actually defines is a malt whisky, prepared in the traditional Scottish way, and produced by a single distillery.
So, a “single malt” (apart from some limited individual cask expressions) is actually produced by merging together dozens of individual barrels of whisky. As long as they follow the above guidelines, they still qualify as a single malt.

So, how is it made?

Single Malt whisky is made from the traditional Scottish distillation process. Local barley is taken and soaked in local spring water, left to germinate for around a week and then dried or ‘malted’ in large, peat-fired kilns. The peat used to fuel these kilns creates a lot of smoke, which infuses the grains leaving the traditional smokey, peaty flavour in the whisky.

The malt is then ground and soaked a number of times, turning the starch of the bark=ley into sugars. This sugar is then dissolved into hot water, creating a sweet liquid known as the ‘wort.’ Yeast is added and at last, fermentation begins. This is when the liquid turns in to what’s known as the ‘wash.’

Then comes the first, second and third distillation. As part of this process, gunpowder is added to a small part of the mixture. If it explodes, the mixture is too strong. What the distiller is looking for is a steady burning, known as the proof. Once perfect, this proof is placed into sherry casks for a number of years to produce delicious single malt whisky.

Single Malt Recommendations for Beginners

With so many single malts to choose from and enjoy, it’s hard to know where to start with your tasting journey into single malt whisky, so we thought we’d give you a helping hand with some famously smooth, flavoursome and excellent recommendations below.

Of course, once you have a taste for the aqua vitae, you can start to really enjoy exploring some of the rarer drams Frootbat has to offer. Enjoy your journey!
FROOTBAT HAS 505 Single Malt Whiskies AVAILABLE TO SHIP TO United States
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Brand
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Vintage
Select Reserve Single Malt Scotch Whisky
The Glenrothes Select Reserve Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$39.993 buying options
16 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Lagavulin 16 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$74.993 buying options
Coffey Malt Whisky
Nikka Coffey Malt Whisky 750ml Bottle
$57.9926 buying options
Hibiki 12 Year Old Blended Whisky
Suntory Hibiki 12 Year Old Blended Whisky 750ml Bottle
$389.001 buying option
21 Year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Aberfeldy 21 Year Old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$132.9915 buying options
25 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
The Dalmore 25 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$1,155.5912 buying options
Limited Edition 30 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
The Glenrothes Limited Edition 30 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$899.994 buying options
Yoichi 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky
Nikka Yoichi 12 Year Old Single Malt Whisky 700ml Bottle
$69.991 buying option
The Hakushu Distillers Reserve Single Malt Whisky
Suntory The Hakushu Distillers Reserve Single Malt Whisky 700ml Bottle
$179.991 buying option
18 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Bunnahabhain 18 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$124.992 buying options
Forty 40 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
The Balvenie Forty 40 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$4,679.993 buying options
13 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey
Glendalough 13 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey 750ml Bottle
$91.996 buying options
10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Talisker 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$37.9942 buying options
The Major's Reserve Single Malt Whisky
Glen Grant The Major's Reserve Single Malt Whisky 750ml Bottle
$34.991 buying option
Unique Solera Reserve 15 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Glenfiddich Unique Solera Reserve 15 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$47.9925 buying options
14 Year Old Single Mat Scotch Whisky
Clynelish 14 Year Old Single Mat Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$59.993 buying options
Triple Wood Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Laphroaig Triple Wood Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$56.9925 buying options
Excellence 26 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Glenfiddich Excellence 26 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$399.9921 buying options
12 Year Old Caledonia Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Edradour 12 Year Old Caledonia Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$105.991 buying option
The Original 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Glenmorangie The Original 10 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$24.9932 buying options
Islay Barley Rockside Farm Unpeated Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Bruichladdich Islay Barley Rockside Farm Unpeated Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$57.998 buying options
The Nectar d'Or Sauternes Cask Extra Matured 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Glenmorangie The Nectar d'Or Sauternes Cask Extra Matured 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$56.9537 buying options
10 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey
Bushmills 10 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey 750ml Bottle
$24.9932 buying options
14 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Oban 14 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 700ml Bottle
$66.998 buying options
1824 Series M Single Malt Scotch Whisky
The Macallan 1824 Series M Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Decanter
$4,199.9913 buying options
Solist ex-Bourbon Oak Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky
Kavalan Solist ex-Bourbon Oak Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky 700ml Bottle
$799.991 buying option
Connoisseurs Choice Tomatin Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Gordon & MacPhail Connoisseurs Choice Tomatin Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$294.292 buying options
Limited Edition 18 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Oban Limited Edition 18 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$114.9928 buying options
Quarter Cask Double Cask Matured Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Laphroaig Quarter Cask Double Cask Matured Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$47.9929 buying options
18 Year Old Sherry Oak Single Malt Scotch Whisky
The Macallan 18 Year Old Sherry Oak Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$229.9719 buying options
Cask Strength 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Lagavulin Cask Strength 12 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$129.975 buying options
Organic Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Benromach Organic Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$55.998 buying options
Elgin Classic Port Cask Finish Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Glen Moray Elgin Classic Port Cask Finish Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$22.9911 buying options
23 Year Old Port Cask Matured Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Bowmore 23 Year Old Port Cask Matured Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$499.977 buying options
Nadurra First Fill Selection Single Malt Scotch Whisky
The Glenlivet Nadurra First Fill Selection Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$77.999 buying options
100 Proof Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Lismore 100 Proof Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$24.992 buying options
1824 Series Rare Cask Single Malt Scotch Whisky
The Macallan 1824 Series Rare Cask Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$299.996 buying options
Distillers Edition Double Matured Pedro Ximenez Sherry Cask Wood Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Lagavulin Distillers Edition Double Matured Pedro Ximenez Sherry Cask Wood Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$79.9917 buying options
The Yamazaki Bill Amberg Limited Edition 18 Year Old Single Malt Whisky
Suntory The Yamazaki Bill Amberg Limited Edition 18 Year Old Single Malt Whisky 750ml Bottle
$1,199.971 buying option
Galileo Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ardbeg Galileo Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$499.971 buying option
15 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Benromach 15 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$78.995 buying options
Sherry Wood American Single Malt Whiskey
Westland Sherry Wood American Single Malt Whiskey 750ml Bottle
$59.9924 buying options
Single Barrel 25 Year Old Malt Scotch Whisky
The Balvenie Single Barrel 25 Year Old Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$549.996 buying options
Dimensions Bunnahabhain 21 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Duncan Taylor Dimensions Bunnahabhain 21 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$168.081 buying option
20 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Tullibardine 20 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$135.797 buying options
Ceobanach Malt Scotch Whisky
Bunnahabhain Ceobanach Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$66.9914 buying options
Estate Cask French Single Malt Whisky
Brenne Estate Cask French Single Malt Whisky 750ml Bottle
$54.996 buying options
25 Year Old Portwood Finish Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Glen Moray 25 Year Old Portwood Finish Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$24.993 buying options
Small Batch Linkwood - Glenlivet 26 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Cadenheads Small Batch Linkwood - Glenlivet 26 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$275.003 buying options
Nadurra Oloroso Matured Single Malt Scotch Whisky
The Glenlivet Nadurra Oloroso Matured Single Malt Scotch Whisky 750ml Bottle
$65.9917 buying options
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