Not a member? - Register and login now.
All registered users can read our entire magazine archive.

Whisky Glossary : Heads

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 118 Out Now

Whisky Magazine Issue 118

Best whiskies in the world.

 

Heads

Also known as Foreshots

See also : Foreshots

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 cure for hiccups
Robin Laing takes a gentle stroll with his friend through Speyside

November 2004, Issue 44, page 34

A cut (or two) above the rest
After reading this disturbing Scotland-based offering from Christopher Brookmyre you'll never look at school reunions the same way again says Jefferson Chase.

January 2006, Issue 53, page 47

A day in the life... (Richard Paterson)
Dave Broom follows JBB's Richard Paterson on a typical working day and learns much about blending, showbiz and living life at full pelt

July 2001, Issue 17, page 20

A great loss
Gavin D Smith charts the rise and fall of one of the largest distilleries in the Whisky City.

October 2009, Issue 83, page 32

A life under sail
Dave Broom talks about the ocean wave, true grit,determination and a good drop of malt with one of Britain's most iconic maritime explorers.

June 2009, Issue 80, page 24

A mark of difference
With its instantly recognisable red wax sealed bottle, Maker's Mark has a story to tell

February 2014, Issue 117, page 30

A point of difference
Out man visits the hear of Whyte and Mackay's grain supply

December 2013, Issue 116, page 38

A Regal Location
Joes Bates looks at a sparking travel-retail whisky collection

July 2012, Issue 105, page 38

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

March 2014, Issue 118, page 30

A rye character
Stuart Maclean Ramsay chats to Lincoln Henderson, a whiskey vetern with 37 years of knowledge and experience

October 2002, Issue 26, page 34

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

February 2012, Issue 101, page 24

A third step
We investigate the process of triple distilling

February 2014, Issue 117, page 36

A thoroughly Scottish night in
Neil Ridley donned his tweeds, applied the moustache wax and packed the picnic blanket for a splendid night in...

January 2010, Issue 85, page 20

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

September 2000, Issue 11, page 22

A true boon in Kentucky
The Kentucky Bourbon Festival is one of the year's whiskey highlights. Damian Riley-Smith brought back a suitcase full of fond memories

March 2003, Issue 29, page 24

A unique taste of Ireland
Jamie Walker had revived the Adelphi name after nearly a century. Ken Hyder talks to the man whose cask crusade promises to widen the horizons of Irish Whiskey and Scotch drinkers.

April 2000, Issue 9, page 48

A Wealth of Choice
Neil Ridley meets the independent bottlers dedicated to bringing consumers something a little different.

September 2012, Issue 106, page 14

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

December 2013, Issue 116, page 78

A Winter Playground
In the second of our reports from Hokkaido, the Whisky Magazine Japan team finds food and more drink for the soul.

December 2011, Issue 100, page 76

Acting the part
It was only amatter of time before Monarch of the Glen discovered whisky. Gavin Smith reports.

December 2003, Issue 36, page 16

African aspirations
Dave finds whisky and hip hop go well together in the Rainbow Nation

January 2007, Issue 61, page 12

Air Waves
Malt whisky develops up to 70 per cent of its character during the aging process, due to a number of influences including oxidation (ie. the result of air passing in and out of the cask). This instiga...

September 2013, Issue 114, page 36

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 Mash
Iorwerth Griffiths explores a particularly Irish style

March 2011, Issue 94, page 18

All in the mix
Ian Wisniewski explains how oxidation affects maturation

March 2006, Issue 54, page 64

All Shapes and Sizes
Dave Broom looks at how Japanese oak imparts exotic flavours, and the different cask types used in whisky making.

December 2011, Issue 100, page 64

An alternative whisky map of the world...
Tom Bruce-Gardyne takes an irreverent look at the world's 15 largest whisky markets - plus the characters and caricatures you might find in each country. The world of whisky is full of exaggerated per...

July 2002, Issue 24, page 24

Arcade classics
The Arcade Fire are on the verge of superstardom.Lew Guthrie III checks out their credentials and reviews new album The Neon Bible

April 2007, Issue 63, page 31

Arelationshipthat'sonfire
ScottishwhiskyandSpanishsherryhavelonghadaspecialrelationship.Butasthepursuitofbetterqualityintensifies,thelinkisbecomingstronger.DominicRoskrowreports

April 2004, Issue 38, page 58

Ask the expert
John Rose answers another selection of our readers' letters

August 2006, Issue 58, page 53

Ask the expert
John Rose fields more of your questions

March 2007, Issue 62, page 53

Ask the expert
I am a representative from a liquor board in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I have a customer who owns a bottle of Haig Dimple which he believes dates back to the early part of the 20th century.The owner is gett...

April 2008, Issue 71, page 37

Atwhisky'scoalface
Bruichladdichisthelatestofaseriesofdistilleriestolaunchitsownwhiskyacademy.MarkFursejoinedoneofthefirstgroupstoseewhatyougetforyourmoney

October 2004, Issue 43, page 48

Back to School
Mark Gillespie backs his satchel and reports for assembly

September 2012, Issue 106, page 48

 

More...

Whisky Magazine - Editors Choice - Winner

The Balvenie PortWood 21 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
8 Bring on the petits-fours.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Berry's Own Selection Invergordon 38 Years Old 1971
Single Grain - Scotland - 48.00%
8 The balance between sweet and sour is perfect. A grain whisky? I would have thought of an old bourbon.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Port Ellen
Single Malt - Scotland - 53.80%
8 A classic Port Ellen. A must-buy for peat heads.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

The Whisky Exchange Isle of Jura 1999, 5 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 63.00%
8 Why wasn't this done years ago? More please. Captivating.

Glenfarclas The Family Cask 1958 Release X
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.70%
8 Direct and blunt, but with the right amount of intelligence and personality.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Islay Mist 17 Years Old
Blended - Scotland - 40.00%
8 Cutting this to 40% means it's lost some of its energy. Let's have a cask strength version!

Mackillop's Choice Caol Ila 1989, Cask 3322
Single Malt - Scotland - 57.70%
7 If Caol Ila can evoke the aroma and flavour of junipers, perhaps it can also suggest olive oil, vine leaves, couscous, baked aubergines. I have had great martinis in Tangier. Next time, a Caol Ila Sou...

Talisker 10 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 45.80%
7 Less peppery than in my memory. As if the spicy outburst on mid palate has been tamed. A bit harsh too. Seems to have lost its volcanic temper.

Kavalan 5 Years Old, Solist Fino
Single Malt - Taiwan - 58.30%
7 Bitter all the way. No balance. One dimensional. To try only if you are a ‘woodfreak'. Surprisingly, water tones the bitterness down.

 

More...

Whisky gift and present finder