All Scotch varieties fall within two broad categories or are blends of these two: malt whisky and grain whisky. Malt whisky must be 100 percent malted barley. Grain whisky may include wheat, rye, corn or other grains.
This is the same reliable Talisker of old in a rather smart new bit of packaging. The only distillery on the Isle of Skye, Talisker produces a unique style of whisky, half way between a gentle, salty, smoky West Highland malt and something smokier from Islay. Robust and punchy, peat plays a leading role on the nose, backed up with honey, leather and spice and a touch of chili-pepper heat.
With more than 130 distilleries in Scotland, variation in the production process is key to Scotch's appeal and there's a near-limitless pool of options for drinkers to find what suits them best. Nevertheless, malt whisky distillation is a disarmingly straightforward formula, using only barley, pure Scottish water and yeast. Single malt Scotch is usually double distilled in a pot still, the shape of which contributes to the end flavour, hence distilleries are highly protective of their stills. The legal definition of Scotch includes a requirement that it undergoes a maturation period of at least three years. Of course, many single malt Scotch whiskies are treasured entries in the pantheon, but more than 90 per cent of Scotches are blended malts, combined by the masters from a curated selection of single malts.
We couldn't list our favourite Scotch cocktails without starting with the Rob Roy, named after the famous Scottish folk hero. Made with sweet vermouth and bitters, it's been described by comedian James Acaster as what he imagines whisky should taste like (his words, not ours; don't @ us, purists). Many Scotches make for a great whisky sour, too: experimenting with different bottles and the ratio of Scotch to lemon juice is almost as fun as drinking it. Lastly, we wouldn't be GQ if we didn't mention the Old Fashioned. Although it's typically a bourbon-based cocktail, the smoky profile of some Scotches is a great foil for the sweetness of sugar and the bitters. For the smokiest Smokey Old Fashioned, look to Laphroaig's famous ten-year-old.
Tasting notes: With a character defined by richness and depth, expect sugared almonds, baking spices and the sweetness of passion fruit and guava on the nose. A taste of exotic syruped fruits, patisserie sugars, brioche and spices with soft hints of berry fruits follows. And then a soft spice, cacao and natural vanilla forms the finish. 165. thewhiskyexchange.com
Tasting notes: Tomatin's three-strong Portuguese Collection comprises a Moscatel, Madeira and this Port Edition. Here, the initial aroma of Black Forest gateau opens up into warm spices that develop further into fresh summer fruits. The taste is deep with forest fruits: blackberries, raspberries and cherries, but the sweeter notes of peach and apricot return on the finish. Tomatin's Highlands distillery is open to visitors and located less than 30 minutes' drive from Inverness. 87. At thewhiskyexchange.com
Tasting notes: The distinctive rich and exotic character is not overpowered by the French oak maturation process, resulting in a uniquely pleasing spiciness. Creamy, rich and buttery on the nose, there are hints of fruit and nut on the palate leading to sweeter fruits and delicate spice before finishing with lingering sweet almond and yet more spice. 50. At thewhiskyexchange.com
Tasting notes: A relative newbie to the Scotch scene, this small-batch whisky still is a high contender when it comes to flavour. Unconventional compared to what you might expect from a Skye whisky, it has a tamed ruggedness. The subtle smokiness on the palette has no signs of the medicinal characteristics you would anticipate from a peated whiskey. Instead, you can expect bursts of well-tempered, warming vanilla and black cracked pepper. 51. At waitrosecellar.com
Tasting notes: On the nose, expect malt flour, fresh hay, dried fruits, citrus and rosehip. The palate is clean, with a gentle sweetness and a hint of tropical fruit. Cinnamon, vanilla and apple combine to evoke memories of freshly baked apple pie. A pleasant dry finish ends with gentle spice and lingering oak. 90. At tyndrumwhisky.com
Tasting notes: A very rich, complex nose, where notes of raspberry truffles, manuka honey, chopped peanuts and apricot jam join hints of toasted marshmallows, lime zest and coconut. Sweet and fruity on the palate, strong fresh fruit flavours of ripe mango, sweet white grapes and juicy pineapples are followed by notes of Florentine biscuits and stem ginger in syrup. The finish is long and sweet with gentle spice. 15,000. At the Scapa distillery only. scapawhisky.com
Tasting notes: After five decades patiently maturing, this exceptional whisky has a richness and depth of aromas and flavours rarely encountered. Its main characteristics come from the cask (nut, oak, coffee and tobacco) and there's red apple on the nose, indicative of Glengoyne's fruity style. On the palate there's a rich, spicy oak burst, before molasses, treacle and liquorice take centre stage. The finish is long, going through savoury characteristics into a tingle of black pepper. 22,500. At the Glengoyne distillery only. glengoyne.com
Tasting notes: Matured initially in American oak ex-bourbon casks, followed by Spanish oak butts. On the nose, it evokes rich toffee, while baked pears shine against a backdrop of new leather. The palate balances apricots, seasoned oak and vanilla custard. A long and warming finish with chords of fresh spices and raisins rounds off this dram. 120. At thewhiskyexchange.com
Tasting notes, by Bruichladdich head distiller Adam Hannett: \"If you look at it on paper, the Octomore series shouldn't work. It's typically five years old, is super heavily peated and very strong. If you look at it like that, it's undrinkable! But you have to taste it. It's an experience you have to approach differently. Forget what you know about whisky and open yourself up to a new experience and you'll have a renewed appreciation for what whisky should taste like. Octomore 10.1 is the benchmark of the series. Matured in ex-bourbon barrels and not as heavily peated as previous Octomore expressions, we're exploring 'softer smoke'. On the nose, the high level of peat is not there; it's actually quite light and floral, with lots of fruits, hints of coconut with vanilla and caramel coming through. When you take a sip, you feel a warming sensation from the high strength, but it actually carries the flavour really nicely so there's a lovely sweetness from fruit, vanilla and crème brûlée. The peat smoke is there on the palate and the depth of it comes through; it's a lovely, dry, bonfire peat smoke. There's nothing medicinal. It's gentle and elegant. It's not what you expect and when you have the second sips all the complexities are revealed.\" 164. At thebottleclub.com
Tasting notes: A parade of white flowers, peaches and lemongrass levitate from the glass; floral notes meld with meadow honey, stewed fruit and figs. These ethereal notes are transformed by the appearance of peat smoke, iodine and minerality. The unmistakable notes of Bowmore's subtle peat smoke, brine, salt and spice linger on the palate. 425. At dunechtwhisky.com
The distillery was rebuilt again in 1960 after a stillhouse fire completely destroyed the distillery. The distillery operates five stills; two wash stills and three spirit stills. All the stills use worm tubs (condensing coils) rather than a modern condenser, which are believed to give the whisky a \"fuller\" flavour (itself an indication of higher sugar content). During this early period, the whisky was produced using a triple distilling method, but changed to the more conventional double distilling in 1928. After the 1960 fire, five exact replicas of the original stills were constructed to preserve the original Talisker flavour. In 1972 the stills were converted to steam heating and the maltings floor was demolished. Talisker's water comes from springs directly above the distillery via a network of pipes and wells.
Talisker was the favourite whisky of writers Robert Louis Stevenson and HV Morton. In his poem \"The Scotsman's Return From Abroad\", Stevenson mentioned \"The king o' drinks, as I conceive it, Talisker, Islay, or Glenlivet.\"
The distillery began producing special bottlings of the whisky for connoisseurs in the early 2000s, with a 20- and 25-year bottling (where previously only a 10-year and 18-year were available). The 25-year bottling, despite being more expensive than the 20-year bottling, was distributed more widely.
Talisker is repeatedly referenced in the BBC Radio 4 comedy Cabin Pressure. Three separate episodes (\"Edinburgh\" in series 1, \"Paris\" in series 3 and \"Timbuktu\" in series 4) revolve around First Officer Douglas Richardson's attempts to steal 25-year-old Talisker whisky rightfully belonging to the wealthy regular passenger Mr Birling, and it is also mentioned in several other episodes.
Scotch is the most popular whisky in the world and is considered the king of them all! There are five whisky regions in Scotland (six if you count the not officially recognized Islands), and each of them produces spirits with unique properties and distinct tasting notes. (The type of grain used determents the type of the scotch.)
Malt whisky is made of malted barley, and grain whisky uses other grains like corn or wheat. Most of the time, a whisky is blended from different distilleries hence the name blended scotch, but if a malt whisky is produced in a single distillery, we get something extraordinary called a single malt. 59ce067264