Card Set Information
WSET Diploma Unit 4 - Spirits
Name 2 categories of spirit produced from grain
: spelling NOT dictated by law; aged in oak
: can be made from any agricultural product; unaged (flavoring optional)
Name 2 techniques to convert grain starch to sugar
When did Scotch whisky become a global industry?
1827: with the invention of the continuous Coffey still
When did mixing malt and grain become legal?
: Merchants released blends (blends account for most Scotch sales)
: Phylloxera devastated Cognac production
: John Walker, William Teacher, James and John Chivas, John Dewar
Why are new varieties of barley being introduced?
To maximize starch content, its conversion to sugar, maximizing alcohol per tonne
What does a barley grain consist of?
Insoluble starch (enzymes modify this to a soluable form and then to sugar)
What causes the plant in a barley grain to grow (germinate)?
Do distilleries buy or make their own malt?
Nearly all distilleries buy malt made to their specifications
Describe the 5 steps in the malting process and the 5 [products]
: dormant grain
: 2-3 days of alternating wet (steeped in water) and dry (drained off) phases
: plant starts to grow
: starch made soluable; blow green malt with humidified air and constantly turn
: green malt heated and dried to stop germination; peat adds flavor if used as kiln fuel
: The product of kilning green malt
: grind malted barley into a coarse flour called grist
: mixed with hot water (63-64°C/145-147°F) in a "mash tun" to reactivate enzymes
: starch is converted to sugar; the impact of water on flavor is tiny
: sugar solution drawn off bottom of mash tun, cooled, and pumped into a "washback" (fermenter)
How does mashing influence the flavor of the spirit?
Not all liquid drains off freely so hotter water is added to the mash tun to draw out more sugar
This is done a second time with even hotter water but this is added to the next mash
If solids are pulled into the washback to create a cloudy wort, the whisky will have a greater malty and cereal character
What is peat?
Partially carbonized decaying vegetation
Spongy layer up to 9 meters thick
Forms when land becomes waterlogged
Slow to form -- ten years per cm
Are any whiskies made exclusively from peated malt?
No - the flavor would be too strong
Name 3 aromas of peat-flavored whisky
What impact does temperature have when using peat to kiln barley?
The lower the temperature, the great the effect on the barley
The phenolic compounds in peat smoke are destroyed if the fire is too hot
When is starch made soluable?
When is water added when making wort from grain?
Describe the fermentation process for spirits
Cultured yeast is added to the cooled wort; Scotch producers emphasize which yeast
Within 48 hours, the alcoholic liquid, called "wash", is 7-10% abv
Some distillers leave the wash a few days to develop extra congeners
Describe distillation of Scotch Whisky
Double distilled in a copper pot still
First distillation in a wash still to make "low-wines" of 21-28% abv
Second distillation in a spirit still to make spirit of 70% abv
Heads (foreshots) and Tails (feints) distilled with next batch of low-wines
Name 2 distillation factors that determine the style and quality of spirit
: old stills are replaced by identical ones
: early cut to tails results in lighter spirits
Peat character is from congeners with high boiling points
Describe Scotch whisky maturation
Must be matured in oak barrels less than 700 liters for minimum of 3 years
Most barrels had Bourbon; (charred Q alba) small percentage had Sherry (toasted Q alba)
What is "wood finishing"?
Moving an aged whisky into a barrel from a different source for a short period prior to bottling
The previous contents (Port, Sherry, Madeira, red wine, sweet white wine) can add flavor (and sometimes color)
Are barrels reused in Scotland?
Frequently; flavor contribution diminishes with each reuse
Producers use this to create a variety of whiskies to supply to blenders
Are all Scotch Whiskies blends?
Nearly all malts should be seen as blends
Premium malts tend not to be colored or chill filtered and are occasionally bottled at cask strength
Name the 5 Whisky regions of Scotland
: light malty and zesty; 3 distilleries; Auchentoshan (Ock-un-tosh-un), Glenkinchie, Bladnoch
: mixed styles; Glen Morangie, Oban, Dalmore, Dalwhinnie
: mixed styles; Caragganmore, Glenfarclas, Glenfiddich, Knockando, Knockdhu
: rich and heavy; 3 distilleries; Springbank, Glen Scotia, Glengyle
: often peated; 8 distilleries; Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Lagavulin
: Arran, Highland Park, Isle of Jura, Talisker
Name 7 grain whisky distilleries
North British, Diageo/The Edrington Group
Strathclyde, Pernod Ricard
Invergordon, Whyte and Mackay
Girvan, William Grant & Sons
Loch Lomond, Loch Lomond Distillers
Glen Turner, La Martiniquaise