There are two main types of barley utilized for producing whisky: two-row and six-row. There are two rows of barley kernels in 2-row barley, which is well-suited to making whisky due to its greater starch content and low protein enabling higher extraction. On the other hand, 6-row barley has six rows of kernels enabling a higher yield. In Kavalan, the malted barley that we import from European barley suppliers have all undergone the processes of soaking, malting or smoking. Strict quality control not only ensures the barley is of the highest quality, but also provides a Predicted Spirit Yield.
A stable and abundant supply of water is essential for whisky making. In the mashing process, grist and hot water are added to the mash tun to extract the sugary water (Wort). This is the key phase that will influence the flavour of the new make. As water quality plays a major role in influencing the texture of whisky, Kavalan has been located in an area close to plentiful water resources. In Yuanshan, Yilan the distillery team draws on the spring water from both the Central Mountain and the Snowy Mountain Range to produce whisky that has a creamy and complex taste.
In the fermentation process, yeast is added in order to convert the sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide as well as to create the aromatic flavours. Thus, the strains of yeast used will decide the aroma of the new make. Kavalan use multiple types of yeasts, not only to increase the alcohol, but also to deepen the aromatic flavour. The types we use are specially chosen according to the conditions of Kavalan. In the fermentation process, timing must be precisely controlled as too short a time may produce insufficient alcohol and aromatic flavours. Fermentation that is too long may suffer from greater bacterial contamination and therefore also lead to an insufficient yield of alcohol.