In the small visitor center you can learn details about our production methods. You can find the old (mothballed) wash still in this area.
The first step to produce a Single Malt Whisky is to grind the malted barley with a small mill. The grinded malt is called GRIST.
The GRIST has to be mixed with hot water (at least 68°C) in the MASH TUN to produce the MASH.
The so called MASH has to be heated carefully up to 86°C. Within this process the sugars will be activated and cooked out of the grains.
After this process the MASH has to be lautered in the so called LAUTER TUN to filter the spent grains. The result is the so called WORT.
The WORT has to be cooled down to a maximum of 22°C and YEAST has to be added. The mixture of wort and yeast is now called WASH and the WASH has to be filled into the wooden WASHBACKS (Gärbottiche). Within the next 84-96 hours the yeast converts the sugars in the wash to alcohol. In the end the wash contains about 7-10%vol. alcohol.
After the WASH is ready it has to be distilled with a POT STILL.
Since our Whisky is distilled two times, we are using two different types of POT STILLS: WASH STILLS and SPIRIT STILLS.
The first step is to produce the LOW WINES (from the WASH) with about 25%vol. alcohol in the WASH STILLS.
The second step is the most important step to produce a good NEW MAKE (SPIRIT) because it is important to CUT (separate) the run (destillate) into three parts.
The MASTER DISTILLER and the STILLMEN decide when to set the cut points between the different phases of the destillation.
The destillation begins at about 64°C with the so called FORESHOTS. The foreshots are very light and very dangerous alcoholes like methanol, acetone and esters. They run till a temperature of ~78°C is reached.
The foreshots are followed by the MIDDLE CUT. The middle cut or HEART of the run is the most important part of the destillation because it will be the future whisky. The middle cut contains aroma and ethanol.
At about 83-84°C the most difficult part of the destillation takes place: to set the best cut point because directly after the middle cut the third phase begins - the so called FEINTS.
The feints contain many long-chained and heavy alcohols like isopropyl and butanol which are neither suited for consumption nor tasty.
The last step to produce a whisky is the MATURATION.
A whisky has to be matured at least 3 full years in wooden casks. The casks must not be bigger than 700 l volume.
Because the cask affects the whisky to about 70% only the best casks are used for the maturation of THE GLEN ELS.
The warehouse of THE GLEN ELS DISTILLERY holds a large variety of different cask types, the casks were previously filled with wines like Sherry, Port Wine, Madeira, Marsala, Malaga, Rivesaltes, Claret, Banyuls, Sauternes, Tokaji, Jurancon or Amarone (and many other) or destillates like Rum or Cognac.
After one or some casks are fully mature, rich flavoured and perfectly smooth they can be bottled.
The first decision is to add water or not. Most of the special bottlings and especially SINGLE CASK bottlings are bottled so called CASK STRENGTH (45-65%vol.) without adding any water.
CORE RANGE bottlings like THE GLEN ELS - JOURNEY are bottled at 43%vol. via adding fresh spring water before the bottling process.
Please note that THE GLEN ELS is always NON CHILL FILTERED and NON COLOURED (no spirit caramel is added).
Every single bottle of THE GLEN ELS is unique because it is bottled, corked, sealed and labled completely by hand.
In the distillery shop you can find everything which is produced at the distillery. From THE GLEN ELS Core Range bottlings like THE JOURNEY to SPECIAL EDITIONS or even DISTILLERY EXCLUSIVE bottlings the distillery shop holds a large variety of different bottlings. Beside the Single Malts you can also find tasting-glasses, bar towels and many other products like the heritage collection liquors: Herbal Liquors, fruit based spirits,...
In the shop you can find THE GLEN ELS TASTING BAR where you can taste the Single Malts and other products.