5 Fascinating Facts About Scotch Whisky

Best of Scotland Tours

22 August 2022

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‍Whisky has a long and intriguing history, and no other spirit has quite the same mystique as Scotch whisky. It’s been called the “water of life” for a reason for sure.

If you want to know more about this special liquor, read on for some fascinating facts about Scottish whisky.

 

Why is whisky called whisky?

 

The word “whisky” is an Anglicized version of the Gaelic word “uisge,” which means “water.”

This makes sense, as whisky is essentially a distilled water flavored with a variety of different grains and herbs. Moreover, “uisge beatha” translates to “water of life”.

The word “whisky” has been in use since the early 17th century,

 

What makes Scotch whisky so special?

 

Scotch whisky is a product that’s made entirely in Scotland. This is why it’s called Scotch whisky. Scotch whisky is made from grains that’s been mashed, fermented, distilled, and then aged in oak casks for a minimum of three years. The oak cask must have been only used for wine, port or sherry beforehand and shouldn’t exceed capacity of 700 litres. A whisky with an age statement is called guaranteed age whisky. Scotch whisky without an age statement should, be as young as three years old by law.

Oak casks are often charred on the inside to give the whisky its signature smoky flavor. The mash that is used to produce the liquor can be made from whole grains, such as barley, corn, rye, and wheat. While there are many different types of whisky, Scotch is the only one that can be called Scotch whisky.

 

There are 5 different types of Scottish whisky

 

There are five different types of Scottish whisky:

  • single malt,
  • blended malt,
  • single grain,
  • blended grain,
  • and blended Scotch whisky.

 

Here’s a breakdown of what makes each type special:

  • Single malt whisky – Single malt whisky is made from a single type of grain, barley. Each distillery has its own unique character, so you’ll never see two single malts that taste the same!
  • Blended malt whisky – Blended malt whisky is a blend of single malt whiskies from two or more different distilleries.
  • Single grain whisky – Should not be confused with ‘single Malt’. Here single means that each Whisky must be produced at only one distillery. Single grain whiskies do not have a requirement to be produced from malted barley.
  • Blended whisky – Blended whisky is a blend of various grain and malt whiskies – usually around 25% malt whisky.
  • Blended grain whisky: Similar to blended whisky, the blended grain whisky is a mix of single grain whiskies from two or more different distilleries.

Scotch whisky regions in Scotland

 

There are 5 officially recognized whisky regions in Scotland, each offering a different perspective. A whisky enthusiast can enjoy a diverse range of whiskies from Speyside, Highland, Campbeltown, Lowland and Islay.

 

Whisky is a vital part of Scottish culture and heritage

 

Whisky is not just a Scottish drink – it’s a part of the country’s culture and history with over 130 distilleries dotted across the country. Over the centuries, distillers have been experimenting with different grains, herbs, and spices to produce a unique taste.

Today, whisky has a worldwide following, and each distillery is associated with a particular flavor and aroma.

 

Whisky is a vital part of Scottish culture. It has played an important role in the country’s history, from being used as currency to being used as medicine.

 

Conclusion

 

Whisky is a drink that’s steeped in tradition and history. It’s something that’s best enjoyed slowly. No matter which variety you choose, you’ll be treated to a smooth, unique drink that you won’t find anywhere else. By joining a Scotch whisky tour during your visit to Scotland you can learn and taste the best whisky in the world.

 

Slàinte!

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