• Whisky Words
  • Whisky Words
  • Whisky Words
  • Whisky Words
  • Whisky Words
  • Whisky Words
  • Whisky Words

Whisky Words


Angel's Share

A term for the portion of a whisky's volume that is lost to evaporation during aging in oak barrels. The barrels are typically French or American oak.


Ardbeg - Distillery dates back to 1794.


Auchentoshan is a distillery in the Lowlands of Scotland, pronounced 'ock-un-tosh-un'. Translated from the Gaelic, it means'corner of the field'.


In general terms the mixing together of a straight whisky be it pure malt or single malt and gain whisky. The result is a blended whisky.


Typically a U.S. whiskey that is distilled from rye or maize.


Brooickladdie - Scotland's most westerly distillery.


A hollow cylindrical container traditionally made of wooden staves bound by wooden or metal hoops. Traditionally, the barrel was a standard size of measure referring to a set capacity or weight of a given commodity. For example, in the UK a barrel of beer refers to a quantity of 36 imperial gallons. Wine was shipped in barrels of 119 litres.
Modern wooden barrels for wine-making are either made of French common oak (Quercus robur) and have typically these standard sizes: "Bordeaux" 225 litres, "Cognac" 300 litres.

Cask Strength

A term for whisky which has not been reduced by water to a standard strenght before bottling.


The dramatic firing of the inside of a new barrel. The contact of the naked flame on the oak opens fissures into which the spirit can run and form types of sugars which will assist the flavouring and colouring of the maturing spirit.

Chill Filtration

The removal of congeners by chilling the whisky. It is a purely cosmetic precautionused to prevent hazing when the bottled whisky is stored at cold temperatures.


The Cooley Distillery is an Irish whiskey distillery, located on the Cooley Peninsula in County Louth, Ireland.


A craftsman, skilled in the art of creating barrels.


The middle portion of the spirit coming off the spirit still. The cut is the best part of the distillate and is saved and put into barrels. The foreshots and feints are re-distilled.


The process of extracting alcohol from a fluid substance by the application of heat. Because alcohol vaporises quicker than water, it can be collected during condensation.


(Scottish) A small glass of whisky.


Carried within grain, especially after malting, acting as an organic catalyst which converts large non-fermentable molecules of starch into smaller, fermentable ones.

Floor Maltings

The building within a distillery in which the practice of malting is carried out by hand.

Gordon and MacPhail

Gordon and MacPhail is an independent bottler and distiller of Scotch Whisky, founded in 1895 and located Elgin in the north-east of Scotland. It is a family owned by the Urquhart Family.


Traditional scottish dish of sawdust and sheep lung served in a boiled sheep's stomach.


The ultimate test of an apprentice cooper is to build a hogshead barrel. Once built, the apprentice becomes a proper cooper.

Irish Pot Still Whiskey

A spirit produced in a copper pot and made from a mixture of malted and unmalted barley.


The Isle of Jura can be found off the west coast of Scotland, and more specific a few miles north-east from Islay, separated by the Sound of Islay. It borders on the east at the Sound of Jura with the Kintyre Peninsula and Knapdale Argyll on the other side. To the north the island of Scarba is Jura's closest neighbor separated by the Strait of Corryvreckan with its famous whirlpool. To the west the island of Colonsay can be found, separated by the Atlantic Ocean. Jura is an island in the Southern Inner Hebrides.


In malting, the process of arresting the growth of the germinating barley before starch can be used up.

Lomond Still

A type of pot still, squat in shape, designed to produce a heavier, oilier pirit. Named after the Lomond Distillery where first used.

Lomond Wash Still

A Lomond still is a type of still that was sometimes used for whisky distillation, invented in 1955 by Alistair Cunningham of Hiram Walker. It is used for batch distillation like a pot still, but have three perforated plates that can be cooled independently, controlling the reflux through the apparatus allows the distiller to produce different kinds of whisky in the same still. Lomond stills were initially designed and installed at the Loch Lomond distillery.


The Lowland region lies South of an imaginary line that runs from Greenock on the West coast of Scotland to Dundee in the East. Most of the Lowland malts produced in this region end up in blends, but there are a still a few single malts available to try from this region. Malts from this region are light in colour and have quite a dry finish. The dryness comes from the malt itself, not from peat as Lowland malts tend to be produced with unpeated malt. You may also find a certain sweet fruitiness to the flavour. Lowland malts are regarded as an excellent aperitif. Generally speaking, Lowland region whiskies are mellower than whiskies from the neighbouring Highlands, and are very much appreciated by those new to malt Whisky and experienced malt drinkers alike.

Machrie Moor

Machrie Moor Stone Circles, is the collective name for six stone circles visible on Machrie Moor near the settlement of Machrie on the Isle of Arran, Scotland.


Barley which has has undergone a process of artifical growth by steeping in water and then allowed to germinate. The growth is arrested by a rapid drying, the barley will then be rich in compounds for the yeast to feed on and produce alcohol.


Time spent in barrel.


A coastal resort town and former royal burgh in Angus, Scotland. It is situated 38 miles north of Dundee between the mouths of the North and South Esk Rivers.


Mashed swede (a subtle root vegetable accompaniment to Haggis and Tatties).

New Oak

Virgin Oak to age Scotch Whisky.

Organic Whisky

Made only from barley grown in ground free of inorganic fertilizer and a treated with non chemical peticides.


A combustable fuel made from compressed vegetable matter soft enough to be cut from bogs. It produces a very pungent smoke, known as peat-reek which is sometimes used in the malting of barley, especially on the Scottish island of Islay. Waters used in distillation that have run over peat will also pick up a certain peaty character.

Pot Still

A type of still used in distilling spirits such as whisky. Heat is applied directly to the pot containing the wash. This is called batch distillation as opposed to continuous distillation.


Derives from the gaelic word "cuach" a drinking bowl (tureen).
An ancient two-handled Celtic drinking vessel which now is synonymous with whisky.


Refers normally to casks which have already been used once for whisky and are being pressed into service again.
In private it may be the most used "word" you would use when visiting the bartender.

Robert Burns

Robert Burns was born in Alloway, Ayrshire in 1759.Scotland's favourite son, also known as the Ploughman Poet, the Bard of Ayrshire or in Scotland simply as The Bard.

Single Malt

This indicates that the whisky was made in only one distillery and has not been blended with any other product from elsewhere. It may however contain whisky from several production batches over a period of up to a couple of years. There are rather fewer than 100 working malt whisky distilleries in Scotland with the dominant concentration in the Spey valley in north-east Scotland around Elgin. A smaller group of particularly characterful malt distilleries exists on the western island of Islay and there used to be a third group centred round Campbeltown. About 120 single malts can be identified including the bottled product of now-defunct distilleries.

Single Malt Whisky

A whisky produced by one distillery, exclusively from malted barley.


Sláinte is the basic form in Irish Gaelic. Variations of this toast include sláinte mhaith "good health" in Irish Gaelic (mhaith being the lenited form of maith "good"). In Irish Gaelic, the response to sláinte is sláinte agad-sa, which translates "to your health as well."
The basic Scottish Gaelic equivalent is slàinte (mhath), with the same meaning to which the normal response is do dheagh shlàinte "your good health."


Traditional mashed potatoes.


Islay Loch.

Uisce Beatha

The Gaelic name meaning "water of life" and the derivative term for whisky: "uisce" was corrupted to "uisgey" and then whisky.

Vatted Malt

A blend of malt whiskies from two or more individual distilleries - entirely from malt whisky but from more than one distillery.


A living micro organism of the fungi family essential for the purpose of fermantation. Feeding on sugar it produces alcohol and carbondioxide as a by product.