KWS Sassy secures full IBD approval for distilling

24th May 2017

KWS Sassy, a spring malting barley from KWS, has received full approval for malt distilling from the Institute for Brewing & Distilling (IBD).

Added to the AHDB Recommended List in 2016, KWS Sassy quickly attracted interest from commercial distillers and was taken into private trials as a potential successor to the industry standard, Concerto.

A true distilling type with outstanding grain quality, KWS Sassy performed impressively in a large volume trial in the north of Scotland managed by maltster, Bairds Malt.

“It performed well on farm with higher yields and with grain size and quality either consistent or better than the industry standard used as the control,” said Eddie Douglas, Bairds Malt, commercial director.

“Growers liked it and it was noted for being quick to establish and showing good tillering,” he notes.

Having done well on farm, Bairds Malt conducted two distilling tests to further establish its suitability. It did well in both, exceeding expectations.

“It demonstrated good processability levels in the malthouse and distilleries and produced spirit yields better than that of the control variety.† ,” said Eddie Douglas. †

“It seems to be a variety that is particularly well-suited to Scotland and we are planning to increase the sown area over the next two years with the intention that it becomes a mainstay variety,” he added.

Will Compson, KWS cereals product manager, welcomed the news that the IBD had given KWS Sassy full approval for distilling.

“Growers and distillers have been searching for a successor variety to Concerto for several years and their patience has been rewarded: KWS Sassy is 12% higher yielding in the north, has lower screenings and a similar grain nitrogen content. We expect it to be very popular.”