Sometimes an innovation or idea comes along and it transforms everything. Think Apple for computers, or Google for the internet,or Netflix for Saturday nights.
There are plenty of examples of such innovations in the Whisky industry, but we’ve chosen the ones that have really shaken up how things are done.
1. Single Pot Still Malt
A typical Irish invention, the idea for Single Pot Still Malt came out of a desire to dodge tax. With the Malt Tax introduced in 1785, the Irish were looking for a way to reduce the amount of malted barley in their Whiskey, as this is what was costing them. the idea then came to add unmalted barley, and the Single Pot Still Whiskey was born.
Getting consistency with Whisky can be hard, and producing it as cheaply as possible but still maintaining flavour can also be difficult. When Andrew Usher created the art of blending in the 1860s, he addressed these issues. By using grain Whisky alongside malt, he was able to create lighter bodied drams, with a more palatable flavour profile. these proved massively popular and blending soon became the new norm.
3. Single Malt
With blending becoming so popular, Single Malts were not really produced or sold. In the 1960s, this changed, when Sandy Grant Gordon, great-grandson of William Grant, decided to market unblended malt. this is when the Single Malt was really born and over the next couple of decades it really began to take off. Today it is probably the most popular style of Whisky about.
A relatively recent innovation, the process of not just maturing, but also finishing a Whisky, has become popular. The process itself involved moving Whisky out of the casks it has been matured in and into other casks for anything from a few months to years. The result has been some really amazing drams.
5. The Coffey Still
The Coffey Still brought efficiency and consistency to the Whisky world. Rather than having to distill in batches, as was the norm with the Pot Still, the Coffey Still, named after its creator Aeneas Coffey, allows for continuous distillations. This means Whisky can be made on a bigger scale and is mostly used to make Grain Whisky today.