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Whisky Glossary : Malt Whisky

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 121 Out Now

Whisky Magazine Issue 121

Rocky Mountain High, Mixo-gastro, India Drinkers' Guide, Four Roses

 

Malt Whisky

Whisky made purely from malted barley.


With this issue Whisky Magazine celebrates its first anniversary. The birthday party will be held in New York because this issue also marks our arrival in the US, the largest consumer of whisky and wh...

October 1999, Issue 6, page 5

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

100 Greatest Whisky People
We highlight the people who have left a lasting legacy on the whisky world over the years.

December 2011, Issue 100, page 16

?Adventurous Bottles
?Our collections expert heads out into the unknown

September 2013, Issue 114, page 79

?Something a little different
?Experimental casks and unconventional cocktails

September 2013, Issue 114, page 62

A big hand for gambling nights
Social poker nights both at home or at style bars and clubs have been the fad trend of 2005 – and whisky has been the drink of choice. Rob Allanson reports

January 2006, Issue 53, page 18

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 captivating cocktail
Ian Wisniewski looks at the Atholl Brose

June 2006, Issue 56, page 25

A Case for Blends
Gavin D. Smithis a regular contributor to Whisky Magazine and the author of more than a dozen books about whisky, along with several on beer and Scottish history. He is also contributing editor of www...

September 2011, Issue 98, page 13

A choice dram
Tom Bruce-Gardyne meets one of single-cask bottling's real success stories, as Lorne Mackillop and his Mackillop's Choice label go from strength to strength

May 2002, Issue 22, page 48

A City of Secret Spots
Davin de Kergommeauxgoes searching in Taipei for some excellent bars

December 2012, Issue 108, page 46

A class of their own
Tom Bruce-Gardyne looks into the story of the Haig empire

October 2002, Issue 26, page 48

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

November 2004, Issue 44, page 34

A different beast
Canada's whisky industry is a pale imitation of what it once was. But if you're thinking of visiting its distilleries be prepared for a lot of travel – its few remaining distilleries are spread righ...

September 2007, Issue 66, page 32

A distillery seeped in history (Clynelish)
Ian Buxton travels North of Inverness to the remote distillery at Clynelish

July 2005, Issue 49, page 34

A distillery well off the beaten track (Tomatin)
Our mystery visitor made the long trek to Tomatin and found a distillery not geared up for the tourist or casual visitor

November 2004, Issue 44, page 17

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

November 2003, Issue 35, page 42

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 Family Affair
Connosr.com is a social network site for whisky enthusiasts. We spoke to Pierre about the rise and rise of one of the web's best sites

April 2011, Issue 95, page 31

A fishy tale
In the latest in an occasional series of matching whisky with food, Dave Broom compares and contrasts some sushi-whisky combinations

October 2003, Issue 34, page 61

A giant culled
Gavin D Smithlooks at the recent loss of Dumbarton,a once vast grain distillery

November 2007, Issue 67, page 34

A Greener Future
We asked two of our writers to look at the issues affecting Scottish and American producers. The problems may be pressing but there is plenty of innovation out there to keep the industry green

March 2012, Issue 102, page 21

A lord among malts (Glenrothes)
Glenrothes has a formidable reputation as a single malt and is a key component in the internationally renowned Cutty Sark. Tom Bruce-Gardyne visited the distillery

December 2003, Issue 36, page 42

A malt for all moods (Lord Thurso)
Jane Slade talks to Lord Thurso, a Patron of the Qaich, about his family, his castle and his long love affair with Scotch.

April 2000, Issue 9, page 72

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 matter of duty
Eighty-five bottles of Scotch are sold every minute in duty-free shops around the world. Martin Moodie looks at where the best ranges can be found, and where it's worth missing your fight for a specia...

May 1999, Issue 3, page 50

A midsummer night's dreeam
Martine Nouet finds whiskies that lend themselves to teh warm, care free days of summer and creates a refreshing menu to accompany them

June 2001, Issue 16, page 36

A new flame (Kilchorman)
Gavin Smith takes a stroll by Kilchorman, the first new distillery of the millennium-and the first on Islay since 1883

February 2002, Issue 21, page 22

A new frontier
Jonathan McCormick looks at selling bourbon to the Scots.

January 2009, Issue 77, page 20

A Noble view point (Sir Iain Noble)
In the first of a new series in which we talk to leading business figures, Richard Woodard talks to Sir Iain Noble

July 2006, Issue 57, page 28

A perfumed world
Dave Broom explores the sensory experience of incense.

June 2010, Issue 88, page 20

A place of learning (Atenaeum Hotel)
David Stirk visits the Atenaeum Hotel and Aparments in London, an establishment looking to educate its guest on the delights of malt whisky

June 2001, Issue 16, page 34

A quick word please
Ian Buxton uncovers some of the less heard whisky quotes

January 2007, Issue 61, page 53

A Quiet Confidence
Seáneen Sullivan explores the myths and magic of this iconic Islay distillery

December 2012, Issue 108, page 32

A region once again (Campbeltown)
Robin Laing packs his bags and heads out to Campbeltown to find whisky production is thriving again

April 2007, Issue 63, page 54

 

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Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Scotch Malt Whisky Society The Sting of a bee 42.5 1973 33 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 48.50%
8 Very satisfying.A beautiful bourbon cask maturation. Superb to match with a cheesecake or lemon meringue pie. But the sting of the bee must be blunt,I did not feel it.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Scotch Malt Whisky Society 116.12 Yoichi 21 Years Old
Blended Malt - Japan - 54.20%
8 Ah Yoichi..it's Ardbeg in Hokkaido.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Scotch Malt Whisky Society 26.7 An Absolute Cracker
Single Malt - Scotland - 54.50%
8 Tastes old.Superb. Refined and complex. Still so lively and fresh. Hard to leave…

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Scotch Malt Whisky Society 64.15 Mannochmore 15 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 57.10%
8 Multifaceted and fascinating.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Scotch Malt Whisky Society 7.51 Longmorn Sweet, Rich & Fruity 1984 26 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 57.40%
8 Balanced and fine. Worth a look.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society 66.27 Foodie Dram
Single Malt - Scotland - 52.30%
7 The nose is richer than the palate. Seems a bit uncoordinated,like a young untamed horse.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Scotch Malt Whisky Society 33.70 Ardbeg Keith Richards meets Socrates 1998 10 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 57.30%
7 An effusively phenolic smouldering hulk. Recommended.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society 120.4 Tibetan Joss-Sticks and Polynesian Pork 1990 18 Years Old
Single Malt - Japan - 59.30%
7 The nose is a delight. To enjoy the palate,you have to be a wood freak.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society 25.46 Rosebank Lemonade in a Buttercup 17 Years Old, 1991
Single Malt - Scotland - 56.10%
7 Balanced fresh and delicious.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society 97.11 Littlemill 18 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 56.00%
7 Lovely balance. A slow sipper.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society 64.17 Mannochmore Oozes Juiciness 1992 16 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 54.70%
7 Don't water. Decent aperitif dram.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society 27.72 Springbank Harbour-side Harmonies
Single Malt - Scotland - 57.30%
7 Lacks integration.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society 93.33 Glen Scotia Pine sap and black pepper 1992 16 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 64.30%
6 Like Dr Jekyll it's trying to escape from its alter ego,but Hyde wins out.

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.

World Whiskies Awards 2007 - World's Best Single Malt Whisky - Winner Whisky Magazine - Editors Choice - Winner

Talisker 18 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 45.80%
9 Loch Harport on a winter's day, gale force eight! Less peppery than younger versions. Complex, endearing, balanced. 18 seems a perfect age for malts.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Scotch Malt Whisky Society Highland Park 1970, 4.73
Single Malt - Scotland - 52.50%
9 Not as sophisticated as the distillery bottlings, but robustly salty, earthy and peaty. Good characteristics, but in this bottling they mask the maltiness and sherry character. I wonder whether all is...

World Whiskies Awards 2008 - World's Best Blended Malt Whisky - Winner

Blue Hanger 3rd Release 30 Years Old
Blended Malt - Scotland - 45.60%
8 By definition vatted malts are designed to iron out blemishes but rarely rise above the good or very good. This is exceptional not just against this competition but in any categoryof whisky. Outstandi...

Whisky Magazine - Editors Choice - Winner

Scotch Malt Whisky Society Yamazaki 1979, Japanese Oak Cask, 119.2
Single Malt - Japan - 57.40%
8 A breakfast malt? Splendidly complex, with Japanese oak adding that extra touch of distinctiveness.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Scotch Malt Whisky Society Yamazaki, 10 Years Old, 119.3
Single Malt - Japan - 56.20%
8 A surprising amount of peat in this usually very delicate malt.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Vintage Malt Whisky Co. Classic of Islay Cask Strength Single Islay Malt
Single Malt - Scotland - 60.20%
8 Powerful, pungent malt with everything an Islay enthusiast would wish for.

World Whiskies Awards 2009 - Best Single Malt Whisky - Winner Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Highland Park 21 Years Old
- Scotland - 47.50%
8 A drier expression of HP from the norm and all the more fascinating for that.Recommended.

World Whiskies Awards 2013 - World's Best Single Malt Whisky - Winner Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Ardbeg Galileo
Single Malt - Scotland - 49.00%
8 Perfect balance. Hidden complexity.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Famous Grouse 1987 Vintage Malt Whisky
Blended Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
8 The Grouse at its most graceful.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society 1972 Birthday Bottle
Single Malt - Scotland - 54.60%
8 Lovely chestnut colour. Soothing. After dinner and in front of a log fire. A touch woody, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society Old Fettercairn, 37 Years Old, 94.3
Single Malt - Scotland - 50.10%
8 An elegant, elderly chatelaine.

Whisky Magazine - Best Buy - Winner

Whisky Shack Company Storm
Blended Malt - Scotland - 43.00%
8 Well developed, balanced and very easy to drink. Another solid introduction to malt whisky for a newbie.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Yoichi Single Malt
Single Malt - Japan - 55.00%
8 Powerful yet elegant. A yokozuna of malt whisky.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Yoichi Single Malt
Single Malt - Japan - 55.00%
8 Powerful yet elegant. A yokozuna of malt whisky.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society Hakushu 1981, 21 Years Old, 120.1
Single Malt - Japan - 60.70%
8 A very enigmatic malt. Lighter in body but drier and more assertive in flavour than Yamazaki. A digestif.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society Yamazaki 1980, White Oak Cask, 119.1
Single Malt - Japan - 50.90%
8 Elegant, and more flavoursome than Suntory bottlings I think.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society Yamazaki 1991, 11 Years Old, 119.5
Single Malt - Japan - 62.20%
8 Saves all the action for the finish. Very appetising.

Whisky Magazine - Editors Choice - Winner

Scotch Malt Whisky Society Yoichi, 116.1
Single Malt - Japan - 56.60%
8 A whole sequence of flavours emerges in this vintage. These are flavours I have found before in Nikka whiskies, but they have not been especially evident elsewhere in this flight.

Whisky Magazine - Editors Choice - Winner

Scotch Malt Whisky Society Yoichi, 116.4
Single Malt - Japan - 64.90%
8 Lots happening. Nice interplay of elements.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society Bunnahabhain, 10.56
Single Malt - Scotland - 59.40%
8 I admired its feistiness, but I might be more comfortable with a greater degree of maturity.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society Caol Ila 7 Years Old, 53.50
Single Malt - Scotland - 62.10%
8 Young and hot. If that sounds flirtatiously sexy, you have the right idea.

 

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