WHY 'GRAIN SPIRIT'?


In our first full year of production we have released four very different spirits. All are based on different whole grain cereals with the exception of our Mixed Grain. We call each “Grain Spirit.”
Why not whisk(e)y?
Simple; it isn’t old enough yet. We have also produced a white rum but more on that in another post.

According to EU law a whisk(e)y is a spirit drink derived from the:

- distillation of a mash made from malted cereals with or without whole grains of other cereals, which has been:
saccharified by the diastase of the malt contained therein, with or without other natural enzymes,
fermented by the action of yeast;
- one or more distillations at less than 94.8% abv, so that the distillate has an aroma and taste derived from the raw materials used,
- maturation of the final distillate for at least three years in wooden casks not exceeding 700 litres capacity.

There’s a bit more regarding minimum alcoholic strength, the addition of alcohol and sweeteners but the last bit of the list above is the important part for us at the moment (the definition of grain spirit follows similar lines without specification on maturation).

If you’d like all the detail the link is attached here:
https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1578487404455&uri=CELEX:32008R0110

So we have to call any grain based spirit released before it’s third birthday something other than whisk(e)y. This won’t end when the majority of our stock “comes of age” though.
To us these spirits are not immature, they represent an interesting insight into the raw materials used to produce them. The organic English cereals hand malted at Warminster Maltings, the bright clear worts extracted at Dawkins brewery just down the road, to the flavoursome ale yeasts used to give us the precious alcohol alongside complex fruity aromas. All these elements are allowed to shine through that little bit more. These liquids simply show off the raw materials and our processes in a different way compared to how our whiskies will represent them.

We are very much looking forward to releasing our first whisky (in a year or two) but we’re equally excited about the next release of grain spirit.
Future blogs will cover the processes briefly covered above in more detail - why Warminster maltings, clear or cloudy wort, yeasts and maturation methods and materials.

Slainte!
Mark

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