from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Whiskey ( English , in Ireland and in the United States mainly whiskey ) is a by distillation from grain mash recovered and Barrel matured spirit .

A tumbler with whiskey on ice ("on the rocks")
Scottish whiskey with a tulip-shaped nosing glass , which helps to be able to perceive the various aromas well.

Legal definition

Every region or country has its own regulations for the conditions under which a brand of whiskey or whiskey may be named. For the main regions of Scotland and Ireland, the European regulation and the regional regulation apply. Other countries have different regulations.

Within the European Union , whiskey must according to the criteria set out in Regulation No. 110/2008 of January 15, 2008

  • obtained by distilling cereal malt mash,
  • are distilled to an alcohol content of less than 94.8 percent by volume,
  • Aged for at least three years in wooden barrels with a capacity of 700 liters or less,
  • have a minimum alcohol content of 40 percent by volume.

In Uruguay, for example, the required minimum storage time is only two years. If the products do not meet the minimum requirements listed above, they may not be sold as whiskey within the EU.


The word whiskey , first mentioned in 1736, is derived from the Scottish Gaelic uisge beatha (pronounced: [ɯʃkʲe 'bɛha], also uschkeba ) or from the Irish uisce beatha (pronounced: ischke baha or ischke ba ) and means "water of life" ( uisge / uisce "water", beatha "life"). The anglicized form usquebaugh developed from the Gaelic pronunciation form uskeba , as is often found in place names in Scotland, Ireland and Wales , but it becomes uskvebaw ('u' as in English cut , 'aw' as in English law ) or yuskibaw spoken. Other spellings are usqu (a) ebach and usquaebae . The term was already in the 16./17. Century common. The English anglicized the Gaelic word uisge beatha to the common word "whiskey". It was understood to mean not only whiskey in today's sense, but also other brandies with added spices.

The spelling “whiskey” instead of “whiskey” did not emerge until the 19th century in Dublin.

History of origin


In the 5th century, Christian monks , above all the Irish national saint St. Patrick , began to evangelize the land of the Celts and brought technical equipment and knowledge of the manufacture of medicines and perfumes to Ireland and Scotland . It is not yet clear whether Scotland or Ireland is the country of origin of the whiskey. According to legend , the Celts were the first to distill a water-clear liquid - the aqua vitae (cf. “ Aquavit ”) or uisge beatha . The knowledge necessary for this spread in the following centuries with the advent of the monasteries , which at that time were the center of many settlements and operated their own inns .

Ruins of the Benedictine monastery Lindores Abbey , where aquavite was already burned in 1494

Aquavite was first mentioned in a document in Scottish tax documents ( Exchequer Rolls ) in 1494 , when the Benedictine monk John Cor from Lindores Monastery (County Fife ) bought eight Bollen of malt in the then Scottish capital Dunfermline . 1 boll (bolle) = 4 firlot (1 firlot ~ 1 bushel ) is an old Scottish hollow grain and corresponds to 210.1 liters or 62 kilograms of malt. Eight Bollen thus corresponded to around 500 kilograms, which is enough to produce around 400 bottles of whiskey. ( Et per liberacionem factam fratri Johanni Cor per perceptum compotorum rotulatoris, ut asserit, de mandato domini regis ad faciendum aquavite infra hoc compotum viij bolle brasii. Dt .: And by payment in favor of brother Johannes Cors on the instructions of the tax auditor, as he assures Order of the King ( James IV. ) To produce water of life within this assessment period, 8 Bollen (~ 32 bushels) of malt). In the course of time a large number of private distilleries emerged. Each Scottish clan produced their own whiskey for their own use.

After the British and Irish settled America , attempts were made to make whiskey from grain. Since barley grew very poorly, farmers in North America, the place well, growing cereals began rye (English: rye ) and wheat (English: wheat ) to ferment. The oldest distilleries arose in Maryland , Pennsylvania and Virginia .

Taxes, fights, legalization

The first record of a licensed distillery dates back to 1608. In that year King James I licensed Sir Thomas Phillips, Plenipotentiary of the Province of Ulster in Ireland , “in the County of Colrane, also called O Cahanes, or in the Territory in County Antrim called Rowte to distill whiskey. The Old Bushmills distillery , located in the county mentioned, adopts this information . However, Old Bushmills was not founded until 1784.

Whiskey has been officially taxed in Ireland since 1643 and in Scotland since 1644 . Since no one adhered to it, whiskey was banned in Ireland in 1661 and also in Scotland in 1707 - unless a state license was obtained . In the following years, because of the taxes to bloody clashes between tax collectors ( gaugers ) and smugglers ( smugglers ). Resistance to high taxation on whiskey continued for almost 200 years. The oldest existing licensed distilleries are Kilbeggan (1757) in Ireland , Glenturret (1775) and Bowmore (1779) in Scotland .

American patent specification for a still, between 1836 and 1849

In America whiskey was taxed: In 1794 George Washington , who ran a distillery himself, issued a tax on whiskey because the financial needs of the young state were very high after the end of the Revolutionary War . But the settlers did not accept this tax, and the Whiskey Rebellion broke out in Pennsylvania . It was fought down by a 13,000-strong army under Henry Lee III . The whiskey distillers then moved further west to the states of Kentucky and Tennessee , from where most of American whiskey production still comes today.

In 1822 in Scotland the Illicit Distillation Act ( Act on the illegal distilling adopted), the simplified the tax law, but the rights of the landowners strengthened. Unrest broke out again. In 1823 a new Act of Excise was passed allowing whiskey to be distilled for a fee of £ 10 plus a fixed amount of tax per gallon of whiskey. At the same time, a minimum size of 40 gallons was specified for the still. George Smith was the first to build his distillery, The Glenlivet , under the new legislation . The new law finally made the legal production of whiskey worthwhile, within ten years thousands of illegal distilleries in Scotland and Ireland disappeared. This led to a far greater spread of the whiskey in the British Isles.


1826 Robert Stein reported a new method for continuous distillation for a patent ( patent quietly distilling ) - hereby could unmalted cereals ( grains ) are fired. In 1832 this process was improved by the Irishman Aeneas Coffey . With the Coffey still (also called column, coffey, patent or continuous still, the still consisting of distilling columns instead of traditional stills) a purer product could be produced, the grain whiskey. However, the Irish did not like the novel whiskey, and so Coffey went to Scotland.

In 1856 the Scot Andrew Usher junior first blended (German: blended ) whiskey ago. His father had already offered the "Old Vatted Glenlivet" in 1844. The first blend called "Usher's Green Stripe" still exists on the market. Other traders blended malt and grain whiskey, which could still be produced thanks to the Coffey , into blended scotch . This new type of whiskey first found widespread sales in England and subsequently worldwide - also due to phylloxera and powdery mildew , which destroyed a large part of the French vines from around 1850, which is why wine , cognac and brandy became scarce and very expensive.

Because of the American prohibition (1920-1933) most small distilleries in America had to close. In Scotland, too, this led to the closure of many distilleries (for example in Campbeltown on the Kintyre peninsula ). However, whiskey from the Laphroaig distillery was considered a medicine in America during the prohibition era and was the only whiskey available in pharmacies. After the end of the alcohol ban, larger corporations now controlled the newly started legal production. In the following decades there was an increasing concentration of distilleries and bottlers in larger corporations in the countries of origin, which are now operating worldwide. There are only a few smaller companies that operate individual distilleries.

production method

Whiskey is made from grain (always barley, also wheat, corn, rye or oats). The grain is fermented with water and yeast and distilled into a fire, which is then stored in wooden barrels (mostly made of oak) for at least three years. The process of making whiskey is similar to other methods of making and concentrating ethanol until storage . Since grain is used as a raw material, there is a special similarity to the production of grain brandy and, up to distillation, also to brewing beer .

The production of whiskey can be divided into the following steps:

raw materials

The main grains used are barley (which contains a particularly large amount of starch that can be converted into fermentable sugar and which also thrives in the northernmost regions), but also maize , rye or wheat , and, more rarely, oats , buckwheat , rice , triticale , quinoa , millet and spelled .

Water is needed for malting, mashing and, if necessary, for dilution, so whiskey distilleries are often built in places with good access to water. The hardness of the water , its pH value , absolute mineral content and microbiological purity have an impact on the mash and fermentation.

Another ingredient, certain Saccharomyces , especially Saccharomyces cerevisiae , for example, the distiller's race M .


The articles whiskey # production process , single malt whiskey # malting , brewing beer # malt production , malting # process_der_malting and malting overlap thematically. Help me to better differentiate or merge the articles (→  instructions ) . To do this, take part in the relevant redundancy discussion . Please remove this module only after the redundancy has been completely processed and do not forget to include the relevant entry on the redundancy discussion page{{ Done | 1 = ~~~~}}to mark. Psh0r ( discussion ) 18:40, Aug 11, 2019 (CEST)
Malt is obtained from barley grains, which forms the basis for many whiskeys

The most important raw material for the manufacturing process is grain. Depending on the production process chosen and the type of grain used, the grain is used malted or unmalted. For many whiskeys, malted barley is the main flavoring agent. The quality of the barley is classified from one to nine. Only stages one to three, which make up around 20% of a harvest, are suitable for malting . A high starch content , a low protein content , a low nitrogen content , a high probability of germination, uniformity of the grains and the ripeness and dryness of the barley are decisive for the quality classification .

Floor malting

The malting barley (or other cereals) provides many whiskeys a crucial process during the manufacturing process. It is for this purpose antennas spread (Mälzböden of stone, tile or concrete), moistened and turned regularly and thus under the influence of heat germinated evenly. This is how the green malt is obtained . The enzymes activated during germination convert the starch ( amylose ) present in the grain into malt sugar ( maltose ). The grains develop heat and therefore have to be constantly shifted in order to achieve a uniform climate within the grain layer. The resulting green malt is then kilned. This means that germination is stopped by means of heat ( kilning ), whereby the malt is dried and thus made storable, which can be done both with hot dry air and with hot smoke. In the (at least in Scotland) kilns (pagoda-shaped towers, called kilns ) fired with peat , the smoke permeates the green malt. Peat gives off flavorings to the fresh malt through the smoke. The process takes place in buildings with the typical pagoda roof. The phenol content in the smoke can be used to check how much the malt was smoked during kilning. The range extends from completely unpeated dry fire to very heavily peated fire, which is reflected in the mildness and smokiness of the whiskey.


Fermentation tanks

The seedlings are only removed from the grain immediately before mashing, ground into grist and then mixed with hot water in the mash tun. During mashing , the starch is converted into malt sugar by enzymes. This creates other types of sugar . The goal of the process is to extract all of the fermentable sugars. The sugar-rich liquid through the perforated bottom (the wort, English word ) from the remaining solids, cellulosic husks, separated and collected.


After cooling, the resulting wort, a sticky, sweet liquid, is pumped into the fermentation tank (or fermentation vat , English washback ), where it is mixed with yeast ( Saccharomyces cerevisiae , the brewer's yeast), which ferments sugar to alcohol and carbon dioxide. The process of fermentation ( fermentation ) is similar to that of brewing beer, but it is not low in germs in whiskey production. The mash produced after fermentation has an alcohol content of five to eight percent by volume.

If the whiskey, usually bourbon, is fermented with a sour mash , it can be described as having sour mash as a quality feature.


Two stills

The fermentation in the fermentation tank is followed by distillation in the still. The distillation increases the alcohol content of the fermented liquid under the action of heat and removes most of the water. During the firing process, the mash passes through the first copper pot still . The resulting raw spirit has an alcohol content of around 20 percent by volume. The distillation process is now repeated in the second copper still. The distillation separates the alcohol and most of the smells and flavors from the water and concentrates them. The fine spirit is separated by the master distiller into pre -medium and post-production . The middle course flows through a counter , with the help of which the spirits tax to be paid later is determined. The alcohol content of the middle reaches about 60 to 75 percent by volume. It is partially mixed with water and filled into wooden barrels for final storage. The pre- and post-runs of the two firing processes are sometimes fed to the next firing process.

If a still should be replaced due to wear and tear, care is often taken to imitate the exact shape of the old still - allegedly this allows the familiar taste of the whiskey to be retained.

The pot-still process is used to produce Scottish malt whiskey and Irish pot-still whiskey . Other types of whiskey are mostly distilled in columns using the patent-still method . The Lomond still process developed in 1955 by Alistair Cunningham and Arthur Warren failed to establish itself .

To store

Storage of the whiskey in wooden barrels

The years of maturation (usually 3 to 25 years) in a wooden barrel is important for the taste. The type of wood, the previous use of the barrel, the geographic location of the warehouse, the type of warehouse, the microclimate and the length of time it has matured are important factors. The distillate ( taste ) of the American whiskey matures almost exclusively in new barrels made from American white oak , which are charred (toasted) inside. In addition, the European oak is the raw material for whiskey barrels in Europe. A barrel costs around 300 euros. The barrels in which sherry or port wine was previously stored mainly come from Spain or Portugal. They are intended for dark whiskeys. Used American casks are used for light whiskey. Hemicellulose , lignin , tannins and wood extracts as well as the surrounding air enrich the distillate during storage.

Storage for empty whiskey barrels

The use of former sherry barrels from Spain is a traditional way of adding flavor to whiskey. However, with the consumption of sherry and port wine on the decline for years, it is becoming increasingly difficult for distilleries to get such barrels. The Cooperage Speyside Cooperage in Craigellachie is around 100,000 barrels annually oak reassembled, toasts and repaired barrels for the surrounding distilleries. In 2004 around 18 million whiskey barrels were stored in Scotland.

Bottlings that are refined by storing them in other barrels are becoming increasingly popular. This finishing takes place in barrels in which sherry , port wine , rum , Bordeaux , Madeira , cognac or white wine was previously stored.

Every year about 0.5 to 1.0 percent of the content evaporates through the pores of the closed barrels, the so-called angel share ( Angels 'share or Angels' dram ). The maturation process for the whiskey depends on the required product and the quality obtained.

It is stored in barrels of different sizes. The following barrel types are used in storage:

  • the most widely used Scottish hogshead (content: approx. 250 liters)
  • the Spanish sherry butt (content: approx. 500 liters)
  • the American barrel (content: approx. 200 liters)
  • das Quarter (also Firkin ) (content: 45–80 liters)

Many malt whiskeys peak around 10 to 15 years of age. Others, however, only reach this later. For bottling, water is added to the whiskey to create a common drinking strength. The usual drinking strength nowadays is between 40 and 43  volume percent (vol .-%), sometimes up to 46 vol .-%. Undiluted bottlings that are bottled directly at cask strength and are therefore more intense and complex in aroma are enjoying increasing popularity .

Whiskey types

Differentiation according to the type of grain

Whiskey is available in stores under various names. On the one hand, the different types of grain from which the whiskey was made is named:

  • Grain refers to distillates made from wheat, unmalted (and a small amount of malted) barley and oats (in Europe) and / or rye (in Canada and in the USA) and / or corn (in the USA). They are used almost exclusively for blended whiskeys.
  • Rye refers to whiskey that was mainly made from rye (at least 51 percent).
  • Bourbon refers to whiskey that was mainly made from corn (at least 51 percent).
  • Corn refers to whiskey that is largely made from corn (at least 80 percent).
  • Malt refers to whiskey that is made exclusively from malted barley.

Denominations of Origin

Names such as Scotch , Irish , American reflect the origin of the product. Some of these designations of origin are protected by law and subject to certain requirements (for example: minimum age).

Well-known names are:

  • Scotch: Scottish whiskey
  • Speyside Whiskey: Scottish whiskey from the Speyside region
  • Tennessee Whiskey: American whiskey from Tennessee

background knowledge

Important whiskey terms

  • New Spirit: New Spirit or New Make are fresh distillates that do not yet meet the minimum requirements for whiskey according to the definition .
  • Cask strength: No water was added to a whiskey before it was bottled. The alcohol content of these whiskeys is different, as it varies depending on the storage time, environmental conditions, the quality of the barrel and, last but not least, the alcohol content of the original distillate. Cask Strength has nothing directly to do with alcohol content. A blend of different barrels in a distillery is cask strength as long as no water has been added.
  • Vintage (vintage whiskey): The whiskey used comes from the designated vintage.
  • Single cask: The whiskey comes from a single cask (especially used for Scottish whiskey). The bottles are often numbered consecutively. What applies to vintage whiskey is all the more pronounced for single cask bottlings. The quality can be different for each different bottling.
  • Single barrel: The whiskey comes from a single barrel (used especially for American whiskey).
  • Blended Malt Whiskey (Vatted Whiskey, Vatted Malt or Pure Malt): The whiskey comes from the barrels of different distilleries and is made entirely from malted barley.
  • Blended whiskey: The whiskey is always a mixture of different distillates from malted and unmalted grain.
  • Finish (expansion): Some distilleries indicate the origin of the barrels used to store the whiskey, for example “Port Wood Finish” means that the whiskey was (partially) stored in disused port wine barrels. Other examples would be “Sherry Wood Finish”, “Madeira Wood Finish”. See also barrel aging .
  • NAS or No Age Statement: whiskeys with no age information on the label. When specifying the age, the age of the youngest whiskey component must be given, this is bypassed.

Quality features

In addition to the subjective assessment of the taste, only the quality of the raw materials and the care taken in processing can be viewed objectively.

Various questions can be used as clues for the qualitative assessment of a whiskey:

  • If it is a blended ( Blend ) or unblended whiskey ( single malt )?
  • How long was the whiskey stored in the barrel?
  • Is it a vintage or even a single barrel bottling? These are usually only offered by exceptionally good whiskeys.
  • The addition of caramel (E 150a) is common to give pale whiskeys a darker color. The taste is slightly affected by the bitter food coloring.
  • Has the whiskey been subjected to special cold filtration ("chill filtration")? It is used to secrete long-chain fatty acids , which lead to cloudiness at low temperatures. However, they are carriers of flavorings that are then missing in the end product.
  • The quality, purity and origin of the spring water used also play a role.

Alcohol content

The alcohol content of the raw distillate is initially - depending on the production method - between 60 and 94.8 percent by volume . The raw distillate is already partially diluted with water when it is matured in barrels, but at the latest when bottling, the whiskey is usually brought to a drinking strength of 40 to 46 percent by volume. Special bottlings at cask strength ( cask strength , s. O.) Have an alcohol content of between about 50 and 65 percent by volume. The minimum alcohol content in the European Union and Switzerland is 40 percent by volume.

As is generally the case, the alcohol content of whiskey is given in percent by volume. The outdated unit of measurement proof can still be found on older bottles . In the USA, 1 proof corresponds to an alcohol content of 0.5% by volume, for the British it is 0.571% by volume. Scotch whiskey is often served at 70 Brit. Proof (i.e. 40 vol%) or 100 Brit. Proof (57.15 vol%) offered. 100 British proofs mark the alcohol content above which gunpowder soaked in whiskey burns with a blue flame.

In 1972 the name Light Whiskey was introduced for lighter distillates, regardless of the types of grain used.

Great whiskey nations

Scottish Whiskey (Scotch Whiskey)

Distillery in the Scottish Highlands

Scottish whiskey is currently distilled in 111 Scottish distilleries (as of June 2017). There were also hundreds more that are currently decommissioned or no longer exist. The distilleries and thus the whiskeys produced there are assigned to different regions. The whiskeys from one region are sometimes said to have a common taste characteristic.

Legal definition

According to the Scotch Whiskey Regulation 2009, Scottish whiskey must:

  • Made in a Scottish distillery from water and malted barley (other grains can also be used)
  • Raw spirit with a maximum of 94.8% pure alcohol
  • Bonded storage in Scotland only in oak barrels with a maximum size of 700 liters for at least three years
  • Before filling, water and food coloring ( caramel ) may be added

Scotch whiskey is legally divided into the following types:

  • Single malt Scotch whiskey , made exclusively from water and malted barley and exclusively in a single distillery in so-called pot stills ( stills , in contrast to coffey stills)
  • Single grain scotch whiskey , in contrast to single malt, the addition of other grains to the barley malt is permitted, and coffee stills can also be used
  • Blended Malt Scotch Whiskey , a blend of at least two single malt Scotch whiskeys from more than one distillery
  • Blended Grain Scotch Whiskey , a blend of at least two single grain Scotch whiskeys from more than one distillery
  • Blended Scotch Whiskey , a blend of at least one single malt and one or more single grain Scotch whiskeys.

A bottling can contain whiskeys of different ages. The maximum age that may be used is the age of the youngest whiskey contained. A major difference to the earlier legislation is that since then a proportion of barley malt has to be used for Grain Scotch. Before 2009 this was not necessary.

Scottish whiskey regions

Scottish whiskey regions
region Regions-
inactive or
closed distilleries
Highlands 27 10
Speyside 55 11
Lowlands 9 9
Islay 9 1
Islands 9 0
Campbeltown 3 0
total 111 31
Highlands region

The Highlands region extends north of the geological dividing line between Stonehaven and Dumbarton . It is occasionally further divided into the Central Highlands , Northern Highlands , Western Highlands, and Eastern Highlands . Highland whiskeys are usually strong in taste. The Highlands whiskeys are quite different. For this reason, the Highlands are not perceived as one large region, but rather as four small but very distinct areas. Invergordon is the only grain distillery in the Highlands .

The malts of the Northern Highlands tend to be slightly strong. They are delicate whiskeys with complex aromas and a slightly tart finish - sometimes spicy, sometimes with a hint of salt. Almost all of the distilleries in the Northern Highlands are on the coast. The northernmost is Pulteney in Wick in the far north of mainland Scotland. Old Pulteney produces a delicate, fragrant and dry whiskey. In a southerly direction along the A9 , the next distillery is Clynelish in Brora . This was built next to an older distillery in 1969 whose whiskeys are known as Brora . Brora is seen as a sophisticated and complex whiskey. The reason for this is perhaps the rarity of a distillery bottling, as the malt is the main component of the " Johnnie Walker " blend .

The best known of the malts from the Northern Highlands is Glenmorangie . Glenmorangie is made in Tain on the Cromarty Firth and is the most popular malt in Scotland. In the 1990s, Glenmorangie pioneered the often copied process of wood finishing. Another well-known whiskey from the Northern Highlands is The Dalmore .

Some whiskeys are produced in the Eastern Highlands that can be confused with those from the Speyside region. In the north of the region, near the southern border of the Speyside region, you can find mild whiskeys, some with a little smoke or malty-sweet. Such whiskeys are Macduff , Ardmore , Glen Garioch and Knockdhu - the latter also known as An Cnoc .

Further south are Fettercairn and Glencadam in Brechin. An unusually creamy and fruity malt is produced there. The area between Moray and Tay is home to two notable distilleries - Royal Lochnagar and Glendronach . The former is a mild and rich whiskey. It is made in the shadow of the mountain of the same name in a distillery that opened in 1825. The latter is often stored in sherry barrels.

There are two distilleries in the western highlands, Oban and Ben Nevis . Oban is the capital of the Western Highlands with a sheltered harbor. The malt has a salty character with a background of heather and peat. The pot stills used are some of the smallest in Scotland. Due to the unusual position of the spiral tubes, the dimensions of the system are limited. The short arms are embedded below the roof of the distillery and an outbuilding.

The malts from the central highlands are known as Perthshire whiskeys. Most can be found along the valleys of the Tay and its tributaries. The northernmost distillery in the Central Highlands is Dalwhinnie , which is close to the Speyside border. Dalwhinnie is at the top of the river, around 70 kilometers from Grantown-on-Spey .

The Blair Athol and Edradour distilleries are both located near Pitlochry . The former was built in the last decade of the 18th century and was completely rebuilt in 1949. Edradour is currently the smallest distillery in Scotland - from the days of the "Farm Distilleries" - produces a pure and fresh whiskey.

The Aberfeldy distillery is again a little further south on the outskirts of the town of the same name. Glenturret in Crieff claims to be the oldest distillery, although it was dismantled and rebuilt in the 1920s. The whiskeys of the central highlands are very complex.

Speyside region

The region is understood to mean an area along the River Spey in Moray County (the former counties of Morayshire and Banffshire ). The Speyside region is the ancestral home of whiskey production in Scotland and its famous whiskeys. All over the world, The Glenlivet , The Macallan , Glenfiddich , Glenrothes and Glenfarclas embody this whiskey. The whiskey centers in the Speyside region are Rothes and Dufftown .

The main production of whiskey takes place in the Speyside region: there are 48 producing distilleries here - almost half the number in the entire country. Speyside whiskeys are basically sweet whiskeys. They have a slightly peaty character and are typically heavily perfumed and elegant. A number of the best malts are used exclusively for blends. Malts like Mortlach , Glen Elgin , Strathmill , Glen Grant and Benrinnes are rare as distillery bottlings .

Lowlands region

Lowland whiskey comes from the area north of the English border and south of the imaginary line between Greenock in the west and Dundee in the east. Since the whiskey contains little or no peat, its character is lighter than that of other regions. Therefore, it has traditionally served as the basis in a large number of blends. In the late 19th century, all of the production from the Lowland distilleries was used for blends. The largest whiskey producers are still in the Lowlands. The largest are the Cameronbridge , North British and Strathclyde distilleries , which only produce grain whiskey. With Dundashill the largest malt whiskey distillery was the second half of the 19th century in the region Lowlands.

Typical of Lowland whiskeys is their relatively mild character and the triple distillation manufacturing process. However, the increasing popularity and market power of the Highland and Speyside distilleries caused the Lowland producers to decline in popularity. Due to this development, only three Lowland distilleries produce single malt whiskey. Two major ones are Auchentoshan and Glenkinchie . The Auchentoshan distillery is located on the northern edge of Glasgow and was founded in 1823. This whiskey is light, has a grassy and citrusy nose, with a clear dry finish. The Glenkinchie Distillery is in Pencaitland , just outside Edinburgh . The third and smallest of the remaining Lowland distilleries is Bladnoch , which is also the southernmost of all Scottish malt distilleries.

Remnants of bottlings from some distilleries that no longer exist are still circulating as rare collector's items: Rosebank was generally considered the best Lowland malt, and bottlings of old vintages are still very rarely on the market. The distillery was closed in 1993 due to inefficiency. There was also St. Magdalene from Linlithgow , Littlemill from Bowling , West Dunbartonshire and Kinclaith from Glasgow. Ladyburn was a malt distillery, which was located within the grain distillery of William Grant in Girvan on the Ayrshire coast, and under the name Inverleven there was a single malt, which was distilled in the former headquarters of Ballantine's in Dumbarton.

Islay region

Whiskeys from the island of Islay [ ˈaɪlə ] ( Inner Hebrides ) are generally referred to as "particularly strong" and "strong" - regardless of whether they have smoke or peat aromas, with peat smoke being a typical characteristic of many Islay malts. Islay is in the Argyll and Bute Council Area west of the island of Jura and around 25 miles north of the Irish coast, which can be seen on a clear day. The region represents arguably the most important 200 square miles in the whiskey world, the fame comes from the eight distilleries currently in production and the island's extensive peat deposits.

The distilleries are: Ardbeg , Ardnahoe , Bowmore , Bruichladdich , Bunnahabhain , Caol Ila , Kilchoman , Lagavulin and Laphroaig . The reopening of the Port Charlotte distillery on the site of the former Lochindaal distillery, announced by Bruichladdich for 2016, has been postponed indefinitely.

The whiskeys can be distinguished by the amount of peat they use. The strongest whiskeys ( apart from Bruichladdich's rather unusual Octomore ) are made by Ardbeg, Lagavulin and Laphroaig. Bowmore and Caol Ila are in the midfield. The whiskeys made by Bruichladdich and Bunnahabhain are the lightest in terms of peat content. If one judges the New Spirit of Kilchoman, however, it will be very strong when it is ready for the market. In the past the following distilleries were active: Port Ellen was closed in 1983, Lochindaal in Port Charlotte closed in 1929. The buildings of Port Ellen are still in operation, however, where the barley for the island's distilleries is malted. The warehouses of the former distillery in Port Charlotte were reactivated by Bruichladdich in May 2001.

Region islands

This region consists of the six islands or archipelagos Orkney , Skye , Mull , Jura , Arran and Lewis . They do not have a uniform character. Only the slight salty taste due to the sea air is common to the island whiskeys.

Orkney is the only part of Scotland with 500 years of continuous autonomy. 70 smaller islands lie north of the coast of Scotland. The northernmost whiskey outpost in the world can be found there. Two distilleries compete to be the northernmost distillery: Highland Park and Scapa . At about 300 meters to the north, this applies to Highland Park. In blind tastings, Highland Park whiskey is often given top marks and is described as very balanced. Orkney whiskeys are popular with lovers of Speyside whiskeys as well as Islay whiskeys, as there is both a slight sweetness and peatiness. Scapa opened in 1885. The distillery uses two stills, one dated 1978, the other Lomond-type - it allows the production of a variety of whiskeys - a rare detail. It has a short, squat lid instead of the elongated, conical lids commonly used in Scotland.

The Isle of Skye is home to only one distillery. The Talisker distillery produces a strong, aromatic whiskey with a light smoke and distinct spicy notes (pepper). Talisker was built in 1831 and named after Talisker House, which was traditionally the seat of the eldest son of the Macleod clan . The pot stills are onion-shaped kettles that give off a lot of heat. The strongly tapered gooseneck-like ends of the boiler direct the steam out of the combustion chamber, where it can condense in a cooled state. There are five stills at Talisker, two large ones for the first distillates and three smaller ones for the finale. Their precise size and shape - the angle of the position of the goosenecks - are decisive for the production process of the whiskey with the characteristic taste of Talisker.

The island of Jura is located between Islay and mainland Scotland, is only 367 square kilometers and is home to only 180 inhabitants. Craighouse village on the east coast is home to the distillery, island's only hotel, convenience store, and only church. The Isle of Jura Distillery is the island's largest employer and produces a number of excellent dramas .

Mull is the second largest island in the Inner Hebrides . The island's capital Tobermory is home to the distillery of the same name. In addition to Springbank, Tobermory also produces several brands of whiskey. Ledaig is smoky, most comparable to the peat-smoky Islay whiskeys. Ledaig bears the clear signature of the Manzanilla wine barrels. Light and fresh, with a wonderful saltiness. Tobermory itself is an unpeated malt, delicate and fruity, with an occasional light honey taste.

The island of Arran has a long tradition of burning. In addition to the island's many illegal distilleries, there were three licensed distilleries; the last closed in 1835. However, after 150 years, the local whiskey industry was reborn. In Lochranza which opened Arran -Brennerei in 1995. Arran whiskey is dry and light, with hints of vanilla and fruit.

The only distillery in the Outer Hebrides is the Abhainn Dearg Distillery (Scottish Gaelic for "Red River") and is located near Carnish on the Isle of Lewis. The very young distillery presented its first whiskey in October 2011.

Campbeltown region

Campbeltown is a small town at the end of the Kintyre Peninsula . In the middle of the 19th century it was the center of whiskey production. In its peak, the city had 34 distilleries, which is why it calls itself the whiskey capital of the world . There are only three distilleries left in Campbeltown these days, Glen Scotia , Springbank and Glengyle . Of these, Springbank is by far the most successful. The distillery produces three different whiskeys - other distilleries that produce more than one whiskey are e.g. B. Bruichladdich (Port Charlotte and Octomore), Edradour (Ballechin), Loch Lomond (Inchmurrin and others), Tobermory (Ledaig), Tomatin (Cù Bòcan) and Tomintoul (Old Ballantruan). Springbank does not produce its whiskeys chill-filtered and without color additives - unlike most other brands.

The distillate ages in former bourbon or sherry barrels, although Springbank is also experimenting with rum barrels. The ten-year standard bottling is 46% by volume, but a filling of 57% by volume (100 ° proof) is also available. Longrow Single Malt is a very heavily peated whiskey. Longrow's standard bottling is a ten-year-old whiskey that is aged in ex-Bourbon barrels, while a ten-year-old variant is also bottled from a sherry barrel. An experimental bottling from a Tokaji barrel is also available. Hazelburn single malt, the newest variant, was first made in 1997. Hazelburn is a triple distilled, unpeated whiskey. Springbank is one of the few distilleries in Scotland that does every step of the whiskey production itself, from malting the barley to bottling.

A few hundred yards from the Springbank distillery, down a small road, is the Glengyle distillery. In the early years of the new millennium, Mitchell's Glengyle Ltd. founded to renovate and rebuild the Glengyle distillery. Over the next four years, the buildings were brought to a new standard, taking into account the preservation of historical monuments and the local conditions. Two stills from Invergordon, malt mills, mixing and fermentation vats were installed with the other required systems. Production in the new Glengyle distillery began in 2004. The whiskey has been available since 2009. The whiskey from the new Glengyle distillery is bottled under the name Kilkerran. This is done for two reasons: on the one hand, to avoid confusion with a vatted malt of the same name, and on the other, because whiskeys from Campbeltown are traditionally not named after a glen.

The exception to this rule is Glen Scotia. Glen Scotia had been shut down for a number of stages in the last century, most notably in the 1980s. The distillery has reopened with new equipment and is open to visitors. The distillery had a very stable existence in the 19th century. The original license was valid from 1832 to 1895, then changed hands twice before it was shut down in the 1920s. For a while the distillery belonged to the owners of the Scapa distillery from Orkney, across the country, and Gibson International, until production stopped again in 1994. Loch Lomond Destillery Co. Ltd. became the new owner. The buildings, including the malt storage and grain barns, are from the Victorian era and the distillery building has been preserved in its original state. Two of the previously three individual stills are used. The water comes from the Crosshill Loch as well as from the distillery's own well, which is over 25 meters deep.

Economic factor whiskey

In 2012, a total of 8,863 people worked in the whiskey industry in Great Britain , plus around 57,000 people in the directly dependent supplier industry. (: Liters of pure alcohol, German 1984 still approximately 253 million LPA were liters of pure alcohol ) Whiskey produced in 2011, there were already about 517 million LPA whiskey. In 2012 over 335 million LPA whiskey were exported, which corresponds to a turnover of around 4.27 billion British pounds. The sales of the individual whiskeys are distributed to approx. 18.2% in single malt whiskey, approx. 3% remaining malt whiskey, approx. 0.5% in grain whiskey and approx. 78.8% in blended whiskey.

Products and Marketing

A selection of different Scottish whiskeys

Scotland exports over 347 million liters of whiskey annually - mainly to the USA, France, Spain and Japan. The main share is made up of blended whiskeys. The single malts have been on the advance for a number of years and have now achieved a market share of over 10% - due to the higher prices compared to blended whiskeys, they generate a good 20% turnover in the Scottish whiskey industry.

The United Distillers Group ( Diageo ) has had six so-called Classic Malts in its range since 1987 as a marketing strategy for the various regions . In 2005 the series was renamed Classic Malts Selection and expanded to include eleven whiskeys. In total, the company operates 37 active or inactive distilleries. This type of marketing is economically very successful, the Classic Malts are among the most successful single malts of all.

In addition to the distillery's owning companies, independent bottlers also bring whiskey onto the market. To do this, they buy barrels of whiskey from the manufacturers and sell them bottled under their own label. The dealer bottlings from Adelphi , Berry Brothers & Rudd , John Milroy , Gordon & MacPhail , Signatory or from Cadenhead and others are known. But also the owners of the distilleries, large spirits groups, bring their own series of selected vintages and distilleries onto the market in addition to their standard bottlings. Well-known here are, for example, the Flora & Fauna series or the Rare Malt Series from United Distillers ( Diageo ).

Grain whiskey

Grain whiskey is distilled from malted barley and other grains (including wheat, unmalted barley, corn) using the patent still process . The seven active grain distilleries in Scotland are ranked by capacity: North British , Strathclyde and Port Dundas , Invergordon , Cameronbridge , Girvan and Loch Lomond . Scottish grain whiskeys are used almost exclusively for blending. They form the basis of the blended whiskeys . Bottlings of pure grain whiskey as single grain whiskey are available, but are a niche product.

Blended whiskey

A blended whiskey, or blend for short, is a mixture (blend) of different whiskeys, either exclusively from malt whiskeys or a mixture of malt and grain whiskeys. A blend can contain whiskeys from over 50 different distilleries. Often, more mature and therefore significantly older whiskeys are used for premium blends. The main reason for the production of blends is to produce a whiskey that has a consistently distinctive character.

Most of Scotland's major whiskey brands are blends. The most important Scottish blends include:

Single malt scotch whiskey

The Scottish whiskey is divided into the Vatted Malt Whiskey (officially called Blended Malt Whiskey today), whose distillates come from several distilleries, and the Straight Malt Whiskey , whose distillates come from just one distillery.

The straight malt whiskey is divided into

  • Single malt (exclusively from the products of a distillery)
  • Single single malt (from a distillation run)
  • Pure Single Malt (one distillate, several barrels)
  • Single Cask Malt (from a barrel, so a very limited bottling) - the bottles are often individually numbered.

Malt distillates (i.e. malted barley) are the basis of Scottish malt whiskeys. The germinated barley (Green Malt) is dried in a special drying oven (Kiln). For smoky whiskeys, the later smoke content of the malt is adjusted during malting by using more or less peat content during drying (kilning). The strength of the smokiness is given in "parts per million" ( ppm ) phenol content . Whiskeys such as Lagavulin (approx. 30 ppm) or Laphroaig (over 30 ppm) , for example, have high amounts of phenol . The most heavily peated whiskeys even reach a content of 100 ppm and more (like the Ardbeg Supernova with 100 ppm or the "Octomore 8.3 Masterclass" with 309 ppm from the Bruichladdich distillery). The most smoke-intensive whiskeys mostly come from the island of Islay. The majority of Scottish whiskeys, mainly from the Speyside region, are made with unpeated malt.

The maturation time of a malt whiskey is heavily dependent on the environmental conditions (region and climate). The ripening process begins with a predominance of subtractive ripeness, in which the distillate loses the aggressive components from the distillation process. Towards the end of the maturation period, the additive maturity predominates, in which the whiskey removes aromas from the barrel. The subtractive ripening process subsides after about 7 to 8 years. With older bottlings, the barrel character increasingly predominates.

Depending on the distillery, a whiskey has reached the optimum balance between distillery character and the influence of maturation after a different number of years. In the majority of fires, this time is between 12 and 15 years. Very old whiskeys are often particularly round, soft and full, but often at the expense of individuality, as the barrel note increasingly dominates. The widespread assumption that whiskey is better the older it is therefore only applies to a limited extent in terms of taste .

Irish whiskey (Irish whiskey)

Various Irish whiskeys

Irish whiskey is divided, but not so labeled in Ireland, into:

  • Grain whiskey: used almost exclusively for blending
  • Blended whiskey: is mixed into a branded product with always the same taste
  • Malt whiskey: unmixed product


  • The malt is not kilned over a peat fire (exception: Connemara whiskey ), so it has a milder taste.
  • No corn is used, but barley and oats.
  • The storage time in oak barrels is at least three years and one day.
  • It is distilled two to three times depending on the distillery (patent-still process).
  • It is offered as a blended or malt Irish whiskey.
  • Blended and malt whiskeys are produced in the same way as Scottish whiskey.
  • Single malts (made from pure barley malt) and pot still malts (made from malted and unmalted barley) are produced.

Various influences in the past have led to a very high concentration of whiskey production across the entire island of Ireland. There is currently a significant production of the almost one hundred different varieties at just five locations. The Irish Distillers Group , which emerged as Irish Distillers in 1966 from the merger of Jameson, Power, Cork Distilleries and Tullamore and has been part of the French Pernod Ricard Group since 1987 , produces in a modern industrial plant in Midleton , County Cork , in the south of the Republic . The various John Jameson Whiskeys have been manufactured here since 1843, including the Paddy brand and various smaller brands for the Irish market such as John Power and, for William Grant & Sons , the Tullamore Dew , which is mainly known in Germany and Denmark .

County Antrim in Northern Ireland is home to the famous Old Bushmills Distillery, which was founded in 1784 and is part of the Diageo group of companies .

The innovative Cooley Distillery in Riverstown near Northern Ireland , which was founded in 1987 by John Teeling and was the only independent until December 2011, played a special role. Kilbeggan , Lockes , Connemara and Tyrconnell are produced here. Bushmills lost its status as the oldest whiskey distillery in Ireland to Kilbeggan Distillery . The distillery, founded in 1757, resumed operations on March 19, 2007, 250 years after it opened. In December 2011, the Cooley Distillery was bought by Jim Beam for US $ 95 million. Shortly thereafter, the Teeling family (John Teeling and his two sons), Jim Finn and David Hynes bought the Great Northern Brewery from Diageo and converted it into a distillery, which opened in 2015. The old brew kettles were converted into pot stills and column stills were also installed in order to be able to distill grain whiskey. Currently (2017) the distillery has a capacity of 5 million liters of alcohol from the pot stills and 10 million liters of alcohol from the column stills. Since December 2012, the Dingle Distillery in the west of Ireland has been distilling again. The first Dingle whiskey was available in 2016 after four years of maturation. Dublin has also had its own whiskey distillery for the first time since 2015 after 125 years of abstinence. The Old Spirit of Dublin is produced in the Teeling Whiskey Distillery .

Visitors interested in Irish whiskey can visit the Old Jameson Show Distilleries in Midleton and, since 1997, in Dublin city ​​center , Smithfield Village, Bow Street. Lockes Distillery in Kilbeggan can also be visited. In the distillery, which was closed in 1953, the historical facilities are shown and information about the history of the whiskey is given.

Because the malt does not come into contact with smoke, Irish whiskey tastes milder (almost sweet) than most Scottish whiskeys. Pot still stills in Ireland (Irish pot still whiskey) are many times larger than those in Scotland (Scottish malt whiskey). Comparably large stills in Scotland are only used to make Scottish grain whiskey.

Most Irish whiskeys are blends , but there has been an increasing number of single malts recently . Another quality designation is Single Pot Still (until 2010/2011 Pure Pot Still ), which means that a mixture of malted and unmalted barley is used in the production, with a higher proportion of unmalted barley. However, the manufacturing process is identical to that of Irish malt whiskey .

Blending Irish whiskeys differs from blending Scottish whiskeys in that the taste is mainly influenced by the combination of different maturation processes in different types of casks (sherry, bourbon, port wine casks). Therefore one speaks in Ireland of Vatting (from English vat "mixed barrel ").

Well-known blends:

Well-known single malts

Well-known single grains

  • Greenore

Well-known single pot still

  • Redbreast
  • Green spot
  • Yellow spot
  • Powers John's Lane

American whiskey (USA)

Smaller distillery in Kentucky

All whiskeys from the USA are grouped under the collective term "American whiskey". This can be made from maize (corn), rye (rye), barley (barley) or, less often, wheat (wheat). The composition of the grain varieties differs regionally according to the Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits, Title 27 Code of Federal Regulations, Pt. 5.22 (1) (iii)

Whiskey production in the USA is dominated by around a dozen large distilleries, so that almost every whiskey sold comes from a single distillery and therefore blended whiskey as a mixture of the whiskey from several distilleries is almost non-existent. The terms single barrel for whiskey from a single barrel and small batch for whiskey from a relatively small number of barrels have become established as distinguishing features . In the years since 2010, in addition to the large distilleries, which are almost exclusively located in Kentucky and Tennessee, several hundred microdistilleries have again developed in all parts of the country.

In the United States, various beverages are sold as whiskey that are not subject to European regulations: White Dog / Legal Moonshine / Mash Whiskey is clear whiskey that is stored only a few weeks or months after the fire. Blended whiskey can contain up to 80% other alcohol (in practice mostly vodka or neutral alcohol), spirit whiskey can contain up to 95% other alcohol.

American straight whiskey

A straight whiskey (a whiskey from a single distillery) must be stored in fresh oak barrels for at least two years. Depending on the raw material used, it is divided into

  • Rye whiskey

Rye whiskey or just rye is a whiskey whose mash must contain at least 51% rye. It was the original whiskey in all of North America. It was only at the end of Prohibition that it was overtaken in popularity by Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey. Because of its bitter taste, it is popular as an ingredient in cocktails .

  • Bourbon whiskey

Bourbon is a whiskey that must be made from a minimum of 51% and a maximum of 80% corn; a proportion of corn in the mash of around 65 to 75% is preferred. In order to be sold as straight bourbon , there is a legally prescribed storage time of two years, which must be completed in new, internally charred white oak barrels. Due to the fresh wood of the barrels and the climatic conditions of its production region, Bourbon Whiskey reaches maturity after a few years. The corn in the grain mix is ​​supplemented with rye or, less often, with wheat.

  • Tennessee whiskey

This bourbon is made in the US state of Tennessee and is filtered over charcoal before being stored in a barrel , which makes it very mild. This process is called charcoal mellowing , leaching, or Lincoln County Process .

  • Corn whiskey

Corn whiskey is corn whiskey (corn = corn) with at least 79% corn. The whiskey can be max. up to 80% are distilled out. This does not have to be stored in barrels. z. B. White Dog

American blended whiskey

Blend of corn and rye whiskeys with grain spirit. Low spread.

Blended straight whiskey

A blended straight whiskey is created by mixing several straight whiskeys. If neutral alcohol is also added, it is called a blended whiskey .

Well-known manufacturers (distilleries)

Canadian whiskey

A selection of different Canadian whiskeys

Rye has traditionally been used as the basis for Canadian whiskey, but it can consist of many different components; the main grain in most modern Canadian whiskey is the cheaper corn; the addition of sherry, fruit wine or fruit juices is also allowed to a small extent (up to 2%). According to Canadian law, a whiskey can also be sold as "rye" or "Canadian rye" if it contains little or no rye. In contrast to its relatives from the USA, Canadian whiskey is mostly a blend .

Hiram Walker is considered a pioneer of Canadian whiskey production, from whose distillery, founded in Walkerville (Ontario) in 1858, the Canadian Club brand emerged .


  • Canadian Blended Whiskey: Distillate from different types of grain mixed together
  • Canadian straight whiskey
    • Canadian Bourbon Whiskey: Distillate with the main component corn
    • Canadian Rye Whiskey: Distillate with rye as the main component


  • Ingredients are corn, rye, barley and wheat malt
  • The minimum storage time in wooden barrels is 4 years

Popular brands:

  • Black Velvet
  • Canadian Club
  • Canadian Club Classic 12 Years
  • Crown Royal
  • Forty Creek Barrel Select
  • Pendleton 10 Years
  • Seagram's Very Old 8 Years
  • Tangle Ridge 10 Years
  • Old Canada
  • Glen Breton Rare: the only single malt on the American continent from the Glenora Distillery, Glenville, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

Japanese whiskey

Whiskey has also been produced in Japan since 1923. The Scottish malt whiskey serves as a model. The interest of the Japanese in the Scottish national drink went so far that they bought into some Scottish distilleries. The two biggest producers are Suntory and Nikka.

Well-known distilleries
  • Chichibu: Opened in 2008 near Chichibu on Honshu
  • Fuji Gotemba , built in 1973 at the foot of Mount Fujisan , belongs to Kirin / Mitsubishi
  • Hakushu: Built in 1973 in Yamanashi on Honshū (24 stills), closed since the mid-1990s, belongs to Suntory
  • Hakushu Higashi: Built in 1981 in Yamanashi on Honshū (twelve stills), now sold as Hakushu , belongs to Suntory
  • Hanyu: Built in 1941 in Hanyu, whiskey was produced from 1980 until it closed in 2000, and in 2004 the two stills were removed
  • Kagoshima: whiskey produced in Kagoshima prefecture on Kyūshū until 1984, belongs to Hombo Spirits
  • Karuizawa: built in 1955 near Nagano on Honshū, belongs to Kirin / Mitsubishi
  • Sunraku Ocean (in Karuizawa), manufacturer of the single malt Karuizawa and the blends Asama , Status , Ocean and Route
  • Sendai / Miyagikyo: built in 1969 near Sendai on Honshū, has eight stills, belongs to Nikka
  • Shinshu: Built in 1985 at about 800 m altitude in Kamiinagun on Honshū, belongs to Hombo Spirits
  • Yamazaki : built in 1923 between Osaka and Kyōto on Honshū (12 stills), whiskey has been produced here since November 11, 1924, has been available since 1929, belongs to Suntory
  • Yoichi: built on Hokkaidō in 1934 , whiskey has been produced since 1936, has been available since 1940, belongs to Nikka

Other countries of origin

German whiskey

The best-known German whiskeys are blends of foreign whiskeys with brandies from other types of grain, such as Racke smoky tender .

The German whiskey distilleries are mostly small and micro distilleries. Many of them also produce other brandies or operate whiskey production in small quantities as a niche and side business.

Austrian whiskey

There are around 50 small and medium-sized businesses in Austria that produce whiskey.

For example:

  • The Reisebauer whiskey , which has matured for six years, has been available since 2002 .
  • A whiskey distillery has been located in Roggenreith since 1995, which produces rye, rye-malt and barley-malt whiskeys.
  • The Weutz company in Sankt Nikolai im Sausal in southern Styria has been producing various whisk (e) ys from single malt to bourbon-style whiskey since 2004.
  • Since 2005, the LAVA Bräu brewery has been offering a single malt distilled in the Styrian Vulkanland region and producing organic whiskey and bourbon.
  • The Broger private distillery OG produced since 2008 single malt whiskeys.
  • Peter Affenzeller from Oberweitersdorf (district of Alberndorf in der Riedmark ) in Upper Austria's Mühlviertel produces single malt, white, grain and blend.
  • The Seppelbauer distillery from Amstetten has been producing single malt and grain whiskey since 2005.

On October 17, 2012, 14 whiskey manufacturers joined forces to form the Austrian Whiskey Association and established quality assurance guidelines.

Swiss whiskey

Until 1999, it was forbidden in Switzerland to make high-proof beverages from staple foods such as cereals or potatoes. The relevant law was repealed on July 1, 1999.

  • The first whiskey was distilled in Lauwil Hollen in 1999. The whiskey matures in old red and white wine barrels.
  • Also in 1999, the Locher brewery from Appenzell started producing the Appenzeller Säntis Malt and brought it to the market every three years.
  • A single malt is produced in Baar , which is sold under the name Swissky and is stored in old sherry and wine barrels.
  • In Port near Biel , the three-year single Lakeland malt whiskey has been produced by the Zürcher distillery since 2000 . This is made from malt from the Rugenbräu brewery and matures in Oloroso sherry barrels. Jim Murray rated this whiskey with 94 points.
  • The Lüthy distillery in Muhen has been producing single malt whiskey since 2006, which matures in small oak barrels. The grain (barley, spelled, maize, etc.) is grown, malted, kilned and mashed on the farm itself.
  • The Stadelmann distillery has been producing whiskey in Altbüron in the Lucerne hinterland since 2003. The whiskey from this association is called Dorfbachwasser and is stored in new Swiss oak barrels.
  • Käsers Schloss AG in Elfingen has been producing the Whiskey Castle since May 2004 with a spirit still holding only 600 liters .
  • The Basler local brewery Unser Bier started a brew in January 2004, the distillate of which is to be sold after twelve years of maturation. The brewery had previously had experience with three-year-old whiskey, which is sold under the name Our-Beer-Whiskey .
  • The Langatun distillery has been producing whiskey in Langenthal since 2007 ; the whiskeys are known as Old Deer and Old Bear .
  • The Stadelmann distillery has been producing its own whiskey, the Lucerne Hinterland Single Malt and the Lucerne Hinterland Whiskey, since 2005 . This whiskey is matured in wine and cider barrels.
  • The Burgdorfer Gasthausbrauerei AG bottled the first vintage of their whiskey in May 2006. This is almost exclusively bought by shareholders, as they have a right of first refusal. The whiskey is stored for five or ten years.
  • In Santa Maria Val Müstair , Gunter Sommer has been offering the Swiss Highland Single Malt Whiskey since 2007 . In autumn 2009 he opened a whiskey museum with old, unique items from whiskey production and old (full) whiskey bottles.
  • In Matten near Interlaken , the Rugenbräu company has been producing limited quantities of whiskey since March 2008; the whiskey matures in sherry barrels. Some of the barrels are matured on the Jungfraujoch at 3454 m above sea level. M. stored.
  • The Thurella produced in Egnach by 2009 a single malt named Thursky . No Thursky has been made since the factory was sold.

More European whiskeys

Traditionally, whiskey is also produced outside of the major whiskey nations in Europe, for example in France , Liechtenstein , Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.

England / Wales

  • Penhallow: Cornish Cyder Farm, Penhallow, Cornwall / Great Britain. Whiskey has been distilled here since 2002 and has been available since September 2011.
  • St. George's: St. George's Distillery, Thetford, East Anglia, England / Great Britain. Whiskey has been distilled here since November 27, 2006.
  • Penderyn: Gwalia Distillery, Penderyn, Wales / Great Britain. Whiskey has been produced here since September 14, 2000 and has been available since March 1, 2004. Penderyn Single Malt is made using a new distillation process developed by Dr. David Faraday, a descendant of Michael Faraday . The single-stage pot still distillation produces a distillate with over 90% alcohol by volume.
  • Swn y Mor: Wales / Great Britain. Closed since 1998.


  • Armory: Warenghem Distillery, Lannion, Brittany / France. Whiskey has been distilled here since 1984 and has been available since 1999.
  • Glann ar Mor: Glann ar Mor distillery, Crec'h ar Fur, Brittany / France. Whiskey has been distilled here since June 12, 2005.
  • Guillon: Guillon Distillery, Louvois, Champagne / France. Whiskey has been distilled here since 1997 and has been available since 2002.
  • Eddu: Distillerie des Menhirs, Plomelin Finistère, Brittany / France.
  • Altore: Patrimonio, Corsica / France. Distilled in Scotland, this whiskey is aged in muscat wine barrels in Corsica .
  • P&M: Pietra & Mavella, Corsica / France is made entirely in Corsica and is a co-production of the Pietra brewery in Furiani and the Mavella distillery near Aleria. Pietra produces and ferments the chestnut flour enriched malt, which is then distilled at Mavella . This whiskey is also matured in nutmeg wine barrels.


  • PUR.E Single Malt: PUR.E Distillerie, Grâce Hollogne, Belgium. Whiskey has been distilled here since October 2004 and has been available since 2007.
  • Lambertus Single Grain Whiskey - aged 10 years: Distillery Radermacher, Raeren / Belgium


  • Frysk Hynder: Us Heit Distillery, Bolsward, The Netherlands. Whiskey has been distilled here since 2002.


  • Telsington: Telser distillery, Triesen, Liechtenstein, whiskey distillery since 2006, available since July 2009


  • Nestville: Stará Ľubovňa, Slovakia

Czech Republic

  • Gold Cock: Tesetice Distillery, Olomouc, Czech Republic


  • Stauning Whiskey , in Stauning, West Jutland, Denmark. Whiskey has been distilled here since 2005.


  • Preludium: Mackmyra Distillery, Mackmyra, Sweden. Whiskey has been distilled here since 1999.


  • Teerenpeli: Lahti, Finland, brewery since 1995, distillery since 2002, available from Alko since 2008

Asian whiskey

In some Asian countries, many spirits are called "whiskey", the production of which is very different from classic whiskey. In India (quantitatively the world's largest whiskey producer), whiskey is traditionally produced. In Thailand a whiskey made from rice is offered.

Well-known whiskey brands are listed below:

  • Antiquity: India
  • Paul John: Goa , India; Established in 1996
  • Sikkim: Sikkim Distilleries Limited, Sikkim, India; Founded in 1954
  • Leo: Laos
  • Kavalan: Yi-Lan, Taiwan, marketing since 2008

Whiskey from Australia and New Zealand

Few distilleries produce whiskey in Australia and New Zealand. Especially in Tasmania there are suitable conditions for whiskey production.

Well-known whiskey brands are listed below:

  • The Coaster: Southern Distilling Company, Timaru, New Zealand
  • Lammerlaw, Milford: Willowbank Distillery, Dunedin, New Zealand. Founded in 1968, closed since 1995, the distillery facilities were dismantled, the site sold in 2001.
  • Hawthorn: Hellyers Road Distillery, Burnie , Tasmania / Australia. Whiskey has been distilled here since 1999.
  • Sullivans Cove: Tasmania Distillery, Hobart , Tasmania / Australia. Whiskey has been distilled here since 1994. The use of a Charentais distillery , which is more commonly known from cognac distilleries, is unusual.
  • Cradle Mountain: The Small Concern Whiskey Distillery, Ulverstone , Tasmania / Australia
  • Lark: Lark Distillery, Hobart, Tasmania / Australia. Whiskey has been distilled here since 1992.


Whiskey is also produced in South America and Israel. In addition, Scottish or Canadian whiskey is added to many whiskeys, regardless of their origin.

Sales and Consumption

According to the Federal Association of the German Spirits Industry and Importers , there were around six million regular whiskey consumers in Germany in 2010. A total of 64 million bottles (0.7 l each) were sold. This corresponds to a German per capita consumption of 0.5 liters. In addition to the catering sector, food retailing is an essential sales channel. 43 percent of all bottles are sold there (45% of these were Bourbon / American whiskey, 40% Scotch whiskey, 6% malt whiskey and 9% other).

Whiskey is consumed neat, with water, ice or carbonated soft drinks.

Products made from whiskey include whiskey liqueurs flavored with herbs and sugar or honey, such as Drambuie .

Experts |

Michael Jackson , Jim Swan and Jim Murray have been experts in international whiskey varieties since the 1970s .

See also


  • Franz Brandl : Whisk (e) y . Südwest Verlag, Munich 2007. ISBN 978-3-517-08335-3 .
  • Martin Boba: Boba's Whiskey Guide 2007/2008 . Gero Verlag, Vienna 2007.
  • Gilbert Delos, Matthieu Prier (photos): Les Whiskeys du Monde. Translation from French: Karin-Jutta Hofmann: Whiskey from all over the world. Karl Müller, Erlangen 1998, ISBN 3-86070-442-7 .
  • Stefan Gabányi: Schumann's Whisk (e) y Lexicon . 4. Completely revised, expanded and updated edition. Heyne, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-89910-338-6 ( Collection Rolf Heyne ).
  • Marc A. Hoffmann: Whiskey. Brands from all over the world . Parragon, Bath et al. a. 2007, ISBN 978-1-4054-9334-5 .
  • Peter Hofmann: Whiskey - the encyclopedia: culture, history, production, enjoyment and the whisk (e) y distilleries worldwide . AT Verlag, Baden 2008, ISBN 978-3-03800-421-9 .
  • Michael Jackson : Whiskey. The brands and distilleries in the world . Dorling Kindersley, Starnberg 2005, ISBN 3-8310-0764-0 .
  • Michael Jackson: Whiskey. For connoisseurs and collectors. Scotch, Malt, Irish, Canadian, Bourbon, Tennessee Sour Mash, whiskeys from Germany and Japan. With a taste guide for all single malts and the most famous blends . Weltbild, Augsburg 2005, ISBN 3-8289-1128-5 ( A Dorling-Kindersley book ).
  • Jim Murray: The world's great whiskeys . Lichtenberg, Munich 1998, ISBN 3-8289-1165-X .
  • Walter Schobert: The Whiskey Lexicon . License issue Weltbild, Augsburg 2003, ISBN 3-8289-1100-5 .
  • Jürgen Setter: Whisk (e) y World Wide . Friesland, Schortens 2004, ISBN 3-9800773-8-1 .
  • Harald Kirsch, Jens Unterweger: Independent Whiskey: Guide of the independent bottlers Whiskey-Fässle, Ingersheim 2010, ISBN 978-3-9813817-0-2
  • Inge Russell, Charles W. Bamforth , Graham Stewart (Eds.): Whiskey. Technology, Production and Marketing. Academic Press Inc., ISBN 978-0-12-669202-0 . ( Handbook of Alcoholic Beverages Series )
  • Gerald Bost: Scottish malt whiskey . Dragoco report, 3/1976

Web links

Commons : Whiskey  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Whiskey  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Regulation (EC) No. 110/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of January 15, 2008 , Annex II, 2. Whiskey or whiskey
  2. ^ Lilo Moessner: Diachronic English Linguistics. Gunter Narr Verlag, 2003, ISBN 978-3-8233-4989-1 , p. 37 ( limited preview in Google book search).
  3. ^ Gilbert Delos: Les Whiskeys du Monde. Translation from French: Karin-Jutta Hofmann: Whiskey from all over the world. Karl Müller, Erlangen 1998, p. 114.
  4. Jim Murray: The Great Whiskeys of the World , 1997, ISBN 3-8289-1165-X , p. 213f.
  5. ^ Gilbert Delos: Les Whiskeys du Monde. Translation from French: Karin-Jutta Hofmann: Whiskey from all over the world. Karl Müller, Erlangen 1998, ISBN 3-86070-442-7 , p. 156 ( The grain ) and 158 ( The maturation ).
  6. ^ Gilbert Delos: Les Whiskeys du Monde. Translation from French: Karin-Jutta Hofmann: Whiskey from all over the world. Karl Müller, Erlangen 1998, ISBN 3-86070-442-7 , p. 156 ( Das Getreide ).
  7. ^ Andi: The basis of whiskey: Grain as a raw material. whiskytasters.de, January 17, 2018, accessed on August 11, 2019 .
  8. ^ Teemu Strengell: Scottish whiskey mash bill. In: Whiskey Science. March 6, 2015, accessed on August 11, 2019 .
  9. Teemu Strengell: Fermentation waters. In: Whiskey Science. April 16, 2014, accessed August 11, 2019 .
  10. Teemu Strengell: Yeasts: pedigree and properties. In: Whiskey Science. September 30, 2011, accessed August 11, 2019 .
  11. B. Bleyer, W. Diemair: Alcoholic fermentation . In: A. Juckenack, E. Bames, B. Bleyer, J. Grossfeld (eds.): Handbuch der Lebensmittelchemie . Alcoholic stimulants. tape VII . Julius Springer, Berlin 1938, ISBN 978-3-642-93796-5 , p. 1–31 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  12. Charles MacLean: Malt Whiskey - Water of Life and Cult Drink , 1997, ISBN 978-3-89910-184-3
  13. Malt production. whisky.de, accessed on March 16, 2012 .
  14. ^ Gilbert Delos: Les Whiskeys du Monde. Translation from French: Karin-Jutta Hofmann: Whiskey from all over the world. Karl Müller, Erlangen 1998, ISBN 3-86070-442-7 , p. 127.
  15. Graham Nown, Malt Whiskey - A Gift from Nature, 1998, ISBN 3-275-01264-9
  16. ^ The Burning , accessed February 12, 2012
  17. ^ Gilbert Delos: Les Whiskeys du Monde. Translation from French: Karin-Jutta Hofmann: Whiskey from all over the world. Karl Müller, Erlangen 1998, ISBN 3-86070-442-7 , p. 158 ( The maturation ).
  18. ^ Whiskey Lexicon Walter Schobert p. 414
  19. What belongs in a good whiskey ( Memento of the original from May 4, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.themaltwhiskystore.de
  20. Overview "Quality Criteria" on schottland4fans.de
  21. Regulation (EC) No. 110/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of January 15, 2008 , Annex II, 2. Whiskey or whiskey (see also: Spirits at www.was-wir-essen.de)
  22. Minimum alcohol content of spirits ( Memento of the original from October 22, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. - The federal authority of the Swiss Confederation @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.admin.ch
  23. ^ Gilbert Delos: Whiskey from all over the world. 1998, p. 127.
  24. www.legislation.gov.uk: Scotch Whiskey Regulation: Definition of “Scotch Whiskey” and categories of Scotch Whiskey .
  25. www.legislation.gov.uk: Scotch Whiskey Regulation: Maturation, age and distillation statements .
  26. islayinfo.com: Port Charlotte Distillery. (Accessed October 12, 2016).
  27. Scotch Whiskey Association: Statistical Report 2012 , (PDF 320 kB, English, accessed October 19, 2013)
  28. Manager Magazin: Malt Whiskey , accessed on October 11, 2015
  29. ^ Charles McLeans Scotch Whiskey, Norwich 2003, ISBN 0-85372-797-X
  30. ^ Gilbert Delos: Les Whiskeys du Monde. Translation from French: Karin-Jutta Hofmann: Whiskey from all over the world. 1998, pp. 112–123 ( Ireland. The power of whiskey ), here: p. 115.
  31. ^ Great Northern Distillery Fact Sheet. (No longer available online.) Gndireland.com, archived from the original on October 21, 2017 ; accessed on October 21, 2017 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.gndireland.com
  32. to pressure the US Tax and Trade Bureau allowed the little meaningful term pure (English pure ) in the US in the food labeling no longer be used; the single (English separately ) is now to point out that the whiskey from a single distillery originates ( "designate did the whiskey was a pot silent whiskey from a single distillery"), see. John Hansell: “Pure” Pot Still Irish whiskey is now “Single” Pot Still. Whiskey Advocate Blog, January 26, 2011 (accessed February 17, 2013)
  33. ^ Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits, Title 27 Code of Federal Regulations, Pt. 5.22 (1) (iii) , whiskey in the United States must be made from a mash of fermented grain, must not have been more than 95% alcohol when distilled, and must not have been sold with no less than 40% alcohol. Whiskey must be stored in oak barrels and "have the taste and aroma that is generally attributed to whiskey."
  34. Chuck K. Cowdery : Jeremiah Weed Maker Says Product Is "Bewildering," The Chuck Cowdery Blog, November 18, 2014
  35. ^ Gilbert Delos: Les Whiskeys du Monde. Translation from French: Karin-Jutta Hofmann: Whiskey from all over the world. Karl Müller, Erlangen 1998, ISBN 3-86070-442-7 , p. 127.
  36. ^ Gilbert Delos: Les Whiskeys du Monde. Translation from French: Karin-Jutta Hofmann: Whiskey from all over the world. Karl Müller, Erlangen 1998, ISBN 3-86070-442-7 , p. 128 f. and 132-134.
  37. http://nonjatta.blogspot.com/2008/04/visit-to-new-distillery-at-chichibu.html
  38. Fuji Gotemba Japanese Malt and grain whiskey
  39. Nonjatta Fuji Gotemba
  40. a b c http://www.whiskymerchants.co.uk/suntory/4520775630
  41. a b http://nonjatta.blogspot.com/2007/04/hakushu.html
  42. Hankyu Japanese Whiskey
  43. Nonjatta: Hanyu
  44. Nonjatta: Kagoshima
  45. Nonjatta: Karuizawa
  46. ^ Gilbert Delos: Whiskey from all over the world. 1998, p. 155.
  47. Miyagikyo Japanese Whiskey
  48. Nonjatta: Miyagikyou
  49. Nonjatta: Shinshu
  50. Nonjatta: Yamazaki
  51. Yoichi Japanese Whiskey
  52. Nonjatta: Yoichi
  53. The smallest whiskey distillery in the country , Die Presse. November 26, 2017. 
  54. ^ Press Association: Cornwall produces first whiskey in 300 years , Guardian. September 22, 2011. Retrieved April 12, 2013. 
  55. Penderyn Welsh Single Malt Whiskey - Distillation in Wales ( Memento from October 17, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  56. History of the Warenghem Distillery  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / www.distillerie-warenghem.com  
  57. ^ Corsica gastronomy
  58. ^ Gilbert Delos: Whiskey from all over the world. 1998, p. 155 ( The rest of the world ).
  59. Federal Association of the German Spirits Industry and Importers e. V .: BSI aktuell No. 11/2011 press release of November 25, 2011
  60. ^ Gilbert Delos: Whiskey from all over the world. 1998, p. 111 ( The whiskey liqueurs and the success of the Drambuie ).
  61. Michael Jackson: The World Guide to Whiskey. 1987.