CLAN GOLD – A WHISKY BORN FROM TRADITION
The exact beginnings of the distillation and maturation of Whisky in Scotland is unknown, the first entry of ‘Eight bolls of malt to Friar John Cor where with to make aqua vita’ being made into the Exchequer Rolls as long ago as 1494 is the first official record of this practice, however legend let us believe that St Patrick introduced distilling to Ireland in the fifth century AD and shortly afterwards this art was established in Scotland.
To this day the traditional and time served practices of the Whisky the making process, maturation and blending continues unchanged for century’s to produce some of the finest malt and Grain Whiskies which are used to produce the Clan Gold Blended Scotch Whisky range.
RAW MATERIALS – THE FOUNDATIONS OF A GOOD WHISKY.
The building blocks of any good whisky lay in the raw materials used and only the best raw materials are used in the production of Clan Gold Blended Scotch Whisky. The barley’s used for the Malt and the Wheat used for the Grain is specially selected for their quality and consistency during the fermentation and distillation process.
The malts selected to be used for blending Clan Gold are malted, mashed and fermented using the traditional and time served practices which have been handed down from one generation to the next. During these processes the importance of the soft Scottish water and the specific yeasts perfected over years are used to produce the liquid called ‘wash’ which is used for the distillation of each of the individual spirits used within the final blend.
CLAN GOLD – DISTILLATION OF THE MALTS
To separate the alcohol from the fermented liquid it is boiled in large copper pot stills. All of the Malt Whiskies blended for Clan Gold derive their unique characteristics from not only the raw materials but also the still they are created.
The size, shape, and the location of the still as well as the waters used create a unique flavour profile incapable of being produced anywhere else. Generations of knowledge passed down through history the Still Men produce the highest quality spirit required for maturation.
Alcohol boils at a lower temperature than water so is drawn off first leaving much of the water and other impurities behind. Although the resulting spirit is much purer and higher in alcohol, the process is repeated a second time before the ‘middle cut’ or final spirit is collected by the Stillman. Their experience enables them to only select the best spirit from each distillation, the skill and knowledge of the Stillmen remains a key part of the production of a good malt whisky.
CLAN GOLD – COOPERAGE AND MATURATION
Coopers still using traditional methods and tools maintain, repair and re-char the American Bourbon oak barrels used for the maturation process. From over 50 species of oak growing throughout the world only a few are deemed suitable to let the spirit breathe, allowing it to impart the flavours and colours required for a superior product.
The art of maturation critical to produce a good quality whisky. The choice of cask is key to this process, not only the wood that’s used but also the history of the cask, all whisky casks have had a previous use whether it’s for Bourbon, Sherry, Cognac or Rum.
The size of cask and the storage location is integral to extracting the colours, flavours and aromas for the cask. This process takes time and patience, only after a minimum of three years of maturation the spirit can be called Scotch Whisky. Longer the spirit is left to mature more complex it becomes starting to show a depth of flavours derived from the wood.
Only when the spirits has reached the highest quality the Master Blender will use it with other selected Grain and Malt Whiskies to create the Clan Gold blend.
CLAN GOLD – THE CREATION OF THE PERFECT BLEND
Clan Gold Blended Scotch Whisky is the result of generations of the Blenders art, originally pioneered by Andrew Usher in Edinburgh in the early 1860s. By combining Malt Whisky with Grain Whisky, Usher used the less pronounced characteristics of the Grain Whisky to soften the stronger more distinctive flavours of the Malt Whisky.
It was only after this practice became commonplace that a taste for Scotch Whisky spread first to England and then throughout the world and enjoyed for everyday drinking.
Our Master Blender continues this tradition by creating a blend of up to 15 Grain and Malt Whiskies from the foremost distilleries in Scotland, selected for their own unique character and ability to complement each other.
This combination of the soft Lowland Grain notes, the richness of the honey and vanilla tones from the Highlands and Speyside produces a fine blend which exhibits a smooth and complex flavour that is Clan Gold.