Many large distilleries chill filter their whiskey to improve its clarity on the shelf, however Amanda and I do not. To chill filter they will drop the whiskey’s temperature around freezing, and pass it through a fine filter to remove any particles not suspended in the extreme cold. But this process can also strip away larger flavor molecules, like esters and oils, we work hard to produce fermenting the grain and running the stills. It’s then common to add back E150a, a caramel coloring, to make sure all the bottles look the same in stores.
Some of the best Scotch we’ve ever tasted came directly out of the cask in the distilleries’ warehouses. In Speyside, they would drop a copper thief on a chain into the barrel to retrieve a sample, called “walking the dog.” At our distillery, when we roll over a 500 liter sherry casks to get the last of the whiskey, the toasted, syrupy part at the bottom is some of the best tasting! From day one Amanda and I have prioritized the taste of the whiskey, and secondly the look. And we are proud to be “Non-Chill Filtered” because the taste won out.