Frequently asked questions about Whisky

What is the correct way of spelling Whisky/Whiskey?

Both Whisky and Whiskey are correct, however it depends where the Whisky in question is produced. It's actually quite a simple method that's used all over the World, if the country where the Whisky is produced has the letter E in the spelling, then it's spelt Whiskey (Ireland for example), but if the country spelling doesn't have an E then it's spelt Whisky (Scotland for example).

What types of Whisky are there?

There are four different types of Whisky, Scotch, Bourbon, Tennessee and Rye. The difference between the four is a mixture of materials that's used with the mix, how they are filtered / distilled and of course the geographic difference of where they are made.

How to tell if this is an expensive Whisky?

From simple matters like knowing the difference between whiskey and whisky to avoiding big mistakes when buying, ordering, and drinking the liquid, the worlds of high class Whisky can seem complicated. However, according to one of our whisky experts, knowing the difference between a good bottle and a bad one can be as simple as smelling it. "Some whiskies don't smell like they taste," he said. "You want to look out for that sting of alcohol. If that's there, it probably means it's quite a young whisky. If it has depth to the smell and you can pick up other flavor notes, that's quite a good thing."

Does Whisky age within the bottle?

Whisky does not age within the bottle, it ages within the cask. For example, a 10 year old Whisky has been 'casked' for 10 years and then bottled, unlike with Wine the year that it has been bottled won't make a difference to the taste.

How long is Whisky kept within the cask?

Every Whisky is casked for different amounts of time. The more expensive whiskies would generally have been casked for a longer period of time and the time it's taken to mature would have then affected the price.

Should I add water to Whisky?

Adding water to whisky is a personal preference, by doing so the whisky becomes a little smoother and the nosing aromas more apparent as it reduces the alcohol strength. A dash or even just a few drops of water is often enough to make a difference to the taste, smell and look of your whisky.

Where is Whisky produced?

Traditionally there are 5 main countries around the World that produce Whisky, Scotland, Ireland, United States of America, Canada and Japan. Many others in recent years are joining the elite few and Whisky is now also made across Europe and every other continent.

What are the main Whisky regions in Scotland?

Scotch Whisky can be broken down into 6 regions, Lowlands, Speyside, Highlands, Campbeltown, Islay and Islands. Click here for more information regarding each of the Scotch Whisky regions. Scotland has 6 whisky regions, Highlands, Speyside, Lowlands, Campbeltown, Islay and Islands. Speyside is by far the biggest Whisky producing region in Scotland.

What does 'peaty' mean when describing Whisky?

Peat is best described as decaying vegetation which has formed over thousands of years. Some peat bogs can be woody, whilst other peat can be watery, it all depends where on the land it is. This in then harvested, cut up into small pieces of ‘sod’, stacked and left to dry. Over a period of 2 to 3 weeks, the pieces of peat dry out and the remaining material is tough peat ‘bricks’ that contain more energy than coal. The peat is then burnt within the distilleries and the grain is then exposed to the smoke of the burning peat. This then brings the smoke into contact with the grain giving the whisky a peaty taste. The amount of time the grain is exposed to the peat smoke determines the taste of the whisky and the strength of the peat, adjusting the spirit’s flavour.

What are the best glasses for Whisky?

There are a few different types of whisky glasses, the traditional tumbler is still commonly used but the Glencairn Whisky Glass is by far the most popular and widely used, by drinkers, connoisseurs and distillers.