How to choose a good malt whisky
There are 3 point you need to know when it comes to choosing a good malt whisky, they are: Oak barrel, aged and additives.
1.Quality of Oak Barrel
In normally, malt whisky has to have been matured for a minimum of 3 years in the oak barrel. Many distillers though will mature their whisky for a lot longer, around 10 years before they are satisfied with the quality to release it for sale.
During the maturation period there is a complex interaction between the oak wood and the alcohol with the alcohol drawing out many of the oils and other components of the wood to create Malt Whisky. Up to 60% of these vital ingredients can be drawn out after the first maturation. If a tired oak barrel is being used to mature whisky in it doesn’t matter how long the spirit is left in it to mature, the resultant whisky will lack quality/flavour.
The majority of malt whisky sold is the product of a number of oak barrel ‘married’ together (up to 100), some good first refill/generation and some not so good 3rd or 4th refill/generation.
On the bottle label you should be looking for the whisky being single oak barrel and 1st or 2nd refill/generation.
Whisky is usually stored in oak barrel. The whisky is being matured in a quality oak barrel, there is complex interaction between the wood and the whisky. But it is slowly. The harsher flavours of the whisky are softened over time. The age of the malt whisky is an important factor in the quality of the final product though whisky doesn’t necessarily always continue to improve with age.
It’s tempting but don’t ever judge a malt whisky by its color. some of malt whisky has caramel added to make it darker. It also alters the flavour. This is the only additive that is allowed to be added to Malt Whisky. You should also be looking for words like “natural colour” on the bottle.