Scotch whisky may lay claim to being Scotland’s greatest gift to the world (with the possible exception of Irn Bru and Gordon Brown). Malt whisky is made in copper pot stills through a batch process. Single malt whisky is the original Scotch Whisky and is the product of a single distillery; whereas blended malts (sometimes confusingly called “pure malt”) are mixed from malt whiskies distilled by two or more producers. Blended whisky is a blend of malt whisky with grain whisky.
There are around 90 whisky distilleries in Scotland, each giving an individual character to the whisky they produce through varying the types of barley and yeast, the length of fermentation, the type of still used and the local character of the water. Many produce varieties of single malt whisky, although the majority of malt whisky distilled in Scotland still goes into blended whisky.
Further variety is added through maturation in oak casks of at least three years. Depending on the type of wood (eg American or European oak) and the length of maturation time, the process can add a great smoothness and many layers of flavour to the finished whisky. Many distilleries then add further dimensions to their whisky by finishing them in wooden casks previously used to store other drinks, such as port, sherry rum or bourbon whiskey.
Malt whisky can be broadly classified by the area in Scotland where they are distilled; Highlands, Islands, Islay, Campbeltown and Lowlands. As a rule of thumb each area bestows a special character on its whiskies unique to itself, although there are always exceptions to the rule and individual whiskies from any one area often exhibit a huge diversity of flavour and style.
Below and to the right you will find a wide selection of Scotch whisky varieties for you to try, sourced at the best whisky prices from across the internet, so you can be confident of getting the best deal.