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A lexicon of terms from the world of whisky

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Feints are the third fraction (part) of the distillation process in the spirit still. They are low strength, contain undesirable and unusable substances and contain mostly water. Feints or also called tails are re-distilled.
The process of turning liquid which contains sugar into alcohol and developing flavours in Scotch whisky. In whisky production, yeast is added to the sugary liquid called wort and is put into a large vessel called washback. A washback can hold anything from 1,000 litres of liquid up to a massive 160,000 litres. The fermentation time can have a marked effect on the final spirit. After roughly 45 hours the yeast has died so no more alcohol can be produced but it is still possible to influence the flavour. If the fermentation stops after 45/50 hours the end spirit will have a nutty/malty note. If it will be left for longer, say 75 hours, more fruity notes will be developed. A typical by product produced during fermentation is carbon dioxide.
Newly distilled spirit that has been filled into casks is called “Fillings”. It cannot be called whisky until it has matured in oak casks in Scotland for the legal minimum of 3 years.
A term used to describe the longevity of flavours lingering in the mouth after tasting a whisky.
See also “Double matured”
See also “Cask types”
A more traditional way of malting where barley is spread out on a large floor and turned by hand to allow germination. Only a few distilleries in the whisky industry still do floor malting’s which has largely been replaced by drum maltings.
The foreshots are the first fraction (part) of the distillation process in the spirit still. The foreshots are very high in alcohol with about 80% ABV, which is too high and they also contain many volatile compounds. They are collected together with the feints to be returned to the spirit still to be redistilled. The foreshots are also known as “heads”.
A mixture of volatile, oily liquids (congeners) produced in small amounts during fermentation and separated by distillation.

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