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Whisky Glossary : Grist

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



The ground-up grain to which water is added to form the Mash

100 Greatest Distilleries to Visit
Our team of writers around the world give you the distilleries you should visit.

December 2011, Issue 100, page 30

50 Monumental Bourbon Moments
To commemorate the 50 years since bourbon made history

July 2014, Issue 121, page 62

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 country beyond kentucky
Think American whiskey and you think Kentucky. But across the United States there are other options – including the biggest of them all

April 2008, Issue 71, page 38

A dream of a distillery (Arran)
Our Mystery Visitor travels to Arran

November 2003, Issue 35, page 42

A state of purification
We discover a vital part of Aberlour Distillery's process

September 2017, Issue 146, page 60

An Original Choice
Paul John whisky from Goa

September 2016, Issue 138, page 43

Ardbeg for more!
Martine Nouet reminisces about a trip to Islay and the culinary delights she found there, in the surprising shape of the old kiln cafe and Ardbeg distillery

February 2002, Issue 21, page 62

Ask the expert
Now you can find both of John Rose's superb articles about collecting whisky in one place. In collections,John looks at books for collectors and the whisky enthusiast. In questions,he fields your enqu...

January 2008, Issue 69, page 34

Back for more at Edradour
It's four years since our mystery visitor was at Edradour, and a lot has happened since then. So what's the tour like now?

June 2004, Issue 40, page 18

Back in business
After 200 years,George Washington's distillery has been restored to its former glory, Charles K. Cowdery looks at the history and takes us behind the scenes

October 2006, Issue 59, page 48

Beneath the Underdog
Our chaps chart the rise and fall of this iconic whisky

April 2018, Issue 150, page 44

Burning Issues
How often have we read in a distillery's history a phrase along the lines of “…the following year much of the site was devastated by fire…”? Gavin D Smith investigates in the first part of our...

April 2009, Issue 79, page 48

But Mr. Ambassador...
On paper being a whisky ambassador would seem to be the dream job but is it all it's cracked up to be? Dominic Roskrow asked some of them.

September 2009, Issue 82, page 20

Celtic Cousins - Made in Bretagne
Martine Nouet looks at the whisky industry in Northern France – and plots its Celtic roots

November 2004, Issue 44, page 26

Coming of Age
Looking back on 21 years of distilling at Lochranza

September 2016, Issue 138, page 27

Cowboys and Whisky
A road trip down the Rockies part 1

September 2016, Issue 138, page 38

Dial M for malts
In our series looking at whisky terms we have reached the letter m. In the first of two features Dominic Roskrow looks at malts and malting.

November 2007, Issue 67, page 35

Discovering Bourbon's past
We follow the Indiana Jones of Bourbon as he uncovers Buffalo Trace's Pompeii

September 2017, Issue 146, page 26

Distilling revolution
Liza Weisstuch looks at some of the new wave of craft distillers who have started to grab the headlines and glasses of whisky lovers.

June 2009, Issue 80, page 46

Feis Ile 2001
Dave Broom takes up residence on Islay for the duration of the whisky festival and enjoys a seemingly never ending spiral of whisky served in half-pint glasses, oysters, cigars and dancing – he even...

September 2001, Issue 18, page 20

Grinding Time
We investigate the process and the significance of milling

July 2013, Issue 113, page 48

Grist to themill
Ian Wisniewski gets to grips with an often overlooked yet vitally important stage of the production process – milling

October 2006, Issue 59, page 56

Happy trails
Rob Allanson takes an educational trip through America's whiskey heartland

July 2007, Issue 65, page 18

Haydock gets sexed up
Is the great John Haydock rattled? It would seem so. Here he goes on the defensive and answers his critics

October 2003, Issue 34, page 74

Into the melting pot
The mash tun is a vital vessel,accommodating the conversion of starch within the grist into sugars,using a sequence of three,or even four waters at a progressively higher temperatures. But rather than...

December 2007, Issue 68, page 26

It's All About The Kit
The dying art of rousing

April 2016, Issue 135, page 52

Kentucky Roses (Four Roses)
Four Roses has thrived since it was bought by Japanese brewer Kirin. Stuart MacLean Ramsay found out why.

October 2003, Issue 34, page 28

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

Knockdhu: Expressions of Sheer Peat
Shining the light on a hidden gem – Knockdhu

October 2014, Issue 123, page 50

Lessons with the cask force (Bowmore)
Making whisky is all about rolling up your sleeves and getting down among the peat as Dave Broom found out at Bowmore distillery

October 1999, Issue 6, page 46

Living in a bacterial world
Ian Wisniewski asks: What is lactobacillus, and what influence can this have during the production process?

January 2010, Issue 85, page 36

Making Whisky At Ballindalloch
Suzanne and Gavin learn the fundamentals of distilling

January 2017, Issue 141, page 44

Mash course
Ian Wisniewski takes us step by step through the mashing process

November 2003, Issue 35, page 72

Maximising the Yield
Starches are converted into sugars in two stages, known as primary and secondary conversion, we find out what happens

July 2018, Issue 153, page 50



Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Scotch Malt Whisky Society 9 Years Old, Millennium Malt
Single Malt - Scotland - 58.10%
9 Frighteningly good. Godzilla is alive and well and living in Campbeltown.

Whisky Magazine - Editors Choice - Winner

Talisker 10 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 45.80%
9 Always a classic, though I still miss the 8 Years Old.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Lady of the Glen Tobermory 1995, 20 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 56.60%
8 Beautifully poised and balanced. You have to love its intensity.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Berrys' Single Malt Scotch Whisky 2000, Glengoyne, Cask #1073
Single Malt - Scotland - 46.00%
8 Now that's what I call a breakfast malt. I think I'll have it with my honey nut cornflakes!

Kilchoman Bourbon Cask 2008
Single Malt - Scotland - 61.00%
8 The distillery character shouts from the rooftops - I spotted this a mile off.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Lombard Jewels of Scotland Lochside 1981 Cask #612
Single Malt - Scotland - 50.00%
8 Neat, it's tight. With water it's straightforward, but pleasant.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Single Malts of Scotland Glenrothes 1990
Single Malt - Scotland - 49.40%
8 A pleasant, summery, aperitif dram.

Whisky Magazine - Editors Choice - Winner

Bushmills 21 Years Old Madeira Finish
Single Malt - Ireland - 40.00%
8 Good flow, balance and grip. A powerhouse.

Deerstalker Blended Malt Peated Edition
Blended Malt - Scotland - 43.00%
8 Totally nuts about you… perhaps I'm 'nut' that into you after all. Pleasing, but one minute it's there, the next it's gone.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Douglas Laing Highland Park 16 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 50.00%
8 For the end of the evening. Of considerable complexity and will require several attempts before it's cracked. Not for everyone.

The Famous Grouse 16 Years Old
Blended - Scotland - 40.00%
8 Deceptively simple. Very easy drinking whisky

Corsair Ryemageddon
Rye - U.S.A. - 46.00%
8 Assertive, the spirit isn't being pushed around by the oak.

Scott's Selection Macallan 1989 23 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 50.00%
8 A lovely dram, straightforward and lively.

The Glenlivet Nàdurra First Fill Selection
Single Malt - Scotland - 59.80%
8 Young, very exuberant. Enjoyable with or without water.

Murray McDavid Caol Ila 1989
Single Malt - Scotland - 62.70%
8 On the light side, but with some delicacy and complexity.

Glenfarclas 18 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.00%
7 Polite, lightweight and won't swear at the dinner table.

Cadenhead's Caol Ila 9 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.00%
7 Youthfully powerful. Almost raw flavours, without being in any way spirity. Many Islay-lovers enjoy their whiskies young. This is a robust example.

Gordon & MacPhail Scapa 1987
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.00%
7 A complex, delicate, well-balanced vintage.

The English Whisky Company Chapter 7
Single Malt - England - 46.00%
7 I could have done with a little less oak on the palate.

Angels' Nectar Blended Malt First Edition
Blended Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
7 Young, characterful malt which will be fascinating to see how this develops if given more time in the cask.

Auchentoshan Valinch 2012
Single Malt - Scotland - 57.20%
7 Pleasant in parts, but the oak hasn't been as friendly to this as you would have hoped.

Springbank Cask Strength 12 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 54.30%
7 This one is not really to my taste.

Bowmore Legend
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
7 A light, young version, at a competitive price.

Ileach Single Malt
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
7 Like Finlaggan, this must come from one of the Islay distilleries. It seems bigger, more rounded, but less assertive, than Finlaggan.

Locke's Blended Irish Whiskey
Blended - Ireland - 40.00%
7 Very appetising.

Kingsbury Glencadam 1971, 28 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 55.60%
7 Lacks roundness, structure, balance. I was sorry to hear that this distillery has been closed. Temporarily?

Black Mountain Notes Fumées
Blended Malt - France - 45.00%
7 Comme ci, comme ça.

Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
7 A surprising degree of continuity from the earlier vatted Tobermory, though this version has more individuality.

Adelphi Caol Ila 11 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
6 A curiously insipid bottling.

Clan MacGregor
Blended - Scotland - 43.00%
Pleasing and workmanlike.



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