For the first time in Thailand, leading importer and distributor of premium spirit Diageo Moët Hennessy (Thailand) introduced “Single Malt Masterclass” to the general public, with hopes of bringing whisky appreciation to another level, as well as creating better knowledge and understanding towards Single Malts to the audience.
What is Single Malt?
For those who come across the term for the first time, “Single Malt” is a kind of whisky produced by one distillery made from only three ingredients: barley, water and yeast. While other grain whiskies such as single grain can be made from more than one kind of grains such as barley, wheat and corn, Single Malt must be strictly produced from barley. It is also noteworthy that the word “single” indicates that the whisky is distilled from one single distillery, while “blended malt” or “blended grains” can be produced by various distilleries.
Single Malt's production process
The masterclass also took us through the production process of Single Malts, from malting (germinating barley in water then stop it from sprouting), mashing (producing beige-colored “wort” by using hot water to make fermentable sugar in “mash turn” and sieving it), fermentation (yeast converting the sugar into into alcohol), distillation in copper pot still (it must be distilled at a single distillery), and maturation the Single Malt in the cask for preferred color and flavor.
We had the opportunity to attend the insightful Single Malt masterclass held at Character, the posh whisky and cigar bar at Compass Skyview Hotel on the 32nd floor. The workshop was conducted by Prawit Boonnithipaisit, the brand ambassador of Diageo Moët Hennessey who guided us through an in-depth history of Single Malts, followed by a Single Malt tasting session where different samples from respected whisky brands were introduced, such as The Singleton, Dalwhinnie, Talisker, Glenkinchit, Cragganmore, Lagavulin and Oban.
Regional Differences of Single Malt Whisky
The participants had a chance to learn and appreciate the unique characters of different Single Malt Whiskys from different regions such as:
Probably Scotland’s largest whisky-producing region, The Highland epitomizes the floral note as the main profile of its whisky, along with the sweet note of honey and the warmth of wood.
This part of Scotland has a microclimate that helps growing fruits like strawberry, blueberry and plum. The Single Malt Whisky produced in this part of the world also boasts a hint of vanilla and nuts, as well as dried fruits and spiced aroma.
The Single Malt Whisky distilled from the Lowland offers fresh notes from citrusy fruits, green grass air and the aromatic note of vanilla.
Situated on the western coast of Scotland, Islay offers the Single Malt Whisky boasting smoky aroma of peat, on top of heavy sea air and spices.
There are only three producers left in this region. Campbeltown boasts unique characters of brine and wet wool combined with sweet aroma from vanilla, toffee and dried fruits.
Ways to enjoy the Single Malt Whisky
The brand ambassador also guided us through the way we could enjoy the Single Malts Whisky; from enjoying it neat, with drops of water, and on the rock.
The session ended on a high note with a Single Malt and food pairing workshop where unique aroma and flavors of each whisky is paired up with a variety of food. Our favorites were the tuna tartare, succulent barbecued pork ribs and the churros, all of which were more enjoyable when eating with the provided Single Malt samples.
The Singleton of Dufftown collection
One of the products that stand out during the tasting session is The Singleton of Dufftown. Rounded, rich and sweet, the Single Malts in The Singleton of Dufftown collection boast unique smoothness and are aged in American and European oak casks to evoke nutty and cereal notes. The masterclass offered an insight into three different numbers in The Singleton of Dufftown collection such as;
1. Dufftown – 12 years old
This rich amber spirit boasts the smell of polished wood, toasted hazelnuts, and sweet dried fruits. With medium to full body, The Singleton of Dufftown 12 Years Old offers rich, sweet and nutty notes, along with a hint of fruitiness, espresso and brown sugar.
2. Dufftown – 15 years old
Through the nostril, The Singleton of Dufftown 15 Years Old boasts light to medium body and the sweet note of toffee apple and honey comb, with a hint of spice. The spirit has rounded and sweet notes from malt and oat, with a tang of fresh fruits and an after taste of aniseed.
3. Dufftown – 18 Years Old
The light-to-medium spirit has the fragrance of wood and stewed fruit at the first sniff, followed by aromatic notes of vanilla and toffee. Once it touches the palate, the spirit offers a flavor of dark toffee, mint, apple and spicy oak, as well as a hint of fruits and black pepper in the background.