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Scotch 101

Scotch 101

There are 130 malt and grain distilleries in Scotland distributed between Campbeltown, Highland, Islay, Lowland and Speyside. Each region offers a unique take on one of the oldest and most prestigious spirits on earth — Scotch.

Authentic Scotch can only be made in Scotland and follows strict rules.

It must be made with water and malted barley, although other grains are optional. You must distil it to no more than 94.8% ABV before diluting it to bottle strength, and it must be matured at least three years in oak casks not exceeding 700 liters. All this guarantees a consistent, high-quality spirit worthy of any collection.

There are several styles of Scotch. Most of them are blended whisky. Distilleries exchange malts for crafting spirits more complex and enjoyable than the sum of their malts. The most prized, though, are single malts, never blended and distilled in a single distillery.

Aging is key with Scotch; distilleries go to great lengths to source ex-Bourbon or Sherry, American or European oak casks where the spirit rests for 12, 15, 18 or even 50 years. It comes as no surprise Scotch is coveted by whisky drinkers and collectors alike.

Expect honeyed malts reminiscent of apples or pears, apricots and flowers, lots of vanilla and warm winter spices. All this surrounded by the loveliest, sweet peat smoke coming from the traditional Scottish peat-fired malt roasting ovens.

The best part of Scotch is exploring all its expressions, from different distilleries and styles. Scotch is not one thing, but many, and there’s one for every taste and palate.
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