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
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
4 Roses blooming
As most American whiskeys look overseas for new drinkers, Four Roses finds its growth back home. Charles Cowdery investigates.
July 2008, Issue 73, page 14
A balance of tradition and efficiency (Speyburn)
Deanston Distillery is something of a hidden gem. Ian Buxton visited it
April 2006, Issue 55, page 26
A bourbon thoroughbred
Stuart Maclean Ramsay was totally sedcued by Kentucky's smallest distillery, which uses Scottish copper pot stills and a rare method of distillation.
December 1999, Issue 7, page 30
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 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 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
John Lamond examines the history of this independent distillery
July 2002, Issue 24, page 52
A Flirtatious Spirit
Ian Buxton heads north to find a Distillery in a basement
September 2012, Issue 106, page 40
A forgotten gem (Deanston)
Deanston is the least-known of Perthshire's six remaining distilleries. Ian Buxton visited it
March 2006, Issue 54, page 30
A free sofa with every case
The dignified advertisements you see in this publication belie the rough and tumble past of American whiskey promotion. Charles K.Cowdery reports
October 2006, Issue 59, page 52
A frosty reception
Classic malt distillery Dalwhinnie is revamping its visitor experience. Dominic Roskrow spoke to the man charged with ringing the changes.
February 2010, Issue 86, page 44
A gem in the eye of a storm (Cardhu)
Say the word ‘Cardhu' and it stirs up images of underhand dealings. But the distillery intrinsically linked to last year's scandal is charming and impressive, and its staff outstanding. Ian Buxton r...
January 2005, Issue 45, page 30
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 Kuschty moment in time
Is rye whisky about to hit the big time? Dave thinks it certainly is...
March 2014, Issue 118, page 9
A life away from the waver
Robin Laing joins a group of enthusiasts heading up the Spey with paddles.
April 2010, Issue 87, page 50
A Little Piece of History
Once, Old Crow was synonymous with quality bourbon, but for some years it has been lost in the wilderness. Now it's set a new lease of life. Dominic Roskrow reports
January 2011, Issue 93, page 22
A Locavore's Tipple
Liza Weisstuch goes in search of slow food whiskey
February 2013, Issue 109, page 34
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 new dawn for Bowmore (Brian Morrison)
After 38 years in whisky, Brian Morrison, managing director of Morrison Bowmore Distillers, is retiring from his executie position to become Joint Chairman. He reminisces with Charles Maclean
February 2002, Issue 21, page 34
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 new relationship
Beer guru Roger Protz looks at some oak aged beers on the market
December 2010, Issue 92, page 58
A perfumed world
Dave Broom explores the sensory experience of incense.
June 2010, Issue 88, page 20
A Phoenix from the flames
It's nearly 10 years since a major fire all but destroyed a great part of Heaven Hill. But the distillery's now thriving and going from strength to strength. Charles Cowdery reports
July 2005, Issue 49, page 25
A pioneer of the spirit
Stewart Mcbain praises the contribution of Charles Cree Doig an unsung hero of the Scotch whisky industry
December 2000, Issue 13, page 26
A point of difference
Out man visits the hear of Whyte and Mackay's grain supply
December 2013, Issue 116, page 38
A question of choice
Michael Jacksonponders the age old question of what's your favourite
August 2006, Issue 58, page 11
A question of soul
Edradour may be small but it's perfectly formed and as it starts to bottle malt distilled under its current owners, it looks set to continue to punch above its weight. Dominic Roskrow visited it.
February 2009, Issue 78, page 42
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 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
Bunnahabhain Manzanilla Sherry Wood 16 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 53.20% 7 Well controlled. Wood just coming into play and despite the sulphur it's a pleasing light,sweet spirit.
Glenmorangie Tain L'Hermitage
Single Malt - Scotland - 46.00% 8 Perhaps more robust, less elegant, than the previous bottling, but full of flavour and soundly structured.
Special Reserve Glen Ord 30 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 58.70% 8 A successful and intriguing balance between fragrance and dryness. Worth a look.
Parker's Heritage Master Distiller's Blend of Mashbills
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 63.50% 8 It needs to be tamed by a dash of water but not too much. An elegant Bourbon.
Scott's Selection Craigellachie 1991 20 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 55.80% 8 Starts off nosing younger than its years, but grows into itself with time.
Douglas Laing Caol Ila 1979 26 Years Old, The Whisky Fair
Single Malt - Scotland - 57.20% 8 Should have been taken out of the cask a few years back. Easy to say now of course.
Dewar Rattray Bowmore 1990, 16 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 54.00% 8 Has richness and some finesse.
Evan Williams Single Barrel 1999 Vintage
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 43.30% 8 Clean very precise and well crafted.
Blended Malt - Japan - 46.00% 8 Lightbodied,but fresh and fragrant. Japanese beginners start here.
Boisdale Islay (Laphroaig)
- Scotland - 46.00% 8 Ordered and enjoyable.
Dewar Rattray Glen Grant 1985 19 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 58.40% 8 A definite sharpness which hides a sweeter character. Water does not help much, enhancing the pepperiness. For those who like it hot.
Wemyss Vintage Malts Smooth Gentleman 5 Years Old
Blended Malt - Scotland - 40.00% 8 Maybe just a little too eager to please, but maybe I'm just too hard to please.
Blended - Canada - 40.00% 7 A characterful and clean whisky, with a rich proportion of rye in the mashbill. Oak is well integrated. Would be pleasant with a pecan pie.
Yamazaki 12 Years Old
Single Malt - Japan - 43.00% 7 An open and conversational whisky. Does not boast complexity but has a vibrant fruity aromatic profile. Tastes stronger than 43%.
Master of Malt Bunnahabhain 1990 20 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 54.10% 7 Soft and very easy.
Bushmills 16 Years Old
Single Malt - Ireland - 40.00% 7 Triple distilled whiskey drawn from bourbon, sherry and port wood...what a balancing act. It usually works a treat, but this time the elements are strangely out of kilter.
Coconut Cream Speyside 1990
Single Malt - Scotland - 46.00% 7 Light, but a good aperitif. Have it with ice.
Rye - U.S.A. - 45.00% 7 Balanced and controlled.
Ballantine's Christmas Reserve
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00% 7 It's Ballantine's as you've seen it before but the “Christmas” angle is well worked. Great blending.
Auchentoshan 10 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00% 7 At 10 years, Auchentoshan makes an expressive, eloquent claim to being the classic Lowlander.
Connemara 12 Years Old
Single Malt - Ireland - 40.00% 7 That lactic note overwhelms nose and palate. Not sure that a dairy whiskey is something to look forward to! Surprisingly, a dash of water makes more palatable.
Signatory Glendronach 1976 Cask Strength
Single Malt - Scotland - 53.10% 7 An enjoyable malt, but Glendronach is capable of more.
Bowmore 16 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 53.80% 7 The nose is fantastic, like the fug in an old Scottish pub: coal fires, cigarette smoke, damp clothes. The perfume pulls the score down.
Dewar Rattray Auchentoshan 1990, 13 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 60.00% 7 I would never have identified this as an Auchentoshan. Proves 'the Glasgow malt' has plenty of character, but this expression lacks subtlety.
Douglas Laing Linkwood 16 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 50.00% 7 A classic malty beast. Well balanced. A winter warmer to enjoy with nuts and crispy nibbles.
Auchentoshan 1976 30 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 41.80% 7 Better on palate than the nose, but so fragile it shatters easily.
- Scotland - 40.00% 7 An attractive dram for sure,but just lacks impetus.
Aberlour 15 Years Old, Double Cask
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00% 7 A well balanced dram. Would have got more nerve with a bit of extra strength.
Canadian Mist Original
Blended - Canada - 40.00% 7 The nose is more elegant than the palate. Water washes that whisky out.
Dewar Rattray Strathmill 1975 31 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 49.30% 7 The wood has taken charge. Doesn't appear to have the character to carry extended aging.
Lombard Anchor Bay
Blended Malt - Scotland - 40.00% 7 A satisfying, nourishing, clean malt. But where is the bay?
Dry Fly Wheat
Blended - U.S.A. - 40.00% 7 Well made. Just needs time in cask to bulk up a little. Just hope they keep some back for longer term aging.
Woodford Reserve Sweet Mash 1838
Bourbon - U.S.A. - 45.20% 7 This would make a great cocktail whisky and that's not being dismissive!
AnCnoc Peter Arkle
Single Malt - Scotland - 46.00% 7 Sadly unbalanced.
Karuizawa 1992 Cask 5978
Single Malt - Japan - 62.80% 7 A sharp character which needs a good dash of water. Quite refreshing.