Garryana from Westland Whiskey is a spicy, rich single malt from the Seattle distillery.

Towards a Kosher Definition of American Single Malt Whiskey

American whiskey producers are banding together to distill the definition of an American single malt whiskey.

Scotch single malts are clearly and legally defined as whisky made from 100% malted barley that is the product of a single distillery, and aged in used wooden casks for at least three years. There are some more small quirks, but that’s basically it. The purity of the product is carefully controlled and certified to be without adulteration. Barley, water, yeast and that’s it.

As American distillers have recognised the growth in market for quality liquor they have begun to make a diverse selection of excellent bourbons, whiskeys and blends. But with excellence comes a need for branding and certification. Until now American single malt whiskey was very loosely defined by the trade and by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Whiskeywash.com notes that it could be:

But the TTB and a collection of producers are working to produce an agreement that would allow consumers to know what to expect from a label that says “American Single Malt Whiskey.” Providing clear boundaries around the category will help producers improve the quality further while allowing other producers to carry on making American malt whiskey to different specifications. It will also provide a category of American single malt that is as inherently legally kosher as Scotch is now.

Among the producers involved in the commission are the excellent Balcones from Texas, Westland from Seattle (whose single malt I tried here and whose new Garryana I tried here) and a slew of others (including some of these) whose products I will try on your behalf.

h/t Joshua Hatton

Author

Dan Friedman

Dan Friedman

Dan Friedman is the executive editor and whisky correspondent of the Forward. But when he’s not doing that, he’s writing a book about the rock band Tears for Fears.

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Towards a Kosher Definition of American Single Malt Whiskey

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close