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 THE MAKING OF ABERLOUR

 
 
 

Aberlour Single Malt Scotch Whisky is made exclusively from Scottish barley combined with soft spring water and other ingredients that go through a 7 stage process before reaching a glass. Each stage of the process introduces subtle new notes that mature over time into the rich, complex Scotch that is a hallmark of the distillery.

 
STAGE 1 MALTING

 
 
 

 

Professional malsters source only the best Scottish barley that is steeped in pure spring water for several days before it is spread over a stone floor to germinate. When sugar levels reach their peak, the barley is kiln dry without any addition of peat.


 STAGE 2 MILLING

 
 
 

 

The dried malt is then ground into a coarse, starchy flour called the grist. The husks in the grist create a natural filter that trap solid particles and clarifies the wort in the subsequent mashing process.


 STAGE 3 MASHING

 
 
 

 

Heated spring water is added to the grist in a mashing machine and then stirred in the mash tun to allow enzymes to develop that convert starch into sugar. This cycle is repeated twice until all sugars and flavours have been leached from the grist, producing a clear liquid. The first two waters are pumped into a washback for fermentation, while the third is returned to the heating tank for the next mash.


 STAGE 4 FERMENTATION

 
 
 

 

The resulting wort is cooled to 20 degrees using water from nearby Lour Burn and yeast is added to begin the two day fermentation process. During this time the sugars are converted to alcohol resulting in a frothy liquid known, the wash.


 STAGE 5 DISTILLATION

 
 
 

 

The resulting wash is placed into Aberlour’s trademark, noticeably broad copper pot stills where the vapors condense and collect into receivers for a second distillation. During the distillation, the stillman divides the spirit into three fractions: the head, heart and tail. Only the heart goes onto the next stage of maturation while the head and tail fractions are returned to the still to be distilled again.


 STAGE 6 MATURATION

 
 
 

 

The spirit is matured in oak casks for a minimum of 10 years. Most of the Aberlour’s single malts are double-cask matured in first fill ex-Bourbon casks and ex-Oloroso Sherry butts selected by the Master Blender. Each cask is individually selected to achieve the right combination of aromatic qualities.


 STAGE 7 DOUBLE CASK MATURATION

 
 

After maturation is complete, the Master Blender marries the whisky from both cask types in various proportions to create the different expressions. The Bourbon casks sweets notes of vanilla and toasted coconuts create a smooth balance with the Oloroso Sherry butts fruitier, spicier notes.


 STAGE 8 TASTING

 
 
 

 

The resulting Single Malt Scotch Whisky has rich, deeply complex flavors that Aberlour’s founder wanted to speak for themselves and would often say, "Let the deed show."

 

 

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