Learn A To Z Of Scotch Whisky Words (Part II)

Scotch whisky

There are several terms related to Scotch whisky which are easy to remember and crucial to know if you would like to buy the choicest of this liquor. P.S: Here’s Part I of this article. These words will help you understand the process of making Scotch whisky. You will know what type of Scotch suits your palette, occasion and event. Check out some more terms from the glossary of Scotch Whisky Words

A To Z Glossary Of Scotch Whisky Words


Expression means a different version of whisky from the same producer. The expression can vary from the whisky in terms of age, distillation process and barrel type.


In Gaelic, 'glen' means 'in the valley of'. Scotch whisky distilleries name themselves after the valley where the spirit is produced and use 'glen' as a precursor before the valley's name. For instance, Glenfiddich means 'valley of the deer'.


Glencairn is a peculiar type of glass used for drinking scotch. It was created by Raymond Davidson and debuted in 2021. Its design is similar to copita or a sherry-nosing glass. It has a wide crystal bowl that displays the colour of the whisky and its tapered mouth helps drinkers smell the concentrated notes of the drink.


When dried malt is crushed in a rolling mill, it results into grist, a flour-like substance. Grist when mixed with temperature-controlled water creates a fermentable substance which turns into alcohol with the addition of yeast.


Highlands cover most of Scotch whisky regions and a diverse quality of whiskies are produced here. From full-bodied and sweet Northern Highland whiskies to peaty Eastern Highland ones, there is quite a variety of whiskies from the Highlands.


Islay is also nicknamed as 'Whisky Island'. It is a small island on the southern coast of Scotland. It is known for heavily-peated whiskies such as Laphroaig. Since peat covers much of this island, it is commonly used to fuel the fire for the malting process for single malt. This gives the single malt a smoky flavour.


A vessel used for drying malted barley using hot air is called a kiln. The heat source is provided indirectly, at times by peat-fueled fire.


The Lowlands region often brings out whiskies which are soft and gentle, which is due to their distillation process. Lowland malt whiskies, just like Irish whiskies, are often triple-distilled instead of double-distilled, resulting in lighter and softer expressions.

Malted barley

Barley, a grain similar to wheat or corn, is malted after being steeped in water and spread out on a malting floor. The grain germinates before it is dried and heated.


Since every cask is a little different from others, the whisky matured in it will also vary slightly from one cask to another. The producers hence marry different single malt casks to create a uniform flavour profile.

Mash bill

The composition of grains in a whisky is called a mash bill. For instance, a single malt Scotch has a mash bill of 100% malted barley whereas a single grain whisky might have a mash bill of 60% wheat and 40% barley.

Mash Tun

The vessel in which the malting process takes place, ie, mixing ground malted barley, or grist with temperature-controlled water is called a mash tun. The process results in wort, a fermentable liquid.

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