Friday, May 25, 2012

Single Grain Whisky at Auld Alliance @ Singapore

Many have come to know about the famous Scotch Single Malt whisky but do you know that besides Single Malts, there's also the Single Grain Whisky?

I went to Auld Alliance on two different trips during my holidays to just try all the grain whisky they have at the bar. Having tried Cameron Bridge, I was not convinced that it was the true representation of what a grain whisky should taste like. But of course I couldn't afford the whole bottle, I just had a pour of each.

This is a description of what I understand about Grain whisky and the difference between it and Malt whisky. Grain whisky is made from any cereal grains. In the past, they use wheat, and sometimes oats and rye but today maize (corn) is widely used. And whisky made from only malted barley (or primarily from malted barley) is called a Malt whisky.

Due to the lightness of grain whisky, it is therefore used as a blending to smooth out the often harsh characteristics of single malts. Did you know that well-aged grain whiskies are released as "single grain whisky" or "blended grain whisky" in Scotland? Even more surprising is that the best of these grain whisky can be held in the same league as single malts!

In Scotland, grain whisky is currently manufactured at 8 distilleries:
  • Cameron Bridge Grain Distillery in Fife being the most well-known
  • North British Distillery in Gorgie, Edinburgh
  • Invergordon Grain Distillery
  • Carsebridge Grain Whisky from the distillery of the same name
  • Strathclyde Grain Distillery in the Gorbals, Glasgow
  • Girvan Grain Distillery
  • Starlaw Distillery in Livingston which began production in 2011
  • Loch Lomond Distillery in Alexandria

The term "Single Grain Whisky" can be interpreted differently outside Scotland. However, in Scottish terms, a "Single Grain Scotch Whisky" is defined as a Scotch whisky distilled from a fermented mash of one or more grains at a single distillery, in the same way that a "Single Malt Scotch Whisky" refers to a Scotch whisky distilled from a fermented mash of malted barley at a single distillery.

 North British - Decanter Collection  ($46)

Name: North British (Signatory)
Distillery: North British (Lowlands)

Type: Single Grain Scotch Whisky
Age Statement: 45YO
Alc/Vol: 50.7% 

I don't often come across whisky this old because these granpa whiskies burn a hole in my pocket. However, it's a blessing that blends and grains of this age don't cost as much as the single malt whisky. This one here is in a orange hue, has a nose of herbs and some dark fruits. When I sipped it, I can taste the sweetness, the burnt candy and the vanilla. It's indeed a very new taste to me but the texture was smooth with a tinge of peat.

For those who have been drinking single malt whisky, they might not get used to the taste of the single grain whisky.

The Clan Denny 40yo ($40)

Name: The Clan Denny
Distillery: Strathclyde (Lowlands)

Bottler: Douglas Laing
Type: Single Grain Scotch Whisky
Age Statement: 40YO
Alc/Vol: 59.3% 

This is another very old single grain whisky for Douglas Laing's Clan Denny label. This distillery produces around 40 million litres of whisky a year for parent Pernod Ricard's blends. The nose opens with vanilla notes, honey and toffee and then developed into a sweet and spicy character. The palate is sweet and spicy and it reminded me of some creamy hazelnut praline. The finish is typically short, but interestingly dry cinnamon, nuts and spices.

Emmanuel told me that the grain whiskies taste better when aged, just like these 2 which are above 40 years. I find these two very easy to drink and less complicated on the palate. But of course for a typical single malt lover, they might find this a little difficult to stomach.

I believe that the Scotch grain whisky is a little-known treasure of the Scotch whisky industry.

Auld Alliance
Chijmes, 30 Victoria Street,
#01-08, 187996
Tel: +65 6337 2201


suituapui said...

The older the better eh? Like me... Hehehehehehe!!!!

Sean said...

omigosh, i'm such a whiskey idiot, i'm not sure i'd be able to tell the difference between single malt and single grain. but i'd definitely like to try :D

Simple Person said...

what is your preference. single malt or single grain?

Michael Cheang said...

One bottle of Cameron Brig please! :D

eiling lim said...

STP: yes like you!

Sean: you will be. It's a big difference.

Simple Person: for complexity, I like single malts.

Mi8chael: friend adviced not to buy the whole bottle. No nice!

preeti said...

Great to hear that if you want to buy Whiskey or any other drinks you can visit they make delivery for free

3iLinG © 2008. Template by Dicas Blogger.