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Scotch Glossary of Terms

Please use our glossary as a resource to better your understanding of some common Scotch related terms used on this site and within the Scotch drinking community.

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Blended Scotch Whisky

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").

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Measurement of liquid, often associated with Scotch whiskey and determined by the pourer.

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Barley which has germinated by soaking it in water, then germinated, traditionally on a wooden or stone floor or more commonly nowadays in large rotating drums or Saladin boxes with automatic turners. Malting converts the stored starch into soluble compounds such as the sugar maltose which allows fermentation. Then drying the malt over a furnace stops the germination. By adding peat to the furnace a peaty aroma and taste is transferred to the malt.

Malt Whisky

Whisky that is made entirely from malted barley.

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A traditional fuel in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland made from compressed vegetable matter and cut from peat bogs and dried. Peat is burned in the kiln to impart a smokey flavour on the malt.

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Single Malt

Malt whiskey from a single distillery, unmixed with grainwhiskey.


A traditional toast when drinking whisky. It is Gaelic for

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Vatted Malts

A blend of single malts which is often more consistent and

Vintage Whisky

A bottling in which all the whisky is distilled during a single year.

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Comes from the Gaelic words

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