Scotch Whisky

Whisky made in Scotland, referred to as Scotch, is one of the most popular types of whisky in the world. By law, it must be distilled to no more than 189.6 proof and produced from a mixture of water, cereal grains, and malt, with the only allowed additives being water and caramel coloring. Scotch must be aged in oak casks in Scotland at a licensed warehouse for a minimum of three years, but, unlike bourbon or rye, those casks can, and almost always are, used barrels instead of new ones. Scotch is separated into five categories, one of which is required to be displayed on the label: Single Malt (100% malt barley from a single distillery), Single Grain (all grain spirit from a single distillery), Blended Grain (grain whiskies from multiple distilleries), Blended Malt (a blend of single malts), and Blended Scotch (a blend of malt and grain whiskies). The malt used to make Scotch can be dried by fire from with compacted vegetation called peat, which imparts a unique flavor on the final product. (This type of Scotch is most common on island regions, particularly Islay.) There are five whisky-producing regions in Scotland, each with its own style and character: Lowlands, Highlands, Speyside, Islay, and Campbeltown.

Top Scotch Whisky Posts:

A Tour of Scotland: Understanding Scotch Whiskies
Touring Scotch Whisky Distilleries in Speyside, Scotland
Drinking Scotch with The Dalmore’s Richard Paterson
Whiskies of Glen Grant with Master Distiller Dennis Malcolm

Review: The Dalmore Sherry Cask Select 12 Years Old

By Rob Theakston | July 16, 2021 |

There is never a shortage of finished single malts on the market these days, a process that can disguise otherwise underperforming whisky as something serviceable. But there’s also an art to finishing, and when done well, it’s an experience to savor. Matured in ex-bourbon casks for a decade and finished in a combination of Oloroso…

Read More

Review: X by Glenmorangie

By Rob Theakston | July 10, 2021 |

The Glenmorangie train keeps rolling right through this summer, with this our final destination: the latest addition to Glenmorangie’s core lineup — X by Glenmorangie. It was created in partnership with barkeeps, and is a reduced-proof version Glenmorangie designed for use as a clutch ingredient in cocktails. This concept might not sit well with pearl-clutching…

Read More

A Glenmorangie Retrospective, 2021

By Rob Theakston | July 9, 2021 |

Recently, we enjoyed a survey of the Glenmorangie core range while chatting about giraffes. With this in mind, the time felt appropriate to clean off the shelves, empty some bottles, and engage in a quick survey of other Glenmorangie expressions, both recent and past (as of 2021). Glenmorangie “A Tale of Cake” – A 10-year-old…

Read More

Review: Berry Bros & Rudd Glen Keith 24 Years Old 1993

By Rob Theakston | July 7, 2021 |

Berry Brothers & Rudd is another venerable independent bottler which curates a wide variety of spirits beyond single malts (wine, gin, Cognac, etc). This timely review takes us back to a 2018 release and Speyside’s Glen Keith distillery. A bit of historical background via Berry Bros. website: Glen Keith (a.k.a. Glenkeith), was established on the…

Read More

Review: Balnellan Single Malt Cognac Cask Finish

By Rob Theakston | July 6, 2021 |

Balnellan is another in a long line of private label bottlings for big-box American chain store Total Wine, this time supplied by independent bottler Angus Dundee. There have been a few offerings in the Balnellan line, but this expression of single malt whisky is aged in ex-bourbon casks before transferred to Cognac barrels for finishing,…

Read More

Review: WM Cadenhead Dailuaine 19 Years Old 1996

By Rob Theakston | July 4, 2021 |

Previously on “Everybody Hates Drinkhacker”: we reviewed an 11-year old Dailuaine from independent bottler WM Cadenhead. It was pleasant and serviceable enough to rate as a “B” on our grading scale, a respectable enough showing. However, reader Kevin took umbrage with my verdict and after a very pleasant exchange, offered to send me a sample…

Read More

Review: GlenAllachie 14 Years Old Port Single Cask 2006 #7862

By Christopher Null | June 30, 2021 |

GlenAllachie’s relaunch hit the U.S. in earnest a few years ago. Now fans of the whisky can dig deeper into its archives with this single cask bottling, which spends 14 years in Port pipes. Just 331 bottles were turned out from this cask, #7862. We received a small sample to check out. Let’s dig in.…

Read More

Review: Chivas Regal 12 Years Old

By Christopher Null | June 21, 2021 |

Chivas Regal’s flagship 12 year old bottling was probably the first Scotch I ever tried (alongside perhaps a sip of Cutty Sark), and as far as I can remember I haven’t had it again ever since, outside of the occasional “open bar” wedding. But despite my failure to keep up with the brand, Chivas has…

Read More

On Giraffes and Glenmorangie

By Rob Theakston | June 20, 2021 |

At its core, marketing is a peculiar craft. Every day at Drinkhacker HQ, our inboxes fill with product press releases and exciting announcements about executive promotions at booze companies. While some pitches are straightforward with few antics or gimmicks, others defy description. Then there are the ones that catch our attention and reel us in,…

Read More

Review: Johnnie Walker Blonde

By Christopher Null | June 16, 2021 |

Formally known as Johnnie Blonde from Johnnie Walker, this is an avowed mixer from the brand, “a brighter, sweeter whisky perfect for the fun-loving and the curious” and “one of the most versatile whiskies the team at Johnnie Walker has ever made.” Launching exclusively in Houston, Texas, the summery blended whisky is indeed as light…

Read More