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Whisky myths: Single malt = Single Cask

No, it doesn’t. Single malt and single cask have completely different meanings. A single malt whisky does not have to be from a single cask. While it may seem strange to think of a single malt as a “blend”, most are in fact a mixture of multiple casks. As long as those casks are from the same distillery, have been produced using the three permitted raw materials (100% malted barley, water and yeast) it is classed as a single malt. (The spirit must also have been produced in batches in a pot still and have been matured in Scotland for a minimum of three years in an oak cask no larger than 700 litres.)

So, single malt whisky can actually spend its maturation time in a number of different casks as long as they all abide by the Scotch Whisky Regulations.

Single cask, on the other hand, is a more direct proposition. Here, the contents of the bottle need to have spent the entire maturation period in a single cask. The term cannot be used, for example, where there has been a vatting of a number of casks, even if the vatted product has then been refilled into casks for finishing.

Whisky Myths

Whisky can so often seem wrapped up in rules. Sure, there are the regulatory ones (legit) but what about the rest? Who makes these rules, and should you feel bad for breaking them? We’re here to bust the myths and separate the simple mistakes from the marketing speak.

See also:

Whisky ages in the bottle, right?
Single malt is best, right?
Peat is added to whisky

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