Malt whisky is made only from malted barley, in two (occasionally three) copper pot stills, by a batch process. ‘Single’ malt whisky is the product of an individual distillery; ‘vatted’ or ‘blended’ malt (sometimes called ‘pure’ malt) is a mix of makes from two or more distilleries.
Malt whisky is the ‘original’ whisky of Scotland. Although other grains were used, barley was grown specifically for making beer and whisky. However, with the success of blended whisky in the late 19th century, little was drunk as single malt outside the Highlands until the 1980s, when ‘the vintages of the North’ were rediscovered by an enthusiastic public and began to be made available by distillery owners.