that is made from a fermented mash
produced primarily from a malted
grain. Unless otherwise specified, it is generally assumed that the primary grain is barley
, although whisky is also made using malted rye
. A whisky made from malted rye should therefore be called a "rye malt whisky" rather than simply a "malt whisky".
If the product is made exclusively from a single grain at a single distillery (and various other restrictions apply), it is called a single malt whisky
The exact definition of a "malt whisky" and a "single malt whisky" and the restrictions governing its production vary according to the regulations governing the marketing of whisky in the local jurisdiction.
In the United States
Code of Federal Regulations, the Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits
define a "malt whisky" as a whisky produced at an alcohol by volume
(abv) level not exceeding 80% from a fermented mash of not less than 51% malted barley grain and stored for aging in charred new oak containers at not less than 62.5% abv. The regulations define a "rye malt whisky" in a corresponding manner using rye grain. If such a whisky has been aged for at least two years, contains no added coloring and flavoring, and has not been blended with neutral spirits
or other types of whisky, the additional adjective "straight" can be applied, as in "straight malt whisky" and "straight... Read More