Vatted Malt Becomes Extinct Term for Whisky

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compass box whiskySo it seems that the term “vatted malt” is set to become a banned term for a specific whisky tonight.  Today ends an era – tomorrow a new dawn of whisky nomenclature happens.  For people like me who struggle with labelling anyway when buying whisky for my husband and default to something like “Hedonism”, this may help.  But for companies who have raised this to an art form, it is frustrating.

John Glaser Compass Box founder and whiskymaker explains: “At midnight on November 22nd, 2011, an era ends.  After that point, it will be illegal for whiskymakers to use the term ‘Vatted Malt’ to describe a Scotch whisky made from the combination of two or more single malts. From 23rd November 2011, this style of whisky will by law have to be labelled as a Blended Malt Scotch Whisky.  Vatted Malt is a term that has been in use since at least the 19th century.”

The new legislation is all encompassing and was introduced by the UK Parliament as The Scotch Whisky Regulations in 2009. However, the five new legal definitions of Scotch whisky styles, as well as some other areas, will become enforceable by law from 23rd November 2011. The new definitions will be:

Blended Scotch Whisky: a blend of one or more Single Malt Scotch Whiskies with one or more Single Grain Scotch Whiskies.

Blended Malt Scotch Whisky: a blend of two or more Single Malt Scotch Whiskies that have been distilled at more than one distillery. (previously known as Vatted Malt or Pure Malt Scotch Whisky)

Blended Grain Scotch Whisky: a blend of two or more Single Grain Scotch Whiskies that have been distilled at more than one distillery. (previously known as Vatted Grain Scotch Whisky)

Single Malt Scotch Whisky: a Scotch Whisky that has been distilled in pot stills in one or more batches at a single distillery from water and malted barley, without the addition of any other cereals.

Single Grain Scotch Whisky: a Scotch Whisky that has been distilled at a single distillery except Single Malt Scotch Whisky or a Blended Scotch Whisky.

Full details can be read here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2009/2890/introduction/made

Commemorating this transition into a new era, The Last Vatted Malt Limited Edition from Compass Box will be on sale from 23rd November 2011 onwards at www.compassboxwhisky.com and from whisky retailers. It will be bottled at cask strength, and each bottle will be personally signed by John Glaser. Only 1323 bottles will be produced. The recommended retail price will be £175.00 per 70cl bottle. *gasps for breath* ouch… well, it *is* limited edition and it *is* a special occasion so… well… it is the holidays… 🙂

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About Judith Lewis

Editor and chief blogger at Mostly About Chocolate. Expert SEO. Judge at the Academy of Chocolate Awards, International Chocolate Awards and UK Search Awards.

One Response to Vatted Malt Becomes Extinct Term for Whisky

  1. Malt Buzz says:

    Vatted Scotch was always a very confusing term. It wasn’t very desciptive, and when ever I used it at my store customers would never know what I was talking about. Blended Malt Scotch Whiskey is much more desciptive, and besides it just rolls off the tongue.LOL