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Dictionary > Rum Tasting

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Scotch Whisky/span>
What is the origin of the name 'whisky'?
The term 'whisky' derives originally from the Gaelic 'uisge beatha,' or 'usquebaugh,' meaning 'water of life.' Gaelic is the branch of Celtic spoken in the Scottish Highlands.

What does the age label on the blended whisky refer to?
The law dictates that the declared age on the label must refer to the youngest whisky in the blend. For instance, if a blend is described as being 12 years old, the youngest whisky in that blend must have been matured for at least 12 years.

To how many countries is Scotch whisky exported?
Scotch whisky is exported to about 200 different markets all over the world. Major markets include European community, United States and Japan. (Scotch Whisky Association)

What causes the smoky flavour in Scotch whisky?
The smoky flavour of certain Scotch whiskies originates from the peat fire over which the green malt is dried prior to grinding and mashing.

Is it possible to tell the difference between one brand of Scotch whisky and another by smell alone?
Yes, it is possible to differentiate between different brands by nose alone if you have the necessary expertise.

What is the alcoholic strength of Scotch whisky?
When distilled, it is usually reduced for filling into casks at a strength to 68.5% alcohol. The minimum legal bottling strength is 40% volumn. 43% volume is often found in export markets.

How many different types of whisky make up a blended whisky?
A blended scotch whisky can be made up of as many as 50 individual Scotch Malt and Scotch Grain whiskies and as few as 12. It is the skill of the blending team to ensure that the right whiskies, at the right ages, are mixed together to produce a superior quality. The wide range of single whiskies available in Scotland ensures the continued high quality and enables the blenders to give the brands their own individual characteristics.

How is Scotch Whisky distilled and what is it made from?
Malt is made in a batch process in pot stills whereas grain is distilled in a continuous process in much larger stills known as Patent or Coffey stills. Malt is made from barley while grain whisky is made from cereals such as wheat or maize together with a small proportion of malted barley.

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