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: Diageo Scotch Whisky Special Releases 2022

By Christopher Null | December 2, 2022 |

Diageo’s Special Releases — its most prized Scotch whiskies in limited run formats — are here for 2022. And while you can try to ignore the insane messaging — with taglines like “the enchantress of the ruby solstice” — and the out-there bottle artwork, you certainly can’t ignore what’s in these bottles — all hitting…

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The Willy Wonka of Whisky: An Interview With Dr. Bill Lumsden (Part 2)

By Drew Beard | December 1, 2022 |

Today, Ardbeg is an iconic Scotch whisky brand with numerous awards, international name recognition, and the love of peatheads the world over. There’s even a fan club, the Ardbeg Committee, whose limited editions are some of the more coveted annual releases from Islay. But before Glenmorangie and Dr. Bill Lumsden came to its rescue in…

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Review: Lagavulin 11 Years Old Offerman Edition Charred Oak Cask 2022

By Christopher Null | November 27, 2022 |

The collaboration between Islay’s Lagavulin and Nick Offerman continues with the duo’s third release: Lagavulin Offerman Edition: Charred Oak Cask. This 11 year old bottling was designed to pair specifically with steak and is made be aging the spirit in American and European oak casks that are shaved down and then heavily re-charred, really pouring…

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Drinkhacker’s 2022 Holiday Gift Guide – Best Alcohol/Spirits for Christmas

By Christopher Null | November 24, 2022 |

When they said Covid was over, we didn’t think we’d be summarily dropped into a new financial crisis to replace the one we just got out of. The good news is that the holidays have arrived just in time to provide a welcome (if brief) break from yet another year of chaos. At Drinkhacker, we…

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Review: Glenmorangie “A Tale of the Forest”

By Drew Beard | November 18, 2022 |

As the successor to the discontinued Private Edition line, Glenmorangie’s “Tale” series continues the tradition of experimentation and innovation for which whisky-maker, Dr. Bill Lumsden, is so well-known. That said, last year’s Marsala-finished Tale of Winter wasn’t exactly a groundbreaking single malt. For this year’s Tale of the Forest, however, Glenmorangie has brought the world…

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Review: Dewar’s 12 Years Old (2022)

By Drew Beard | November 13, 2022 |

Dewar’s has been on a bit of a tear lately under the stewardship of Master Blender Stephanie Macleod. From the extra-aged Double Double line to back-to-back The Champions Editions and a continuous march of awkwardly-named “Smooth” releases. With the recent revamp of the standard “white label” 12-year-old, it now appears they’ve begun to tinker with…

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Review: Bruichladdich Octomore 13.1, 13.2, and 13.3

By Christopher Null | November 12, 2022 |

It’s lucky round 13 for Octomore — the undisputed most heavily peated whisky in regular production — with again three varieties in release. Like 12.2, the sherry-aged Octomore 13.2 will be in general retail instead of duty free only, so feel free to hop down to your local merchant to ask for an allocation. We…

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Review: GlenDronach Grandeur Batch 11 28 Years Old

By Christopher Null | November 10, 2022 |

GlenDronach’s Grandeur releases keep hitting the market, with Batch 11 one of the oldest it’s ever dropped. The 28 year old bottling is, like Batch 10, drawn from a small number of Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks in which the whisky has been fully matured, not finished. There’s quite a similarity between this release and…

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The Willy Wonka of Whisky: An Interview with Dr. Bill Lumsden (Part 1)

By Drew Beard | October 24, 2022 |

Dr. Bill Lumsden, Director of Whisky Creation at Glenmorangie and Ardbeg, is one of the most recognized names in the wide world of single malt Scotch — and for very good reason. In a career spanning nearly 40 years in the industry, he is known as the Willy Wonka of whisky for his seemingly inexhaustible…

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Review: Old Parr Blended Scotch Whisky 18 Years Old

By Drew Beard | October 22, 2022 |

Grand Old Parr isn’t a brand that we’ve seen a lot of stateside and nothing, until recently, beyond the flagship 12 year old blend. Its substantial popularity in Latin America inspired Diageo to bring more of the stuff north to our fair shores earlier this year, including this bottle, the portfolio’s venerable 18-year-old offering. Per…

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