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: Glenturret Triple Wood Single Malt 2023 Release

By Christopher Null | April 11, 2024 |

While it’s largely regarded as Scotland’s oldest working distillery, Glenturret single malt is not widely seen on our shores for some reason. Maybe that’s set to change with the arrival of Glenturret Triple Wood Single Malt, a whisky aged in sherry-seasoned American and European oak as well as ex-bourbon casks, then blended together to create…

Read More

Review: Smokehead Twisted Stout Scotch Whisky

By Drew Beard | March 30, 2024 |

Just when we thought that we had covered every smoke-filled iteration of Smokehead single malt, we discover yet another unique spin on this heavy metal-inspired Scotch whisky. For this latest offering, Ian Macleod Distillers has taken their sourced Islay single malt (rumored to come from Lagavulin or Caol Ila) and finished a portion of it…

Read More

Review: The Glenlivet Rum & Bourbon Fusion Cask Selection

By Christopher Null | March 17, 2024 |

The Glenlivet continues its parade of unusual and unexpected whiskies with its new Fusion Cask Selection, which it describes as “a category-first innovation,” selectively finished in “bespoke casks that are uniquely crafted by fusing dismantled first-fill rum and bourbon barrels.” If this sounds at all familiar, you might be recalling Amrut’s Fusion release, which has…

Read More

Review: Dewar’s Double Double Aged 21 Years Old Mizunara Oak

By Christopher Null | March 16, 2024 |

Dewar’s Double Double Aged has been a standout from the brand for years, with all of its expressions — the youngest 21 years old — earning solid marks here. With this new release, Dewar’s is releasing its first specially finished expression, a version of the Double Double 21 year old with an extra Japanese mizunara…

Read More

Can the Keepers of the Quaich Grow Scotch’s Most Valuable Market?

By David Tao | March 12, 2024 |

As liquor industry organizations go, the Keepers of the Quaich is the top of the pyramid for Scotch. Its founding partners — multinational giants Pernod Ricard, Diageo, and Edrington — and other member companies represent a huge chunk of the country’s whisky production. Its twice-yearly, decadent galas are FOMO-inducing events, when select professionals “who work,…

Read More

Review: Glengoyne 25 Years Old

By Christopher Null | March 10, 2024 |

Drew’s been on a Glengoyne kick of late — home of “the slowest stills in Scotland” — so I figured I should see what the fuss is all about for myself. Up next is the oldest expression from the distillery we’ve reviewed today, a 25 year old single malt aged exclusively in sherry casks for…

Read More
Longmorn

Review: Longmorn 18 and 22 Years Old

By David Tao | March 6, 2024 |

Founded in 1894, Longmorn is a Speyside Scotch producer that only recently made its entrance into the American market. In early 2024, Longmorn launched 18 and 22 year-old expressions stateside. Both are non-chill filtered and bottled at cask strength without added coloring.. The two expressions will form the core of Longmorn’s American lineup, and the…

Read More

Review: Deanston Tequila Cask Finish 15 Years Old

By Christopher Null | March 1, 2024 |

Scotch casks tend to make it to Mexico for use in tequila. The other way around… not so much. Deanston Distillery mixes that up with this 15 year old — blending “the essence of the Scottish and Mexican Highlands.” The whisky starts out spending 13 years in traditional Oak hogsheads before being finished for 2…

Read More

Review: Spirits of Single Cask Nation, Spring 2023 Releases

By Drew Beard | February 27, 2024 |

More than just the packaging has changed for indie bottler Single Cask Nation (SCN) since last we checked in on them. At the beginning of 2024, the brand announced their acquisition by Artisanal Spirits Co., owners of another, bigger bottler you may have heard of, The Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Founders Joshua Hatton and Jason…

Read More
Cameron George

Can Scotch Win More American Hearts and Minds? Brand Building with Ardbeg’s Cameron George

By David Tao | February 24, 2024 |

In a whisky world pushing press around master distillers and blenders, one group with outsized market impact doesn’t always get the spotlight: professional brand ambassadors. They’re the folks often closest to accounts both on and off-premises, promoting brands at large-scale events, and tackling entry into new markets one at a time. Few spirits in the…

Read More