Grains

Barley, wheat, maize and rye comes with lorry, vessels or by train to the silos of the distilleries. Fresh corn tastes grassy or nutty, malted barely tastes cross. Barley is today shorter and more resistent against pathogene then 100 years ago. The barley comes today from England, France and Scandinavia because there is a steady supply through the early harvests. There are nine categories for barley quality of which only the best three qulities with about 20% of the total harvest can be used for malting and distilling. Important is a high share of starch for a higher alcohol content, a low share of nitrogen under 1,7%, a high germination possibility and the corn must also be absolutly matured and the humidity must be under 16%. A higher humidity can cause mould problems. 1909 in the what is whisky case tried the distiller to determine that only scottish barley had to be used. The advantage of the scottish barley is no use of pesticide because the long cold winter destroy all pests and there are more aromas through the longer light periods during the summer. Until the 1950s dominated Spratt Archer and Plumage Archer the barley market. Then came Chevalier, Goldthorps, Invicible, Standwell, Kinvers and Hallets which all grew very bad in the hard climate of the highlands. Afterwards came Golden Promise which was in use for more than 20 years. Golden Promise is used today only at Macallan. Today there are Chariot, Derkado, Halcyon, Delibes, Optic and Melanie. These types were tested for twelve years or longer before the come on to the market. Winter barley is less estery than summer barley. Therefore some highland distilleries dont use it.