Grain whisky is made from any cereal grains. In the past these were, typically, wheat, and sometimes oats and rye; today maize (corn) is widely used. A small amount of malted barley is added to provide the enzymes which convert the starch in the grains into sugar.
Such whisky has been made in Scotland since at least the 15th century, to use up cereals which were not required as food and to create nutritious winter feed for cattle from the husks and spent grains. It was made in pot stills, the same as malt whisky.
In the late 1820s an entirely different style of still was invented by Robert Stein and perfected by Aeneas Coffey, a former Inspector of Excise in Dublin. This was capable of producing very large amounts of very pure spirit at high strength, and since the still could be operated continuously, rather than batch by batch (as in pot still distillation), it was cheaper.
Although such Coffey or Patent stills were expensive to install, grain distillers soon adopted them. Whisky made in a Patent still has less pronounced flavour than that made in a pot still and this made it very desirable for blending, since it lightened and sweetened the heavy malts of the mid 1800s.
Today there are five grain whisky distilleries in Scotland: Cameronbridge, Girvan, Invergordon, North British, and Strathclyde. The Port Dundas distillery was closed in 2009. Loch Lomond (malt whisky) Distillery also has a small patent still. Together they annually produce five times the amount of malt whisky. The makes of only three are bottled by their owners as single grain whiskies: Cameron Bridge, Black Barrel (from Girvan) and Invergordon. (Charles Maclean)
We'll try 8 Single Grain whiskies in this masterclass varying in age from 7 till +40 years old and matured on different types of casks.
Price : €35
Register : info@dram242[dot]be
Starts at 8 pm.