The influence of yeast strain on whisky new make spirit aroma

Christopher Waymark, Annie E. Hill*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
599 Downloads (Pure)


Flavour in Scotch malt whisky is a key differentiating factor for consumers and producers alike. Yeast (commonly Saccharomyces cerevisiae) metabolites produce a significant amount of this flavour as part of distillery fermentations, as well as ethanol and carbon dioxide. Whilst yeast strains contribute flavour, there is limited information on the relationship between yeast strain and observed flavour profile. In this work, the impact of yeast strain on the aroma profile of new make spirit (freshly distilled, unmatured spirit) was investigated using 24 commercially available active dried yeast strains. The contribution of alcoholic, fruity, sulfury and sweet notes to new make spirit by yeast was confirmed. Generally, distilling strains could be distinguished from brewing and wine strains based on aroma and ester concentrations. However, no statistically significant differences between individual yeast strains could be perceived in the intensity of seven aroma categories typically associated with whisky. Overall, from the yeast strains assessed, it was found that new make spirit produced using yeast strains marketed as ‘brewing’ strains was preferred in terms of acceptability rating.

Original languageEnglish
Article number311
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2021


  • Aroma
  • Distillery fermentation
  • New make spirit
  • Spirit flavour
  • Whisky
  • Yeast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Plant Science


Dive into the research topics of 'The influence of yeast strain on whisky new make spirit aroma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this