When you get down to it, Scotch whisky is the most diverse category of whisky in the world. A wide variety of grains, barrels, stills, and techniques go into the thousands of products produced in Scotland. And that’s a problem—namely because, for novice Scotch drinkers, there’s a lot of uncertainty.
Say you and I tried scotch for the first time this week: My experience sipping smoky, roiling Lagavulin would be totally different from your finessed, easy-drinking Dewar’s. We both had Scotch, yes, but we had two very different styles of Scotch: one a single malt, one a blend.
In a legal sense, anything labeled Scotch whisky must be made from grain that’s been distilled (in Scotland) and aged in oak barrels (again, in Scotland) for at least three years. But after that, the road forks in a few … Read the rest