b'S P I R I T SW H I S K E Y , W H I S K Y & B O U R B O NMASHING the USA the lautering process isaids consistency of character and The grist is placed in a mash tunoften omitted and mash is pumpedensures, after many generations of and combined with very hot waterdirectly to the fermentation vats. distillation, a totally unique product. giving a slurry where the starch can dissolve and the mixture is leftFERMENTATION DISTILLATIONfor about an hour. Corn is a veryYeast is added to the cooled wortThe distillers beer is now ready tough grain that must be cooked ator mash and fermentation begins;to go into the still. Methods have extremely high temperatures underdepending on factors including theevolved around tradition and pressure in order to modify itstype of yeast, the temperature andconvention. In Scotland, malt structure. Whereas wheat and ryethe type of grain, it will normally lastwhiskies are distilled twice or thrice are cooked at lower temperaturesabout 48 hours and the resultantin pot still and all grain whiskies ; the former to preserve itsdistillers beer will have about 6-8 %are rectified in column stills. In character and the latter to ensureabv for rye mashes and up to 14%Ireland, both malted and unmalted that rye clumping which can causefor corn. In the USA, an additionalgrains can be pot distilled, either bacterial infection, does not occur.control on fermentation speed andtwo or three times, whilst lighter After several hours of cookingflavour development is the amountgrain whiskies are distilled in multi-and cooling a warm porridge-likeof backset column continuous stills. In many product called mash is produced,added (which must be a minimumcountries that use hybrid pots where the process has convertedof 25 % of the mash volume to bewith or without short columns, the starch into sugar, and this iscalled sour mash). Backset is thecommon in Europe and the USA either used directly or lautered,spent grains from the previouscraft movement, distillation may washed out.distillation, the lees leftover afterutilise both methods and in some For most Scottish and Japanesethe alcohol has vaporised; it is veryinstances a single column is used malt and grain whiskies a sweetacidic and thus slows fermentation,after the pot. liquor known as wort is drainedhelps prevent bacterial infection off in successive washes. The wortand counters the natural alkalinityPOT DISTILLATIONis then cooled and pumped intoof the regions water. In turn theShapes and sizes of stills vary the fermentation vessels knownbackset increases the complexitybetween distilleries, but all effect as wash backs. In Canada andof flavours in the end product,a double or triple distillation. 142 INN EXPRESS - DRINKS PORTFOLIO 2019|20 - WHISKEY, WHISKY & BOURBON'