ABOUT SCOTCH WHISKY

One of the most popular and revered spirits in the world, Scotch whisky can only legally be produced in Scotland and must mature in oak casks for a minimum of three years before it can be called Scotch.

Scotch must be made using only water, malted barley, yeast and other cereals. It cannot be made from artificial ingredients, and must have minimum alcoholic strength of 40% proof.

These laws help to guarantee the quality and integrity of the whisky, so you can be sure that when you drink Scotch you are enjoying the same traditional recipe handed down for hundreds of years by Scottish distillers.

The two basic types of Scotch Whisky, from which all blends are made, are Single Malt Scotch Whisky and Single Grain Scotch Whisky. In practice there is no change in the way that Single Malt Scotch Whisky and Single Grain Scotch Whisky must be produced.

Single Malt Scotch Whisky means a Scotch Whisky produced from only water and malted barley at a single distillery by batch distillation in pot stills.

Single Grain Scotch Whisky means a Scotch Whisky distilled at a single distillery but which, in addition to water and malted barley, may also be produced from whole grains of other malted or unmalted cereals. Excluded from the definition of “Single Grain Scotch Whisky” is any spirit which qualifies as a Single Malt Scotch Whisky or as a Blended Scotch Whisky. The latter exclusion is to ensure that a Blended Scotch Whisky produced from Single Malt(s) and Single Grain(s) distilled at the same distillery does not also qualify as Single Grain Scotch Whisky.

The definition of Blended Scotch Whisky does change the existing law, but reflects traditional and current practice. Before the SWR, any combination of Scotch Whiskies qualified as a Blended Scotch Whisky, including for example a blend of Single Malt Scotch Whiskies. However, Blended Scotch Whisky is defined under the SWR as a combination of one or more Single Malt Scotch Whiskies with one or more Single Grain Scotch Whiskies, which accords with traditional practice.

Blended Malt Scotch Whisky means a blend of two or more Single Malt Scotch Whiskies from different distilleries, and

Blended Grain Scotch Whisky means a blend of two or more Single Grain Scotch Whiskies from different distilleries.