Think it’s strange that National Scotch Day is smack in the middle of summer? We don’t. Single malts don’t belong to a single season. Scotch whisky is special, as are the moments and company that you enjoy it in.
We’ve put together a Minibar-tender’s Guide for you to refer in those moments to sound smart around that company.
Things to know about Scotch:
-Watch your vowels: The Scots spell it “Whisky” rather than the American “Whiskey”
-It's been around longer than anyone can remember: The first written record of Scottish Distilled Whisky is from 1494 and it’s believed to have been around way before then.
-“Single Malt” means the whisky is made from a mash of malted barley, distilled from a single distillery using a pot still, and aged for at least three years in oak casks.
-There are multiple regions, each with its own unique character, where Scotch is produced.
Highland: Smooth and Floral
By far the largest region in the country with a wide variety of styles.
Residents: Oban, Dalwhinie, Dalmore, Glenmorangie
Lowland: Light and Fresh
Few distilleries call the lowlands home these days. These whiskies tend to have a sweet, fruity flavor with a dry finish and make excellent aperitifs.
Residents: Auchentoshan, Glenkinchie
Islands (Islay & Skye): Peaty & Maritime
Sitting off the Eastern Coast of Scotland is the Islands region made up of Islay, Skype, Mull, Orkney, Arran, Jura & Lewis. Expect strong peaty single malts.
Residents: Talisker, Lagavulin, Highland Park
Speyside: Fruity and Delicate
Home to over half of Scotland’s distilleries, Speyside scotches tend to be a sweeter whiskey with a note of smokiness.
Residents: Macallan, Glenrothes, Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, Balvenie, Aberlour, Speyburn