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.
Best whiskies in the world.
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
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
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 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
June 2004, Issue 40, page 18
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Ian Wisniewski takes us step by step through the mashing process
November 2003, Issue 35, page 72
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
Martine Nouet profiles two talented singer/songwriters in the world of whisky: Robin Laing and Norma Munro
April 2003, Issue 30, page 34
Never Mind the Baltics
The Baltic region is emerging as a new and exciting market for Scotch whisky exports, Neil Ridley heads to Lithuania for the opening night of the country's very first whisky bar
March 2011, Issue 94, page 42
There's a noble tradition of whisky making in Canada based on the superb qualtiy of its grain. Kathleen Sloan and Ted Mcintosh pay tribute to a unique spirit.
June 2000, Issue 10, page 60
On the edge of the world (Laphroaig)
The peat-reek and iodine fullness of Laphroaig is the epitome of Islay; and it has changed little since the distillery was founded in the early nineteenth century, says Neil Wilson
January 1999, Issue 1, page 38
Lisa Weisstuch discovers an acoustic side to whisky making
March 2012, Issue 102, page 28
What happens to United States Presidents after they leave office? The first one made whiskey. Charles K. Cowdery reports
January 2006, Issue 53, page 28
Simply the best
Martine Nouet exanines the benefits of learning local malts with local produce, a la Islay
July 2002, Issue 24, page 56
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
The changing face of Jameson's
Tim Atkin follows Jameson's from Dublin to the palm trees of County Cork and finds a whiskey that lightened up on the way
May 1999, Issue 3, page 32
The Eighth Wonder
John Haydock reflects on his many past and present glories
January 2003, Issue 28, page 82
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.
Talisker 10 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 45.80% 9 Always a classic, though I still miss the 8 Years Old.
Bushmills 21 Years Old Madeira Finish
Single Malt - Ireland - 40.00% 8 Good flow, balance and grip. A powerhouse.
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.
Scott's Selection Macallan 1989 23 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 50.00% 8 A lovely dram, straightforward and lively.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Blended - Scotland - 43.00% Pleasing and workmanlike.