The Whiskey Bottling Process
The process of whiskey bottling is a highly important step in whiskey manufacturing and is crucial in keeping the whiskey of high quality. Additionally, the way that the whiskey bottling is done can affect both the alcohol percentage and taste of the whiskey.
Before the whiskey bottling takes place, the whiskey has to be produced. Barley, water, and yeast have to be malted, grinded, and brewed, and then fermented and distilled, in order to make the whiskey. The resulting product is then subjected to aging before the whiskey bottling takes place.
Once the whiskey has been aged to the manufacturer’s desired age, the whiskey bottling can finally take place. It is important to make sure that the whiskey has been allowed to age, as the whiskey will not mature any more once the whiskey bottling has occurred. If a whiskey is 20 years old, it will remain 20 years old after the whiskey bottling process, even if one waits 50 years to open the bottle.
Different Approaches to Whiskey Bottling
Different companies take different approaches to whiskey bottling, resulting in different whiskey products. For example, many distilleries use the process of chill filtering when whiskey bottling. This removes the residues that will otherwise go into the whiskey and make it appear cloudy. A side effect of this whiskey bottling process, however, is that some of the taste and fragrance of the whiskey will go out with the residues.
Whiskeys such as single malt do not use chill filtering in their whiskey bottling process, which gives these whiskies a cloudy appearance and ensures that all flavor and fragrances remain undisturbed.
Whiskey Bottling and Alcohol Percentage
The process of whiskey bottling also serves to reduce the alcohol percentage of the whiskey being bottled by adding water to it. It is important during this process to ensure that the whiskey remains at least 40 percent alcohol, or it can no longer even be classified as whiskey. The quality of the water used in this step in the whiskey bottling process can affect the whiskey’s taste, which is something that whiskey manufacturers should always take into account.
Cask Strength Whiskey
Some whiskey, on the other hand, is not diluted by water in the whiskey bottling process. This type of whiskey is referred to as cask strength whiskey. Naturally, undiluted whiskey is much stronger than diluted whiskey. Whiskey aficionados should take care when buying this type of whiskey, however, as it is harsher to drink than the diluted brands.
Whiskey Bottling Plants
The majority of whiskey distilleries do not take care of the whiskey bottling process themselves. Instead, they let specialized plants handle their whiskey bottling. These specialized plants often belong to the distilleries and bottle their brands of whiskey exclusively. There are also independent bottlers in the field of whiskey, who do not limit themselves to bottling one distillery’s whiskey alone. Instead, these bottlers buy casks at whichever distilleries they like and store these casks themselves. They then let the whiskies age for however many years they desire before beginning the whiskey bottling process on their premises.