Monday, 8 September 2008

Scots Bere

For the record, Alien Wally is not a farmer, however the barley in this field looks different to what was growing out back.

A wee bit of googling reveals there's such a thing as six-row barley, called Scots Bere (which may or may not be pictured here - see above disclaimer). This would have been the traditional barley grown in Scotland in the 18th and 19th centuries, however nowadays two-row barley is predominantly farmed in Scotland and put to good use in distilleries around the country.

Since Alien Wally is mildly interested in what happens to these grains after they're harvested, he read a bit further to find that six-row barley is mainly used in the production of bourbon in the USA (along with a few other types of grain). Of course, the casks used to age the bourbon can only be used once for bourbon. They are then sold to Scottish distilleries who use them a few more times for aging their own two-row-barley-whisky. Alien Wally doesn't quite know where he was headed with this, except to say that people never seem satisfied with what's on their doorstep - even Glenkinchie distillery trucks malted barley down from Inverness because they weren't happy with the malt produced right on their doorstep.

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