PRODUCT: Tomintoul 10 Year Single Malt
Tomintoul is made with natural ingredients. The pure spring water is drawn from The Ballantruan Spring. The water is so pure it took a year of searching different sources to find it. They mix this water with fresh barley and yeast, throw in some passion, skill and care, and then add a good dose of time.
The first stage in making Tomintoul Whisky begins with malting barley. It first needs to be soaked in water, where it begins to sprout. This process causes the grain to turn its store of starch into sugars, which will later feed the yeast to make alcohol. The barley is heated until dry to stop it germinating any further.
We take malted barley and grind it down in a mill so that it becomes coarse flour called “grist”.
We take grist and mix it up with hot water in a large vessel called a “mash tun”. It becomes a porridge-like mixture that needs continuous stirring so that any soluble starch turns into sugars. A sweet, sugary liquid, called “wort”, is drained off in three batches.
We ferment the sweet, barley liquid using a technique very similar to brewing beer. First we cool it down so we can add the yeast which turns the sugar in the liquid to alcohol. The yeast gives off heat and carbon dioxide, creating large foamy bubbles. We end up with an alcoholic liquid that’s about 8-9 %ABV that we call “wash”.
The wash goes into copper pot stills, which are like large electric kettles. When carefully heated, the alcohol evaporates at a lower temperature than water. It rises up the still and we collect and condense it back into a liquid. We do this process twice, until we end up with “new make” spirit that is 69% ABV.
Tomintoul lies in oak wood casks for many years before it goes into a bottle. It has time to soak in the flavour from the different layers of the wood. The wood is breathable, and 2% of the whisky evaporates from the cask each year. We call this “the angels' share” (the sweet aroma of Tomintoul that fills the air around our warehouses is one of the best in the world). The pure, fresh air surrounding our distillery, the highest in Speyside, is unique, and this has a job to play in making the unique flavour of our whisky.
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