Main > Glossary
Age The numbers of years a whisky has been matured in casks. The age stated on a bottle is that of it's youngest component.
Angel's share It's a part of alcohol that evaporates from the cask during maturation. The whisky loses about 2% volume alcohol a year.
Barrel A cask containing 180 litres (47 Am. gallons)
Blended whisky A mixture of grain and malt whiskies from several different distilleries. The quality of the blend depends on the percentage of malt whiskies used.
Bourbon Whisky produced in the United States from a mash of not less than 51% corn grain. Because regulation requires only the use of new oak barrels, it's a nearly inexhaustible generator of used barrels.
Butt A cask containing 500 litres (132 Am. gallons).
Cask strength Normally whisky is reduced to 40% or 43% volume alcohol before it's bottled. A whisky of cask strength is bottled at the alcoholic strength as it is taken from the cask. According to its age and the evaporation that took place during maturation it may have 65% to 45% Vol. alcohol.
Chill-filtering A method of filtering the spirit when chilled to freezing point or below prior to bottling to avoid the risk of the whisky becoming cloudy when cold. Unfortunately, it also removes many of the natural fats, oils and flavours, thereby affecting the individual character of the whisky.
Coffey Still Also known as a patent still, it's a type of still whisch allows a continuos destillation of whisky. It's used to produce grain whisky and also industrial alcohol. It's very clean, but less aromative than alcohol destilled in a pot still.
Dram The standard measure of a glass of spirits, commonly 1/6 (2½cl.) of a gill.
Gill Old Scots measurement, still used in whisky measures today.
Grain whisky Whisky distilled in a continuous operation in a Coffey Still. It's made from unmalted cereals barley, wheat or maize, combined with a small amount of malted barley to make it possible for the starches in the other cereals to turn into sugar.
Malt Any grain which has been made to germinate, and then been dried to arrest growth.
Malt whisky Whisky produced from malted barley and distilled in a Pot Still.
Pot Still A type of still used for batch distillation of whisky. In a Pot Still distillation the liquid is distilled two or three times.
Rye Whiskey Whiskey produced in the United States and Canada from a grain mash of which not less than 51% is rye grain.
Scotch A malt whisky which is produced and matured for at least three years in Scotland.
Single barrel Also known as single-single, it's a whisky taken from only one cask.
Single malt A whisky made from malted barley in Pot Stills at one individual distillery.
Vatted Malt Also known as Pure malt, it's a blend of several whiskies from different distilleries. In contrast to a single malt, of which the quality and character may vary according to vintage or season, this produces a product which is more consistent and has it's own stable personality.
Whisky A spirituous liquor distilled from a fermented mash of grains. It's only entitled to be called whisky when it's matured for at least three years. The name whisky evolved from the word usquebaugh (usky phonetically), which came from the Gaelic uisge beatha, literally meaning the "water of life". As an exception, whisky from Ireland and the United States is spelled as whiskey. See also wikipedia.