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Notes From The Bayway Spirits Society

Single malt, single barrel or cask and small batch: defining these terms, what they mean and how they differ!

The term "single malt" lets you know that the whisky in the bottle is made from malted barley and is produced at a single distillery. It can be a single barrel but most often it will be a marriage of barrels that are either the same age or of varying ages. With the latter the intent is to give the whisky a consistent taste across numerous batches produced over time, a "house style." If there are different barrel ages and the bottle has an age statement on the label, this must state the youngest age of those barrels blended.

"Small batch" is a term that distilleries use when they mix a smaller number of barrels of the same whisky then they would do in a normal larger production bottling. There is, however, no set number that can be used in a small barrel. As with larger bottlings, the general purpose is consistency yet a small batch is also supposed to have a more distinct personality and flavor profile.

A "single barrel" or cask denotes that all of the whiskey (or whisky) in the bottle comes from only one barrel. The beauty of single barrels is that each barrel, while having the general profile of the distillery, will have its own unique flavors and aroma. It is totally amazing that when sampling various barrels of the same whisky how different they can be because of factors such as physical location in the barrel house, age, or even just the way it reacted with the wood of the barrel.

Glen Grant 1995A great example of a single barrel is the Glen Grant from the Whisky Peddler that is bottled exclusively for Bayway after our spirits team carefully sampled through many barrels.

Glen Grant is one of the leading single malts in the world but probably best known in the United States as one of the whiskies that make up Chivas Regal (because of the quality of their whisky it is highly sought after by blenders). When you drink our 1995 vintage bottling you enjoy a nice nutty flavor with hints of fresh fruit and an oakiness that excites your taste buds, followed by a smooth finish.

Don't forget the upcoming tastings in Las Vegas on March 1st (info@universalwhiskyexperience.com) as well as the New Jersey Whisky Guild Classic in Morristown, NJ on March 7th (for 10% ticket prices use the discount code: bemine).

Until next time, wishing you "Health and Happiness"!

Pat McCarthy

Bayway World of Liquor Whiskey Ambassador
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