Terminology All Whisky Drinkers Should Know – A Guide from Glenlivet

Whether or not you are a seasoned whisky drinker or whisky novice, brush up on your whisky expertise with our terminology guideline. Impress your fellow whisky drinkers with your arsenal of phrases and definitions. Pour you a glass of whisky and examination your knowledge.

Types of Whisky

With so quite a few distinct types of whisky available, knowing your malt from your grain can look like a minefield so we have compiled a list so that you can distinguish your whiskies and impart your wisdom to fellow whisky drinkers.


Malt whisky is made from a fermented mash consisting of malted barley.


Grain whisky is designed from any form of grain, this could involve wheat, corn or rye. Malt whisky on the other hand is produced from malted barley only.


Blended whisky is what you consider it to be: it is a combination of distinct sorts of whiskies. A mix can include things like as lots of as 15 to 50 different single whiskies, the quantities of which are dependent on the precise corporation manufacturing it. Since each individual whisky has its own distinct features, some blends never operate seamlessly alongside one another. Hence, the whiskies must be expertly blended to enhance and increase the flavors.


Scotch is whisky that is manufactured solely in Scotland. Scotch whisky can’t be replicated anywhere else in the world due to the fact it is the specific landscape, water, and local climate of Scotland that would make this whisky so exceptional. There are 5 whisky areas across the nation with each and every producing their possess distinctive whisky with distinct flavour profiles. For illustration, whisky from the area of Islay tends to evoke a peaty, smoky taste, whilst the Lowland claims soft and smooth whisky with flavors like honeysuckle, product, grass, ginger and toffee which presents an overall lighter style.

Single Malt Scotch vs Blended Scotch Whisky

You can get Scotch whisky as a single malt, a one grain, or a mix. Single malt or grain whisky comes from a single distillery, which whisky drinkers often take into account tends to make it an elite spirit. Blended, on the other hand, is produced from a mixture of diverse Scotch whiskies that complement and boost the different flavors in the combine.

group of whisky drinkers

Whisky Glasses

As all whisky drinkers will attest, possessing the proper glass when consuming whisky can make all the distinction. From the ideal ambiance to the best whisky, the right glass will total the working experience.

Tulip Glass

The tulip glass, also recognised as the copita right after the classic Spanish glass from which it is primarily based on, is a preferred among whisky drinkers and connoisseurs. The form of this glass is fantastic for appreciating the intricate flavours of the spirit. It has a stem, which prevents the hand from coming far too shut to the nose and influencing the scent of the whisky, even though the spherical condition at the base and narrowed rim guides the aromas to your nose as you consume. This shaped glass is also good for swirling your whisky.


The Glencairn whisky glass is not dissimilar to a tulip glass, nonetheless it has a shorter more strong foundation as opposed to a lengthy stem. This glass is also fantastic for swirling to ‘open up’ the aromas of the whisky so that you can have a additional nuanced tasting encounter and style the depth of flavors. The form of this glass also funnels the aroma of the whisky in direction of the nose as you consume.


The Old-Fashioned glass is possibly the most instantly recognisable glass amongst the whisky eyeglasses. It is short with a thick foundation and a vast rim and is ideal for whisky cocktails or whisky on the rocks.

whisky drinker with an old fashioned glass

Whisky Terms


A dram is a unit of volume usually affiliated with whisky. There is no fastened measurement for a dram, and it has transformed over time, however these days if you purchase a dram you are most likely to acquire a conventional shot dimensions of possibly 25ml or 35ml.


Purchasing a neat whisky signifies that the spirit is served with out any mixer or extra flavors – a preferred amongst whisky drinkers.

On the rocks

This simply just indicates a spirit served in excess of ice.

Open up

‘Open up’ in relation to whisky refers to the adjust in taste once the spirit has been still left open up to the air. You can ‘open up’ your whisky by swirling it in your glass or by including a drop of water. Opening up your whisky can unveil a a lot more nuanced and richer combination of flavors that are not recognised in the beginning.

Whether you’re a new or seasoned whisky drinker, this quick guide will give you a refresh of the most crucial whisky terms and phrases to support you on your way to getting to be a connoisseur.