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Whisky Glossary : Congeners

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 124 Out Now

Whisky Magazine Issue 124

David Beckham Interview, Battle of the Blends, Ardbeg Distillery, Japan focus

 

Congeners

Chemical compounds produced during fermentation and maturation. Congeners include esters, acids, aldehydes and higher alcohols. Strictly speaking they are impurities, but they give whisk(e)y its flavour. Their presence in the final spirit must be carefully judged; too many would make it undrinkable.

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 rare breed (Wild Turkey)
Wild Turkey is an old-fashioned American spirit, full of character, with an ability to seduce all-comers. Stuart Maclean-Ramsay pays his respects.

April 2000, Issue 9, page 38

A taste of India
The market for whisky in India is huge. Tom Bruce-Gardyne examines its colourful, unconventional nature

March 2003, Issue 29, page 26

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

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

All in the mix
Ian Wisniewski explains how oxidation affects maturation

March 2006, Issue 54, page 64

Bodega Don George
Dave Broom heads to a surprising Scottish outpost in the Dominican Republic.

September 2009, Issue 82, page 53

Bottle ageing...so where's the science?
In Issue 27, Martin Isark argued that whisky aged in the bottle. His views have provoked a storm of opposition. Here Peter Wood makes the case against Isark's theory

March 2003, Issue 29, page 82

Bourbon uncovered
Gary Regan & Mardee Haidin Regan guide us through the process of whiskey-making American-style

October 1999, Issue 6, page 54

Canadian rye versus American straight rye
Davin is the author of Canadian Whisky: The Portable Expert

June 2013, Issue 112, page 12

Connoisseur's chemistry
the final instalment of Philip Hills' abridged extract from his fascinatin new book Appreciating Whisky.

December 2000, Issue 13, page 52

Dewar's guardian
Caroline Dewar meets the latest in the line of Dewar's master blenders

April 2007, Issue 63, page 46

Foreshots and Feints
The quality of a new make spirit is crucial to making good whisky. Ian Wisniewski delves deeper into the process

August 2006, Issue 58, page 61

French flair
Ted Bruning visits the distilleries making waves in Brittany.

February 2008, Issue 70, page 52

Grand designs
There are numerous financial risks involved in establishing a new malt whisky distillery. But how do you make sure the whisky you produce is any good? Richard Jones reports

August 2006, Issue 58, page 28

Have you got Worms?
Ian Wisniewski ask what role do condensers play when producing malt whisky

January 2011, Issue 93, page 38

It'sallgoingdownthetubes
IanWisniewskicomparesthemeritsofwormsagainstthoseofshellandtubecondensers

February 2004, Issue 37, page 64

Jack's No.7 heaven (Jack Daniel's)
Jack Daniel's is bucking the trend in many markets and going from strength to strength. Dominic Roskrow went to Lynchburg to find out why

March 2007, Issue 62, page 32

Key processes
In the latest in our series looking at the language of whisky, Dominic Roskrow looks at the letters E and F

April 2007, Issue 63, page 78

Land of legends
Canada is a great holiday destination and has a fascinating take on whisky production. In this guide we look at two centres:Ontario and Calgary

September 2008, Issue 74, page 38

Meet the awkward squad
The basic process of making whisky is similar throughout the world. But there are always some who have to be different. Dave Broom meets the misfits

March 2005, Issue 46, page 44

Mellowing in Lynchburgh
Davin de Kergommeaux gets under the skin of the Tennessee giant

July 2011, Issue 97, page 28

More with M
In our series looking at whisky terms we have reached the second part of the letter m. Dominic Roskrow looks at maturation

December 2007, Issue 68, page 31

Of questionable taste
A mystery flavour, a grand tasting and French chemists- all involved in Gary Regan's whisky adventure.

December 2000, Issue 13, page 70

Out of the shadows
Grain whisky is stepping into the spotlight after years of being undervalued. Ian Wisniewski finds out more

November 2006, Issue 60, page 56

Past masters
In the second part of their American whiskey odyssey, Gary Regan and Mardee Haidin Regan uncover the traditional practices that makes each bottling unique.

December 1999, Issue 7, page 38

Spirit of the times
In the first of a two part series looking at new make spirit, Ian Wisniewski considers the range of characteristics that appear in new make spirit,and how they are created.

April 2009, Issue 79, page 28

Talking stills
In the first of two articles on stills, Ian Wisniewskilooks at the role of the wash still,and what happens during the first distillation process

June 2008, Issue 72, page 24

That's the spirit
In the second of two articles on stills,Ian Wisniewskilooks at the critical role of the spirit still during the second distillation

July 2008, Issue 73, page 29

That's the spirit
In our latest in our series on whisky terms we look at the second part on the letter S,and the role of the spirits still in Scotch whisky production.

September 2008, Issue 74, page 33

The Big Distiller
in the Scotch whisky 'mainstream' nobody has more respected reputation for innovation than Dr Bill Lumsden, head of distilling & whisky creation for Glenmorangie plc; owner of the Glenmorangie and Ard...

April 2011, Issue 95, page 14

The big malt of Skye (Talisker)
Powerful but elegant, Talisker is a prince among whiskies. Margaret Rand went over the sea to discover what makes the magic

October 1999, Issue 6, page 28

The C Words
In the latest in his series defining whisky terms Dominic Roskrow looks at the letter C

January 2007, Issue 61, page 74

The elements of style part 2
In the second of his three-part series on what determines the character of malt whisky, Professor Alan Rutherford looks at the effect mashing, fermentation and distillation have on flavour.

June 1999, Issue 4, page 33

The elements of style part 3
Part three maturation In the third and final part of his series on what influences the flavour of malt whisky, Professor Alan Ruthrford turns his attention to the ageing process.

August 1999, Issue 5, page 36

 

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