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A Glossary of Whisky terms
The name is an English corruption of the ancient name for spirits "water of life" - which in Scottish and Irish Gaelic is "uisge beatha" or "usquebaugh" and sounded to the English ear like "uishgi" and hence "whisky". "Alcohol" incidentally is an Arabic word.
means simply that the whisky was distilled and matured in Scotland. Whiskies are made in other countries, notably Ireland and Japan but whiskies they may be, and good ones even, but Scotch they are not. Scotch comes from Scotland.
This indicates that the raw material is barley malt, by itself fermented with yeast and distilled in a pot still. This produced a far superior whisky to the common grain whisky found in blends. Note however that just occasionally quality single grain whiskies can be found.
Malt is essentially barley which has been allowed to germinate by soaking in water then has been dried by the application of heat. The malting process converts the stored starch into soluble compounds such as the sugar maltose and by so doing makes fermentation possible. Drying the malt over a furnace stops the germinating process and lacing the furnace with peat imparts a peaty aroma to the malt.
Indicates by contrast that the raw material is unmalted barley, wheat or maize produced as a continuous process in a column still. There are eight grain distilleries in Scotland (an older source lists 15 note).
This indicates that the whisky was made in only one distillery and has not been blended with any other product from elsewhere. It may however contain whisky from several production batches over a period of up to a couple of years. There are rather fewer than 100 working malt whisky distilleries in Scotland with the dominant concentration in the Spey valley in north-east Scotland around Elgin. A smaller group of particularly characterful malt distilleries exists on the western island of Islay and there used to be a third group centered round Campbeltown. About 120 single malts can be identified including the bottled product of now-defunct distilleries.
Such a malt is a blend of single malts. This produces a product which is more consistent and can be "tuned" to bring out a particular character. Such whiskies may be less demanding and can form a convenient introduction to the rich and varied world of true single malts. Lovers of malts will argue that it is precisely this inconsistency that gives malt whiskies their charm.
Such a whisky contains a variable proportion of blended malt and grain whiskies, commonly about 40% malt:60% grain. A good quality blend may contain more than 40% malt, a cheap one much less. Many malts may be incorporated in the blend to provide bulk then fine elements of the final taste ("top dressing").
For a lot of very nice whisk(e)y screensavers
Wine collection in a medieval cellar in Siena, Italy >
Koninklijke Cooymans B.V. Distillateurs en Wijnkopers sinds 1828
Other label collectors
Whisky, Malt, Blended and Miniatures
Whisky website devoted to all things whisky, features a catalogue of over 3000 whisky products and articles.
Online World Whisky and Distillery Guide
This is an excellent whisky site describing world whiskies and their distilleries from the past and present. Countries that are listed on this site for its whiskies are Scotland, American, Australia, New Zealand, India, Japan, Ireland, Wales and Canada. With regarding to Scottish whisky there is a full selection of Blended, Grain and of course Single Malts available with an in-depth distilleries guide for nearly all the distilleries. This site also includes a full range of American Bourbons with the facility to buy these online. This is a excellent website which gives you the ultimate whisky guide at your finger tips with all the history to go along.
The Martin Green Whisky Consultancy Martin Green specializes in sourcing and valuation of whiskies
The Famous Grouse
General Whisky links
Miniature Bottle Collecting
Scotch Malt Whisky Auction
The Whisky Shop
The Edinburgh Malt Whisky Tour
The Malt Whisky File
Stockholm Single Malt Society
Scottish Clan & Family Name Information
The Whisky Shop
The Scotch Malt Whisky Society
The Edinburgh Malt Whisky Tour
A Whisky Club of Southern Sweden
My interview (pdf) for the Dutch magazine "Whisky etc." Only in Dutch.
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