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: Isle of Raasay Na Sia Single Casks 2023

By Drew Beard | December 4, 2023 |

Earlier this year, we took our first taste of the much-anticipated Isle of Raasay Single Malt. I first tried it in Scotland last summer and then again when our review sample arrived care of U.S. importer ImpEx, and on both occasions I was impressed by the unique complexity this upstart distillery had achieved in a…

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Drinkhacker’s 2023 Holiday Gift Guide – Best Alcohol/Spirits for Christmas

By Christopher Null | November 23, 2023 |

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some festivities in the form of holiday revelry. Naturally, the holidays mean gift-giving time is nigh, and you’re going to want recommendations for what to wrap up and stash under the tree. As always, this year we want your gift-giving to make a statement, but we…

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Review: The Dalmore Select Edition 2005 and 2008

By Christopher Null | November 20, 2023 |

  Every November, The Dalmore assesses its collection of casks and pulls a handful that represent the distillery’s house style — but which were all distilled in a single year. These Vintage Collection releases are rarities that exemplify the best of what’s in the cellar, all very limited Highland single malts that are said to…

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Review: Johnnie Walker Blue Label Elusive Umami

By Christopher Null | November 9, 2023 |

Johnnie Walker continues to crank out special editions of its Blue Label bottlings, and this latest is its most enigmatic. Elusive Umami is a collaboration between Johnnie Walker master blender Emma Walker and Japanese chef Kei Kobayashi, a whisky designed to explore the enigma of “umami,” the long-heralded “fifth taste.” It isn’t made by dumping…

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Tasting Report: Jack Rose Premier Drams 2023

By Drew Beard | November 7, 2023 |

After a bit of back-and-forth on the date, whiskey mecca Jack Rose Dining Saloon finally landed on October 2nd for this year’s Premier Drams festival. We would have honestly rescheduled a liver transplant to make it, and after the embarrassment of brown water riches on offer this year, we just might have to in 2024.…

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Highland Park 54 Year

Review: Highland Park 54 Years Old

By David Tao | November 5, 2023 |

There are tasting invites, and then there are tasting invites that get you running to the nearest mode of transportation. A chance to taste Highland Park’s 54 year old expression — the line’s oldest to date, with 225 bottles released and valued at a cool $54,000 — is one of the latter. Recently, the brand…

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Review: Isle of Skye Blended Scotch, Complete Lineup (2023)

By Drew Beard | October 29, 2023 |

While we encountered a younger Isle of Skye offering in a previous life, owner Ian Macleod Distillers has recently brought the entire range of Scotch blends stateside. The lineup runs a broad age gamut, from 8 to 30 years old, and each expression now sports fancy new packaging. Named for Skye, home to Talisker Distillery,…

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Review: Glenmorangie “A Tale of Tokyo”

By Christopher Null | October 28, 2023 |

Hey, I’m not the only one that loves Japan and Japanese whisky. Lately, even Scotland is getting in on the hype, with a range of mizunara-finished Scotches hitting the market at a steady clip. Up next is Glenmorangie’s turn, with it’s latest “Tale of” offering, A Tale of Tokyo. For this expression, Dr. Bill Lumsden…

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Review: Dewar’s Double Double Aged 37 Years Old

By Christopher Null | October 26, 2023 |

Dewar’s Double Double Aged has long been the pinnacle of its collection, with three expressions variously aged 21, 27, and 32 years old. Now Dewar’s is upping the ante once again with the launch of Dewar’s Double Double 37 Years Old, a collection of single malts each aged independently for 37 years before finishing in…

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Review: Rosebank 31 Years Old

By Christopher Null | October 19, 2023 |

Rosebank — “the King of the Lowlands” — shut its doors in 1993. But that hasn’t stopped Ian Macleod Distillers (which bought the brand and remaining stock in 2017) from launching whiskies from the operation, and this release — the second of a planned trilogy — clocks in at a whopping 31 years of age.…

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