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Whisky is a fascinating drink. 


It has been around for many centuries, and the 

                                                            (to go to the general history,, just click on the link above)

character of each individual whisky may have


 become more refined over time, but the 


production process has stayed very much the

               (to go to Production and Materials, just click on the link above) 

same. 


 It is a drink that has enjoyed many booms and


lived through many busts and has traveled far 


and wide.



Today, whisky is enjoyed all over the world and 


is consumed in more countries than any other 


drink! 

(to go to the Whiskies and Distilleries, just click on the link above)

So drink up and enjoy.

(to see some interesting tips on how to enjoy your Whisky, just click on the link above)

Slainte!

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There are five very different production areas in Scotland, each with its own flavour characteristics.

(to get to know the different types of  Whisky, just click on the link above)

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(To go to any specific Distillery, first click on the desired region, followed by the distillery name)

Lowland

These are, generally speaking, the whiskies produced in the southern half of the country, below the Highland Line that runs between the rivers Tay and Clyde in the centre of Scotland. 

These whiskies are mellower and gentler than their northern neighbours, and much of their produce ends up in blends. 

Ironically, their subtleties of taste are appreciated by both newcomers to malts and by more experienced malt drinkers.

Campbeltown

Once Scotland's most famous whisky town and home to more than 20 distilleries in the 19th century. 

Their number has dwindled to two in operation - Springbank and Glen Scotia - plus the new Glengyle-Distillery, opened in 2004.

Its whiskies are more distinctive than those of the Lowlands, with peat lending more of a hint of the flavours of Islay to the north. 

Islay

The most distinctively flavoured of all whiskies come from this island, where the apparently endless supplies of peat are put to use in the malt kilns. 

The resulting 'peat reek' gives the island whiskies a smell and taste that has variously been described as 'iodine', 'seawater' and even 'kippers'! 

Islay malts are undoubtedly an acquired taste, and their presence adds instant depth of character to a blend. 

(Incidentally, the name is pronounced 'Isle-aah'.)

Highland

An enormous area which is home to some of the world's most famous drinks names, as well as others that are worth taking the time to discover. 

In Speyside alone are more than 40 distilleries with names recognisable from any supermarket and liquor-store shelf. 

This is also the place to come if you want to visit lots of distilleries: several in the Spey valley are on the Whisky Trail and open to visitors. 

Varieties of whisky produced here range from mellow and sweet to aromatic and flowery, with every shade of flavour between.

Islands

Strictly speaking an area of Highland, this is a sub-grouping based on geography rather than flavour characteristics.

From Arran, Jura, Mull and Skye in the west to Orkney in the north, the whisky flavours here are as wide-ranging as any in the Highland group.

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(to see them, just click on the link above)

(to see them, just click on the link above)

(to see them, just click on the link above)

"Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whisky is barely enough."




A website with opinions and pictures on Whisky and Distilleries.

Even if I only started tasting Whiskey about 20 years, it's only since shortly that I learned to appreciate a peated  whisky.





TYPES OF WHISKY - Whisky Tastings

Single Malt Whisky

Single malt whisky is whisky distilled at a single distillery.

Malted barley, the only cereal ingredient, and water, is fermented and then distilled using a pot still, batch distillation process.

The resultant spirit after distillation is filled into oak casks, which could have originally held bourbon or sherry.

To be called Single Malt Scotch Whisky, the spirit must be matured in Scotland for a minimum of 3 years in oak casks, and bottled in Scotland.

This type of whisky is the most appreciated amongst whisky drinkers.


Examples:

Glenlivet 12yo
Macallan 12yo 

 Blended Malt Whisky

Blended malt is a combination of Single Malt whiskies, which have been distilled at more than one distillery.

This used to be known as vatted or pure malt but following controversy in 2004 the Scotch Whisky Association changed the name to blended malt to disarm confusion.

The common misconception about blended malt is that it contains grain whisky this is not the case; blended malt contains 100% malt whisky.

Blended grain is similar to blended malt although the whisky used is 100% grain and comes from more than one grain distillery.

Examples:


Campbeltown Loch
Auld Reekie 10yo

 Blended Whisky

Blended whisky is a blend of one or more Single Malt whiskies with one or more Single Grain Whiskies.

Blended whiskies were created in the mid 19th century to combat the need for a lighter, more palatable spirit as the Highland malt whiskies were of a rather harsh and strong flavour.

The boom period in the late 19th century threw up many famous names within the blending industry most notably Tommy Dewar, James Buchanan and Alexander Walker.

Blends are less favourable these days as Single Malts are very much the drink of choice, but blends still make up a large part of the whisky drinking market.


Examples:

Bell's

Johnnie Walker Black Label

 Grain Whisky

The invention of the continuous still, firstly patented by Robert Stein then perfected by Aneas Coffey in 1830 revolutionised the distilling industry.

At that point in time batch pot still distilling was expensive to run.

The costs of raw materials, labour and energy were very high.

The Coffey designed continuous still evolved the distilling process in a number of advantageous ways: the cost of resources could be kept down as different unmalted grains such as maize and wheat could be used to make the product and the yield from the distillation gave a higher amount than batch distilling.

Grain whisky is of a smoother and lighter flavour than malt whisky as there are less flavour congeners present.

The smooth complexion allowed for it to be blended with the harsher flavours of malt whisky to produce a smoother more rounded product.

Single grain releases are quite rare although well-aged grain whiskies can hold surprisingly complex flavours.

Examples:

Cameronbrig
Hedonism 

Lowland 
Whisky Styles

Lowland Scotch Whisky

From a whisky-making point of view, the Lowland region is defined as the mainland area that falls below an imaginary line drawn between Dundee in the East and Greenock in the West. There are currently 10 whisky distilleries in the Lowland region; 5 Single Malt distilleries and 5 Grain distilleries:

Single Malts:

    Ailsa Bay
    Auchentoshan
    Bladnoch
    Daftmill
    Glenkinnchie

Grain Whiskies:

    Cameronbridge
    Girvan
    North British
    Port Dundas
    Strathclyde

Although the vast majority of Scotland's grain whisky (for blending purposes) is produced in the Lowland region, there are currently only five single malt distilleries in production. Of these Auchentoshan and Glenkinnchie are the largest and best known single malts.

Bladnoch is one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland (and the most southerly). It had a good reputation for producing high quality single malt in the era when it was operated by the predecessors of Diageo. It is now privately owned by the ebullient Raymond Armstrong who re-commenced limited production in 2000. There has been a small release of 'new production' at 6 years old.

Daftmill Distillery is a new farm-based distillery near Cupar, Fife


Annandale Whisky Academy

There are a lot of people out there who enjoy 'thinking whisky' as much as they enjoy 'drinking whisky'.

Through Annandale Distillery's Whisky Academy, we will provide a detailed understanding of four crucial areas of Scotch whisky production:

    Scotch whisky making processes (Single Malt and Single Grain)
    Chemistry and microbiology of Scotch whisky (including flavour)
    Sensory characteristics of Single Malts
    Blending

We aim to adopt a tiered approach which deals with these fascinating areas of whisky in anything from layman's terms to a detailed scientific understanding. The material will be written and presented (personally and virtually) by Dr Jim Swan and Professor David Thomson.

Jim and David are both sensory specialists so they aim to provide an especially informed appreciation of the sensory characteristics of Scotland's many different single malts.

The USA, Canada, Ireland and Japan also make very impressive whiskies. At Annandale's Whisky Academy, we hope to celebrate and appreciate the differences amongst all good whiskies from around the World by understanding how they differ technically and sensorially from Scotch.

During the early years, we aim to build an accessible knowledge base on-line. When the distillery is up and running, we will provide a unique combination of 'hands-on' and 'brains-on' learning opportunities at Annandale.

Annandale Whisky Academy -- 'thinking and drinking whisky'

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