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John Distilleries use six row Indian barley grown in the foot hills of Himalayas, the majority of which is grown in the state of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana (six row barley is different to the two row used in scotch whisky industry). Peat is imported from Port Ellen Maltings, Islay, Scotland once a year, and the peating level is around 50ppm in the barley and around 30- 35ppm in the new make spirit. Each year John Distilleries produce around 200 thousand litres of peated single malt which is 25% of the annual production.
Each mash uses 2 tons of malted barley to produce 12,000 litres of wort which is filtered and pumped to a buffer tank.
Each wash back has a capacity of approximately 18,000 litres and is filled with 12,000 litres of wort from the buffer tank. After reducing the temperature from 60°C to 20°C, dry yeast is added to start the fermentation, which take 55 to 60 hours to complete. The fermented wash is left in the wash back for couple more hours to allow microorganisms to develop that add body and flavours.
Double distillation is in traditional copper pot stills. The 15,000 litre capacity wash still has a ball in its swan neck and has ascending lyne arm. The spirits still has a 9,000 litre capacity and also has an ascending lyne arm to encourage reflux. Each still has a shell and tube copper condenser and an after cooler. Each batch takes 10 hours to distil with the heart cut being around 1,000 litres with an strength around 65% alc./vol.. Approximately 2,500 litres of new make spirit are produced each day (70,000 to 75,000 litres per month).
The underground maturation cellar contains 3,500 casks with another ground level cellar housing 4,000 casks. Maturation is in ex-bourbon barrels, although several oloroso sherry seasoned casks have been filled as an experiment. The warehouses are not climate controlled, but are designed with ventilation to ensure “proper” humidity and temperature levels.