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Whisky (whiskey)

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Information about whisky

Whisky is the spelling used in Scotland and for Canadian Rye.
Whiskey is the spelling used in Ireland, the US and some other countries. People very rarely call whisky "Scotch" in Scotland, they either ask for it by brand name or ask for any malt, or just ask for a whisky. The word "scotch" is used though (scotch is an appellation).

A single malt scotch must fulfill three requirements:

i) It must be the product of only one distillery
ii) It must be made exclusively from barley malt
iii) It must be made in Scotland.

and, in order to be sold under the description "Scotch Whisky", it must by law be at least three years old.

Highland malt whisky must be made in an area north west of a line which passes near Dunblane. It includes both Deanston and Blackford, towns a few miles to the west and north of Dunblane.

The best selling single malt in Scotland is "Glenmorangie", pronounced to rhyme with "orangey" (stress on the 2nd syllable of Glen-mor-an-gie). This word comes from the Gaelic for "Glen of Great Tranquility". The best selling single malt scotch in the world is Glenfiddich (=Glen of the Deer). My personal favourites are Highland Park (12 years old, from Orkney). Jackson rates this as "The greatest all-rounder in the world of whisky". For special occasions, I'd recommend MacAllan 18 year old.

There are only two single malt whisky distilleries in North America. One is at Glenora, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. It usually opens for visitors in June for the summer season and also for a few days around Christmas. The other is recently opened and is at Clear Creek Distillery in Portland, Oregon.


Try the whisky www page at

More whisky information is also available at

Other whisky links include

and Diageo (formerly Guinness/GrandMet) owners of many Scotch whisky brands

Mailing Lists

To join the malts mailing list, send a mail to
containing the line
SUBSCRIBE MALTS-L yourfirsname yoursurname


Useful addresses

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society
87 Giles St, Leith, Edinburgh EH6. Tel: 0131 555 2929

The Scotch Whisky Association
20 Atholl Crescent, Edinburgh EH3 Tel: 0131 229 4383

Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre
354 Castlehill, Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 Tel: 0131 220 0441


The definitive book on Malt Whiskies is:

Michael Jackson's Malt Whisky Companion

A Connoisseur's Guide to the Malt Whiskies of Scotland
Published by Dorling Kindersley Ltd, 9 Henrietta St, London, WC2E 8PS The ISBN for the 1999 edition is 0751307084 The price is now UKP12.99 356 pages, hardback. More info at the following link

Covers over 250 malts from over 120 distilleries with full tasting notes. Includes all well known brands plus rare and specialist bottlings Includes rating system for both the whisky and the distillery. Includes alphabetic index, and list of distilleries (with phone numbers) that offer tours.
The brands that Jackson rates most highly are:
Balvenie, Lagavulin, Glenlivet and Highland Park.

The Malt Whisky File

another book is "The Malt Whisky File" by John Lamond and Robin Tucek, "has more tasting notes (over 400) than any comparable whisky guide" . It was described by Esquire as "Unquestionably the best consumer guide to Scotland's finest whiskies". More info at the following link

It is published by
Canongate Books Ltd, 14 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1TE The price for the 2000 edition is UKP7.99, and the ISBN is 1841950726

It can be purchased direct from the publishers via secure transactions available from the above web sites. Also from on-line booksellers (see [1.9])

Scottish FAQ > FAQ Contents > Food, Drink and Pubs > Whisky (whiskey) > Top

Q-HTML V3.4 by Craig Cockburn created this page on 19-Jun-2012 at 08:06:30