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Whisky Glossary : Abv

Whisky Glossary and Definitions

Unlike wine, for example, whisky is not really about mystification, but it does bring its own jargon. Any unusual terms you are likely to come across are described and defined in this section.


Issue 153 Out Now

Whisky Magazine Issue 153

Cu Bocan | Highland Park | Jameson | Shelter Point | Tullibardine | Wyoming

Abv - Definition


Alcohol By Volume, often abbreviated to Abv

See also : Alcohol By Volume

?Ramsay's handiwork
?Grouse shows its older colours

September 2013, Issue 114, page 78

A bourbon thoroughbred
Stuart Maclean Ramsay was totally sedcued by Kentucky's smallest distillery, which uses Scottish copper pot stills and a rare method of distillation.

December 1999, Issue 7, page 30

A brave new world
The world of whisky may well still be dominated by the big five traditional producers,but they're no longer having it all their own way.Dominic Roskrow looks at the new wave of world whisky

September 2007, Issue 66, page 18

A brave new world
Using his knowledge and passion for wine,whisky maker John Hall is creating one of the most iconic Canadian brands, Rob Allanson went to find out why.

November 2007, Issue 67, page 45

A captivating cocktail
Ian Wisniewski looks at the Atholl Brose

June 2006, Issue 56, page 25

A Cocktail Revolution
The rise of new age methods of ageing

March 2015, Issue 126, page 58

A drop of the soft stuff
Ian Wisniewski assesses the effect of the water used in whisky production and as mixer on the drink we love

October 2002, Issue 26, page 52

A Highland Queen
A Custodian Collection from Tullibardine

January 2016, Issue 133, page 29

A Liquid Legacy
Gordon & MacPhail may be the guardians of whisky’s history, but they’re safeguarding its future too

November 2017, Issue 147, page 30

A Little Piece of History
Once, Old Crow was synonymous with quality bourbon, but for some years it has been lost in the wilderness. Now it's set a new lease of life. Dominic Roskrow reports

January 2011, Issue 93, page 22

A Locavore's Tipple
Liza Weisstuch goes in search of slow food whiskey

February 2013, Issue 109, page 34

A matter of art in a glass
What makes a great blend,and why do the biggest brands command such loyalty? Ian Buxton reports

October 2005, Issue 51, page 22

A New Malt is Born
Isle of Harris Distillery fills its first casks

March 2016, Issue 134, page 6

A new relationship
Beer guru Roger Protz looks at some oak aged beers on the market

December 2010, Issue 92, page 58

A Phoenix from the flames
It's nearly 10 years since a major fire all but destroyed a great part of Heaven Hill. But the distillery's now thriving and going from strength to strength. Charles Cowdery reports

July 2005, Issue 49, page 25

A Rich Heritage
Small and perfectly formed, we visit the new Perthshire distillery

March 2014, Issue 118, page 30

A right royal return (Carneronbridge)
Tom Bruce-Gardyne finds that Carneronbridge Distillery is ready to return to the public eye after years in the background of the Scottish whisky industry- all thanks to a member of the Royal family

February 2002, Issue 21, page 38

A sense of place
Joe Bates finds a warm welcome in Sweden.

February 2009, Issue 78, page 34

A Singular Idea
Mark Gillespie explores Buffalo Trace's single oak project

February 2012, Issue 101, page 24

A Still Called Annie
The spirit starts to flow in Glasgow

September 2015, Issue 130, page 19

A survivor
Our man visits one of ‘Scotland's oldest distilleries'

April 2014, Issue 119, page 30

A tale of two airports
Two airports thousands of miles apart, but both have a new duty-free store and exclusive Highland Park bottlings to shout about

January 2018, Issue 149, page 78

A third step
We investigate the process of triple distilling

February 2014, Issue 117, page 36

A touch of glass
There is no doubt that the glass you use has an effect on the appreciation of the spirit therein. Marcin Miller investigate further.

July 2002, Issue 24, page 46

A trace of greatness
Stuart Maclean Ramsay roams among the magnificent buffalo of Kentucky.

September 2000, Issue 11, page 22

A True Travel Retail Exclusive
Dublin and Cork airports chosen for Slane Whiskey global launch

February 2017, Issue 144, page 78

A wave of innovation
Our man visits this venerable Canadian distillery that has a few tricks up its sleeve

June 2013, Issue 112, page 42

A whisky treasure trove
A report from the the duty free event of the year

December 2013, Issue 116, page 78

A World of Possibilities
More cocktail inspiration from Edinburgh's Bramble Bar

February 2017, Issue 144, page 58

A year of Canadian sunshine
Our man looks at the state of Canadian whiskyas the nation turns 150 years old

November 2017, Issue 147, page 42

A-Z of the world's best blends
Ailsa Craig Company: A Dewar Rattray Age: none ABV: 40% Territories: NA Description: smoky but has a unique and unusual taste created by the harsh grain and the oily and interesting malt content The...

October 2004, Issue 43, page 24

Above the clouds
Joe Bates gives in-flight duty-free a chance.

July 2009, Issue 81, page 34

Aelia Opens up at Luton
New duty free store opens including a whisky tasting bar

September 2016, Issue 138, page 66

Ageing Gracefully
The quiet son of Islay whiskies, Bunnahabhain, is to launch a oneoff limited edition 40 Years Old single malt whisky.

December 2012, Issue 108, page 8

Alchemy by the Bay
Stuart MacLean Ramsay takes a trip to the US west coast and checks out three very different but equally daring and passionate distillers

December 2001, Issue 20, page 38



Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Lombard Single Malt Springbank 1965
Single Malt - Scotland - 46.00%
9 This can only come from one distillery in Scotland. Unique and stunning!

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Old Forester 1920 Prohibition Style
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 57.50%
9 A great dram to finish the evening.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

The Antiquary 35 Years Old
Blended - Scotland - 46.00%
9 I need a big cigar, my slippers and a leather armchair next to a roaring fire to appreciate this!

Whisky Magazine - Editors Choice - Winner

Usquaebach Scotch Whisky Usquaebach An Ard Ri Cask Strength
Blended Malt - Scotland - 57.10%
9 Big and beautiful.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Lady of the Glen Aultmore 1992
Single Malt - Scotland - 51.10%
8 Fabulously fresh yet pleasingly complex. Wears its high ABV relatively lightly.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Royal Brackla 16 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
8 Gentle and mature. The perfect dram, to unwind after a hard day at the office!

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Lombard Single Malt Teaninich 1984
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
8 Another whisky where the palate fails to deliver to what the nose promises!

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

The Glenlivet Nàdurra Oloroso
Single Malt - Scotland - 60.70%
8 Like a beautiful and entertaining tapestry. A work of art.

Whisky Magazine - Editors Choice - Winner

Private Collection Balblair 1973
Single Malt - Scotland - 45.00%
8 Elegant and uncomplicated. Refreshing and appetising. Hides its 50% ABV very well.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Tullamore D.E.W. Trilogy
Pot Still - Republic of Ireland - 40.00%
8 Pleasant, soft and subtle. However I think it might have benefited from being bottled at 46% ABV, which would have given the palate a little more intensity.

Whisky Magazine - Editors Choice - Winner

XOP Aultmore
Single Malt - Scotland - 54.40%
8 For sherry fans, this is your gal.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

The Blended Whisky Company The Lost Distilleries Blend Batch 5
Blended - Scotland - 50.40%
8 Is this a 25 year old grain whisky? It certainly feels like one. Very impressive.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

The Glenlivet Nàdurra Peated Whisky Cask Finish
Single Malt - Scotland - 61.50%
8 You would have thought at this ABV it needs water, but that just makes it overly sweet and confected.

Aberfeldy 18 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
8 Aberfeldy handles sherry and age well. A fine example, but a shame this is bottled at 40% ABV.

Old Particular Cameronbridge 25 Years Old
Single Grain - Scotland - 60.60%
8 Who says grain whiskies have no body? A fantastic, middle aged grain.

Label 5 Extra Rare 18 Years Old
Blended - Scotland - 40.00%
8 I had a sneaky feeling whilst nosing this that the oak would be too over-powering for the palate. I was correct in that assumption.

Whisky Magazine - Best Buy - Winner

Langatun Old Bear Cask Proof
Single Malt - Switzerland - 62.80%
8 Big, brash and ballsy. The Donald Trump of whiskies?!

Single Malts of Scotland Glen Grant 1992
Single Malt - Scotland - 57.80%
8 I think this could have done with more time in the cask.

Dry Fly Triticale
Grain - U.S.A. - 42.00%
8 A big, rich classic Bourbon note to this one. Well played.

Elements of Islay Peat
Blended Malt - Scotland - 59.30%
8 Neat, this is superb. I love the way the nose slowly unwinds to reveal layers of complexity.

Knappogue Castle Single Malt Whiskey 14 Years Old Twin Wood
Single Malt - Republic of Ireland - 46.00%
8 I hoped the ‘funkiness' of the nose would follow through on to the palate, but it was more conservative.

Cooper's Choice Rosebank 1992
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
8 A reminder of a great Lowland malt lost.

Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Batch No A117
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 63.50%
8 Big, ballsy and unapologetic. Water struggled to temper this beast.

Balblair 2004 Bourbon Matured
Single Malt - Scotland - 46.00%
8 Classic American oak-matured Bablair. Lack of chill-filtration and enhanced ABV really suit the brand.

That Boutique-y Whisky Company North British Batch 2
Single Grain - Scotland - 49.30%
8 A lovely, fresh, young grain. Avoid water – the alcohol gives it intensity.

Douglas Laing Cask Strength
Blended Malt - Scotland - 53.60%
8 A seriously entertaining dram... As long as you have a bit of a herbal fetish that is!

Glen Scotia Victoriana
Single Malt - Scotland - 51.50%
8 At 51.5% ABV a drop or two of water is needed to open up and soften what is otherwise quite a full-on whisky.

Scallywag Cask Strength No2
Blended Malt - Scotland - 54.10%
8 It's a cake face-off at the local baking competition.

The GlenDronach Single Cask Batch 14, 12 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 58.30%
8 Like a hug in a high-ABV mug (which is the exact-sized receptacle I'd like to enjoy this in).

WhistlePig The Boss Hog Third Edition: The Independent
Rye - U.S.A. - 60.10%
8 A kick as strong as a horse wearing an aromatic flower garland.

Glencadam 22 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 55.30%
7 Lingering, summery and takes ages to finish. Like a good Test Match.

Master of Malt Tormore Single Cask Series
Single Malt - Scotland - 60.20%
7 Interesting whisky but the high ABV requires some precautions. Time, a dash of water and you have an energetic and talkative dram!

Wemyss Malts Single Cask Release East Neuk Dunes
Single Malt - Scotland - 46.00%
7 The oak hasn't fully removed the unwanted impurities, but left any longer the oak would have probably overwhelmed the palate.

Glen Garioch 15 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 53.70%
7 A confident, well-rounded cask strength expression from an often underrated distillery.

Grant's 25 Years Old
Blended - Scotland - 40.00%
7 A delicate and enticing whisky which would have benefited from a higher strength. When you want to try a little tenderness.



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