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What is the chill filtration of a whisky?
Chill filtration is an optional step in the making of a whisky, and takes place before bottling. It consists of filtering any deposits or foreign bodies at a reduced temperature between 0° and -10° C.
More specifically, the whisky passes through filters, which are more or less thick, and which will retain the undesirable components made heavier by the low temperature.
This process, widely used in the production of Blended whiskies, prevents the whisky from becoming cloudy and helps it to remain clear, without roughness when in an environment below 15 °C.
Cold filtration of a whisky therefore has only a primarily aesthetic purpose.
What's the point of non chill filtered whisky?
When a whisky is chill-filtered, several parameters can alter its aromatic properties such as the temperature level, the type of filter used or the filtration speed.
This process is therefore highly criticized because it is considered to be detrimental to the taste qualities of the whisky. By removing any deposit, filtering can also remove some of the more subtle aromas from the whisky as well as some of its texture.
This is why the whisky market is increasingly seeing the appearance of whiskies labelled "non chill-filtered". Thus, these expressions reveal greater aromatic richness and a more complex tasting, with a more dense texture.
A whisky as close as possible to its natural state
Non chill-filtered whiskies have gained popularity over the years as they attract enthusiasts looking for expressions in their most natural state.
And this desire of the distilleries to offer expressions without chill-filtering for a more natural result is often accompanied by other processes such as the mentions without colouring or cask strength.