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

Pairing Talisker and Oysters at Home with Real Oyster Cult

By Christopher Null | June 14, 2021 |

A common scene at food-centric events (back when we got to go to food events) would frequently be the Talisker booth, where one busy guy would be tasked with shucking oysters and dousing them with a splash of Talisker whisky to be fed to the faithful. It’s a fun combination — moderately peaty Scotch with…

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Review: Lagavulin 11 Years Old Offerman Edition Finished in Guinness Casks

By Christopher Null | June 4, 2021 |

Nick Offerman, a self-professed “theater actor from Illinois and woodworker” is unreserved in his admission that his work with Lagavulin is pure happenstance. The Parks and Recreation character Ron Swanson was the entree to this famed Islay Scotch brand, and as Swanson’s love of Lagavulin grew, so did Offerman’s. Offerman isn’t a whisky expert, as he explained…

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A Spirited Journey With the 20 Whiskies That Changed the World Tasting Set

By Christopher Null | June 2, 2021 |

Tasting kits full of mini bottles are always fun, but the typical set always manages to shove a fair amount of junk in with the whales. That makes for a varied tasting experience, to be sure, but also a frustrating one. With the 20 Whiskies That Changed the World Tasting Set, Sukhinder and Rajbir Singh…

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Review: WM Cadenhead Dailuaine 11 Years Old 2008

By Rob Theakston | May 23, 2021 |

The majority of Dailuaine’s (pronounced “Dal-oo-ayn”) output rests within a blend which some folks might enjoy with passing familiarity: Johnnie Walker. Aside from occasional appearances in Diageo’s Limited Edition and Flora and Fauna series, there is relatively scant Dailuaine representation, save for cameos on the independent bottling circuit. This WM Cadenhead’s release was selected by…

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Review: Oban Distillers Edition 2018 – Distilled 2004

By Christopher Null | May 18, 2021 |

Yep, it’s a bit of a time warp today as we step back a bit to Oban’s 2018 Distillers Edition release, which we recently acquired, you know, 3 years too late. The good news for Oban fans — which, if you’re not, you should be — is that this expression still appears to be readily…

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Review: The Macallan Edition No. 6

By Christopher Null | May 14, 2021 |

The sixth and final release in The Macallan’s “Edition” series is here. (We previously reviewed Editions 1, 2, and 4.) The new single malt “celebrates the natural wonders of The Macallan Estate, and the vibrant life force that sustains it – the River Spey.” Marking the sixth and final release in The Macallan Edition Series,…

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Review: The Tweeddale Grain of Truth Single Grain Scotch

By Christopher Null | May 5, 2021 |

If you’re at all familiar with The Tweeddale, it’s likely in reference to its origin story in the late 1800s. The brand was a simple, small scale blended Scotch operation operated by one Richard Day, and it appears to have been fairly successful up until World War II, when the business was shuttered. In 2010…

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Review: Raasay While We Wait 2018 Release

By Christopher Null | April 29, 2021 |

Raasay Distillery (aka Isle of Raasay Distillery) is the first legal whisky distillery on the Isle of Raasay, which is a tiny island just north of the Isle of Skye in Scotland. Operations formally began in 2017, and while the distillery just dropped its first formal bottling, we recently discovered a bottle of While We Wait,…

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Review: WM Cadenhead Glen Ord 12 Years Old

By Rob Theakston | April 26, 2021 |

Glen Ord (or The Singleton of Glen Ord depending on whom one asks) quietly stations itself as one of the major producers of single malt in the world: behind only Glenlivet, Macallan, Glenfiddich, Roseisle, and Alisa Bay in terms of production capacity. Yet few people outside of dedicated malt maniacs know of Ord’s major contributions.…

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Review: John Walker & Sons Celebratory Blend

By Christopher Null | April 26, 2021 |

John Walker opened his first grocery store in 1820, and would eventually (over 40 years later, in fact) dip his toe into whisky making. This bottling celebrates the 200th anniversary of that grocery store and calls back to Walker’s “Old Highland Whisky,” which was one of the first whiskies exported from Scotland. This Celebratory Blend…

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