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HOW WE CRAFT OUR WHISKY

We produce both single malt and blended whiskies at The James Sedgwick Distillery. Malt whisky is crafted from malted barley and double distilled in copper pot stills while grain whisky is made from either maize or wheat and is distilled in a column still.

The finest ingredients, an innovative distillery, hand-selected casks, patience and the vision of a passionate Master Distiller.

MALTING

For malt whiskies, barley is steeped in water and drained to begin the germination process. Placing the malted barley into a malt kiln to dry stops this process. Peat, which is to whisky what herbs are to cooking, is also added at this drying stage. Malted barley as well as grains are then milled into fine grist.

MASHING

The milled barley or grains are then added to water in a mash turn and heated. It is during the mashing stage that starches are converted to fermentable sugars. The sugary liquid called wort that runs off during this process is what will be used during fermentation.

FERMENTATION

The wort is pumped into fermentation tanks. Then, in an anaerobic process, yeast is added and the liquid is allowed to ferment for approximately 72 hours during which the glucose converts into ethanol and CO2. This results in an alcohol liquid of 9% a/v, referred to as the wash.

DISTILLATION: MALT WHISKY

After fermentation, the wash goes through double distillation in copper pot stills. The first distillation happens in the wash still and the resulting liquid is known as the low wines. Once the liquid has gone into the second still, the skills of our Master Distiller really come into play as he removes the foreshots (impure spirits) leaving only the heart to go to maturation.

DISTILLATION: GRAIN WHISKY

The wash is continuously fed into a column still (also known as a Patent or Coffey still) where the various unwanted flavours are taken out while the desired spirit is removed near the top of the column. This results in a lightly flavoured spirit with a strength of +/- 94.3% a/v. The spirit is then broken down to about ± 65% a/v with de-mineralised water before maturation.

MATURATION

During this stage of the whisky making process, a magical interaction between clear spirit and wood takes place. The flavours of the spirit combine with the wood to impart distinct flavours and aromas. The distilled liquid is placed into American oak casks to mature for between 3 and 10 years and for each year that the cask sits in the maturation cellar between 3 and 5% is lost to the angels.

STEP 1: MALTING

For malt whiskies, barley is steeped in water and drained to begin the germination process. Placing the malted barley into a malt kiln to dry stops this process. Peat, which is to whisky what herbs are to cooking, is also added at this drying stage. Malted barley as well as grains are then milled into fine grist.

STEP 2: MASHING

The milled barley or grains are then added to water in a mash turn and heated. It is during the mashing stage that starches are converted to fermentable sugars. The sugary liquid called wort that runs off during this process is what will be used during fermentation.

STEP 3: FERMENTATION

The wort is pumped into fermentation tanks. Then, in an anaerobic process, yeast is added and the liquid is allowed to ferment for approximately 72 hours during which the glucose converts into ethanol and CO2. This results in an alcohol liquid of 9% a/v, referred to as the wash.

STEP 4: DISTILLATION: MALT WHISKY

After fermentation, the wash goes through double distillation in copper pot stills. The first distillation happens in the wash still and the resulting liquid is known as the low wines. Once the liquid has gone into the second still, the skills of our Master Distiller really come into play as he removes the foreshots (impure spirits) leaving only the heart to go to maturation.

STEP 5: DISTILLATION: GRAIN WHISKY

The wash is continuously fed into a column still (also known as a Patent or Coffey still) where the various unwanted flavours are taken out while the desired spirit is removed near the top of the column. This results in a lightly flavoured spirit with a strength of +/- 94.3% a/v. The spirit is then broken down to about ± 65% a/v with de-mineralised water before maturation.

STEP 6: MATURATION

During this stage of the whisky making process, a magical interaction between clear spirit and wood takes place. The flavours of the spirit combine with the wood to impart distinct flavours and aromas. The distilled liquid is placed into American oak casks to mature for between 3 and 10 years and for each year that the cask sits in the maturation cellar between 3 and 5% is lost to the angels.

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