Guide to scotch whiskey

You Want To Get Into Scotch? Here's A Few Terms You Need To Know!

You're Ready To Dive Into The World Of Scotch?

Here's A Few Terms You Need To Know!

  • Malt Whisky: This is whisky made entirely from malted (germinated) grain. Most of the time, it’s malted barley, but it could be something else. Malted rye, for example. But in Scotland, rules are rules. They’re partying with barley.
  • Single Malt Scotch: A distillery’s OWN whisky. It’s the product of a single distillery. It may be a blend of barrels, but they’re all barrels of the same distillery. (This is not the same as single barrel, y’all. That’s a common misconception.)
  • Single Grain Scotch: It’s also produced at a single distillery. But your grain doesn’t have to be barley, and it doesn’t have to be malted. You’ll find wheat and corn here. Really old bottles of single grain are much less expensive than single malt.
  • Blended Scotch: It’s often milder. These are blends of barrel-aged malt and grain whiskies, sourced from several different distilleries. You’ll see blended malt and blended grain.
  • Peat: Peat bogs are found all over Scotland. Over thousands of years, decayed vegetation creates these peat layers. Peat is actually an energy source. It’s dried into bricks, and it’s similar to coal. A peat-heated fire combined with damp malt gives that signature smoke to the barley.
  • Master Distiller & Whiskey Maker: These two work together. They’re in charge of a single malt brand. Their guiding question: “Which warehouse casks will combine to make great, consistent blends for our bottles?”
  • Master Blender: They’re in charge of making blended Scotch. Most Scotch is blended, made with both single malt and grain whiskies.
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