What Is a Non-Chill Filtered Whisky?

The world of whiskies is astounding, and if you look deep enough, you’ll realize that every single element and thought that goes into making the final product (a whisky that is) has a purpose.

From the many, one of the specializations, if you will, is a non-chill filtered whisky.

So, what is a non-chill filtered whisky? To understand it properly, we will need to first know what is chill filtering in the first place.

What Is Chill Filtering In Whiskies?

It’s evident that the word filter gives some kind of hint as to removing something. At the end of the day, chill filtering is a process where the residues are removed by cooling the whisky to temperatures between 14 – 39 Fahrenheits. The primary objective of doing so are the following:

  • Prevent cloudiness or haziness of the whisky while it sits in the bottle
  • Prevent the same when the whisky is consumed on the rocks or served with ice, or even without. For example, say it’s served without ice, but the whisky is just sitting there.

Note that chill filtering is done for this exact reason (mainly), as opposed to changing the taste (which many believe it does; more to follow). In other words, it’s primarily done for cosmetics.

Although, it seems that the process is also necessary, especially for drawing out extremely unpleasant and harmful compounds, so in a way, it actually makes a whisky better tasting, and healthier.

What Is a Non-Chill Filtered Whisky?

It’s apparent that a non-chill filtered whisky would quite literally be the converse of a chill-filtered one. Simply put, any whisky marketed as non-chill filtered means it probably did not go through the process of chill filtering.

Why would one do so? Principally, because of the following reasons:

  • Hold onto the ingenuity of the whisky.
  • Same for the reasons of taste, flavor, and profile.
  • Be distinctive from a chill-filtered one. So, in terms of providing innovative experiences to end-users, it has some justification on that end as well.

2 Commonly Asked Questions Around Chill-Filtered and Non-Chill Filtered Whiskies

Is Chill-Filtered Better Tasting Than Non-Chill Filtered?

This is one of those things that you can debate forever. When it comes to likeness, colors, taste, music, and similar things, no one is right or wrong. Many believe it is (because the residues are removed, even though that’s not why it’s done). On the other hand, many believe it isn’t (because the residues are also part of the whisky), and therefore, by removing it, you’re getting rid of the originality that comes with it. Often, peat particles are also eliminated in the process, and thus, the smokiness can reduce.

Are There Any Great Non-Chill Filtered Whiskies out There?

Yes, there are many! As stated, some producers are proud to market their products as non-chill filtered to allude to retaining the original taste, flavors, smokiness, etc. A great example is a Laphroaig Quarter Cask bottle.
If you’ve honestly haven’t tried a non-chill filtered whisky, you certainly should. It’s a unique encounter that deserves a shot.

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Whether to consume a chill-filtered or a non-chill filtered is a never-ending conversation and can vary. What is a constant factor, though, is that they both have their own taste personalities.

Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what floats your boat; however, if variety is what you seek, then keep both kinds at your disposal.