BEN NEVIS DISTILLERYThere are some who would have you believe that there exists a kind of divine secret, a miraculous ingredient or genius behind the manufacture of Scotch Whisky. I however, acknowledge no miracle other than that which is worked when science and nature combine.
The principal ingredients are three, notably water, barley and yeast, with a measure of peat smoke or reek.
Of these there can be no doubt that water is the foremost. On Ben Nevis I was fortunate to find a constant and consistent source of pure clean water in two small lochans.
In order of importance, the second ingredient is barley. This must be clean and plump, fully rounded and quite dry, containing exactly the right amount of protein.
Special distiller's yeast is the third ingredient. This has the texture of dough or putty and is vital to the process of fermentation.
And fourthly there is peat, which comes to the whisky through the water passing over peat bogs on its way down the mountain, and from the 'reek' from the fire lit during the manufacturing process.
Once again, we are fully fortunate in that nature in her magnificence, has created on the hill behind us, an ample supply of peat in our own banks to fuel the fires drying the barley.
- 14th June 1827
Scotch whisky comes in several forms. The main ones are single malts, as well as vatted malts, which are blends of different single malts in one bottle, blended whiskies, being a mix of single malts and grain whiskies, and whiskies that are distilled from grain only.
All in all, there are literally hundreds of Scotch whiskies.
To find the one you like best could take years and years.
What a wonderful prospect!