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Whisky Advocate: Where Will The Next Great Single Malt Come From?

March 24, 2022

Scotland may have put single malt on the map, but in the past few years more and more countries are embracing the style and testing how different climates and techniques can impact flavor. Distillers in regions as varied as India, the Nordics, Asia, and, of course, the U.S. are increasingly eyeing single malt whiskies as an area of opportunity for expansion.

Asia’s single malt repertoire continues to widen, including well-known Japanese expressions like Beam Suntory’s Yamazaki 12-year-old and Indian malts such as Amrut Peated, Rampur Double Cask, and Paul John Brilliance. Diageo and Pernod Ricard are both aiming to develop Chinese single malts in the coming years. Diageo broke ground on its $75 million Eryuan Malt Whisky Distillery in Eryuan County in Yunnan Province in November, and shortly after Pernod Ricard opened its Chuan Malt Whisky Distillery in Emeishan, Sichuan on an investment of $150 million.

In Western Europe, France already has a significant number of distilleries, and there is a developing scene of Alpine whiskies from Germany, Italy, Austria, and Switzerland. Many of these distilleries are small, make a variety of other spirits, and favor an eclectic range of wine casks for maturing and finishing whiskies. The assortment exported increases every year, including malts like Armorik Double Maturation from Brittany, France; Eifel Peated from Germany; and G. Rozelieures Rare Collection from Lorraine, France. Whisky Advocate has more on the increasingly global appeal of single malts.—Jonny McCormick

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