Bottle and glass of Scotch whisky on a barrel
The Difference Between Single-Grain And Single-Malt Scotch Whisky
When it comes to the world of Scotch whiskies, there are terms like "single-grain" and "single-malt" to decipher, and the meaning behind them isn't always straightforward.
Single-grain scotch whiskies are made with several malted or unmalted grains at one distillery, while single-malt ones are made with 100% malted barley mash at a single distillery.
In the case of these terms, "single" doesn't necessarily describe the grain or grains the Scotch is made with but means that the whisky has been produced at one single distillery.
Single-grain Scotch can be made with a mixture of grains like barley, rye, wheat, and corn that’s unmalted (raw) or malted (meaning the sprouted grains are soaked until fermented).
In general, single-grain whiskies tend to be softer in flavor, with more sweetness than single-malt whiskies. Plus, these types of whiskies are distilled in column-style stills.
On the other hand, single-malt whisky must be made from malted barley and no other types of grain and is distilled in pot stills that are known for producing rich, deep flavors.
Although some in the Scotch connoisseur crowd agree that single malts are superior to single grains, both types can actually be incredibly complex and delicious.