What is scotch? Scotch whisky, single malt scotch whiskey facts

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Friday, 20/05/2016 12:05

Scotch whisky, often simply called Scotch, is malt whisky or grain whisky made in Scotland. Scotch whiskey must be made in a manner specified by law.

Scotch has been referred to as “the water of life,” and to many who know its allure today, they can understand why. Yet the chronicle of this sometimes, smoky, often nutty, occasionally fruity elixir is poorly known, and in fact, its precise origin is lost to the mists of time (or more likely, drinking Scotch). So let's check out to know more about Scotch Whisky, Single Malt Whiskey, Single Malt Scotch, Scotch brands, best Scotch Whiskey, What is Scotch. Drink facts

Scotch Whiskey quotes

Scotch Whisky quotes

What is Scotch?

Essentially, Scotch is malted barley that is fermented and distilled (twice), then allowed to age in oak barrels. In Scotland, Scotch must mature in its barrel for at least 3 years, although most age in the range of 8 to 20. Scotch made in its homeland, Canada and England is called Scotch Whisky (no e), while that made in Ireland and the U.S. is Scotch Whiskey.

Earliest Scotch Production

The first record of Scotch production is found in The Exchequer Rolls from 1494, tax records that show the purchase of ingredients to make the liquor: “Eight bolls of malt to Friar John Cor wherewith to make aqua vitae water of life”

Other early records indicate that even King James IV was a fan, and on September 15 and 17 of 1506 (according to his Treasurer’s Account), he had ordered aqua vite.

Apparently, the elixir was being made across Scotland by the 17th century, as the Register of the Privy Council in Gamrie, Banffshire notes its presence in reference to a breaking and entering in 1614, and uiskie (whisky) was also mentioned in funeral records from 1618.

Best Scotch Whisky Brands

Best Scotch Whisky Brands

Types of Scotch Whisky

There are 5 categories of Scotch whisky:

Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Widely considered the gold standard of Scotch, single malt is distilled at a single distillery, in pot stills, from only water and malted barely, without any other cereal grains added.

Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Single Grain

Also distilled at a single distillery, this whisky will also have water and malted barley, and may have other whole malted or unmalted grains or cereals. Even if it doesn’t have additional grains or cereals, for some reason, this Scotch does not meet the requirements of a single malt.


At this level, the whisky is a blend between one or more single grain and one or more single malt scotch whiskies.

Blended Malt

This type has more than one single malt Scotch whisky from more than one distillery blended together.

Blended Grain

As with the blended malt, the spirits in this category are made from more than one single grain scotch whisky, produced at more than one distillery.

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Ryan Carter

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