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59 Cards in this Set

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What is indicated by age statements on Scotch whisky bottles?
By law, Scotch whiskey must be matured in wood for a minimum of three years, but most reputable single malt whiskeys are matured for much longer. If a blended whiskey carries an age statement, then it must refer to the youngest whisky in the blend.
What does the term "Angel's share" mean?
A distiller's term for maturation losses. In Scotland, some two per cent of all maturing whisky evaporates through the porous oak casks each year.
How is the term "barrel" used for Scotch whisky?
Sometimes used as a generic term for a cask, but in the Scotch whisky industry a barrel is specifically a cask with an approximate capacity of 40 gallons (180 litres).
What is blended Scotch whisky?
One made from a mixture of grain and malt spirit. Theoretically, the higher the malt content the better the blend, although this is not always the case. Much depends on the quality and age of grain and malt whiskies used.
What is blended malt whisky?
Previously known as "vatted malt," blended malt is a combination of two or more malt whiskies, and contains no grain spirit.
Discuss the "brewing" process of Scotch whisky.
The process which follows "malting" in the production of malt whisky, and consists of "mashing" and "fermentation".
What does the term "butt" mean for Scotch whisky?
The second largest size of cask regularly used by the whisky industry for maturation purposes. The butt contains approximately 110 gallons or 500 litres, twice the amount of the hogshead.
What does the term "cask" mean for Scotch whisky?
A generic term for containers of varying capacity in which spirit is stored during maturation.
What does the term "cask strength" mean for Scotch whisky?
Whisky sold at cask strength has not been diluted to the standard 40% or 43%, but is bottled at the strength at which it leaves the cask. This will vary depending on the age of the whisky, as older whiskies lose considerable strength during extended maturation.
What does the term "chill-filtering" mean for Scotch whisky?
The process of refrigerating whisky and finely filtering it to ensure it retains its clarity in the bottle and when water is added by the consumer. Many connoisseurs consider that chill-filtration detracts from the character of the whisky in subtle ways, and a number of bottlers now make a virtue of not chill-filtering their products.
What does the term "Coffey still" mean?
Patented in 1830 by former Irish Inspector-General of Excise Aeneas Coffey, this still revolutionized whisky making. Also known as the column, continuous or patent still, it allowed large quantities of spirit to be distilled much more quickly than in the traditional pot still, paving the way for the development of blended Scotch whisky. Essentially, the stills used in Scottish grain distilleries are very similar to Coffey's original, consisting of two tall 'columns,' the first being the analyser, which separates the spirit from the wash, while the second, known as the rectifier, concentrates the spirit to a greater degree.
What does the term "cutting" mean for Scotch whisky?
During distillation, the stillman, or stillhouse computer programme, 'cuts' from collecting foreshots to the middle cut or heart of the run, before then cutting back to collect feints. 'Cut points' are crucial to the character of the spirit produced, and every distillery has its own formula for them, based on alcoholic strength and/or timescale.
What does the term "dark grains" mean for Scotch whisky?
Cubes or pellets of high protein animal feed produced by treating pot ale with dried draff. Pot ale evaporates into dark brown syrup, hence the name.
What does the term "distillation" mean in Scotch whisky production?
Distillation follows the process of fermentation in whisky making, and is characteristic of all spirit production. During distillation the alcohol is separated from the wash by heating it in stills. Alcohol boils at a lower temperature than water (173°F, 77°C) and is driven off as vapour, leaving behind the water. It is subsequently condensed back into liquid form.
What is "draff"?
Draff: The spent grist left behind in the mash tun after the mashing process has been completed. Being high in protein it makes excellent cattle food, and is either sold off to farmers in its 'raw' state or converted into dark grains.
What does the term "dram" mean for Scotch whisky?
A measure of Scotch whisky of unspecified size, although in some Scottish bars a 'dram' is taken to mean a large or double whisky. 'Dramming' in distilleries was the semi-official practice of offering employees amounts of spirit at regular intervals during the working day. The advent of drink driving laws and 'health and safety' legislation finally ended the custom.
What is "dunnage"?
Traditional warehousing for whisky maturation, which consists of a stone or brick building, ideally with an ash and earth-covered floor. Casks are stacked no more than three high on wooden runners. Most experts believe such warehousing creates the optimum maturation conditions for malt Scotch whisky.
What does the term "feints" mean for Scotch whisky?
The final flow of distillation, produced after the middle cut has been collected. The feints consist of the heavier compounds and less volatile components of the low wines, such as fusel oil. Although not desirable in large quantities, a small amount of feints contributes to the overall character of the whisky being made.
What does the term "fermentation" mean for Scotch whisky?
Along with mashing, fermentation is part of the brewing process of whisky production. Yeast is added to the wort in the washbacks and the result is wash. This is the first time during whisky-making that alcohol has been produced.
What does the term "fillings" mean for Scotch whisky?
New make spirit, once filled into casks.
What does the term "finishing" mean for Scotch whisky?
The practice of 'finishing' whisky is a relatively new phenomena. Essentially, after a substantial period of maturation in its original cask, the whisky is transferred into a different one, which has previously held another alcoholic drink, for a period of finishing. This provides variations on 'house' style. The most common finishes feature various styles of Sherry, but others include rum, Madeira, Burgundy and port.
What are "foreshots"?
The initial flow of distillation, produced before the middle cut is collected. It contains an excess of acids, aldehydes and esters, but, like feints, a small quantity of foreshots contributes to the character of the whisky. As with feints, the amount present depends on the distillery's 'cut points.'
What is "grain whisky" in Scotland?
In Scotland grain whisky is distilled principally from wheat or corn in continuous stills. Although a number of single and blended grain whiskies are available, the vast majority of grain whisky distilled is used for blending.
What is "green malt"?
At the point when germination is halted during malting, the barley is referred to as green malt.
What is "grist"?
Ground, malted barley ready for mashing.
What does the term "heart of the run" mean for Scotch whisky?
The most pure and desirable spirit collected during distillation. Also known as the middle cut.
What is a "hogshead"?
Often colloquially referred to as a 'hoggie,' the hogshead is a common size of whisky cask, having an approximate capacity of 55 gallons (250 litres).
What is a "kiln"?
(Picture: the kiln at Laphroaig)

During malting the green malt is dried in a kiln in order to prevent germination proceeding too far and using up the starch essential for the production of alcohol. During kilning, peat smoke may be introduced to flavor the malt, though the principal fuel used in the kiln is coke.
What does the term "low wines" mean in Scotch whisky?
In the pot still whisky-making process, low wines are the product of the first distillation in the wash still. They are impure and weak, and a second distillation in the spirit or low wines still is subsequently necessary.
What is a "lyne arm" or "lye pipe"?
(Picture: the pot stills at Glencadam)

Also known as a lyne arm or lye pipe, this is the pipe connecting the head of the still to the condenser or worm. The angle of the lyne arm has a significant effect on the style of spirit produced.
What is "malting"?
Barley prepared for whisky-making by steeping, germinating and kiln-drying. The purpose of malting is to break down the cell walls of the cereal to release the starch and begin the process of converting that into sugars which will subsequently produce alcohol.
What is "mashing"?
Malt mixed with hot water to form wort. Mashing follows malting and precedes fermentation in the whisky-making process, and the mash of grist and hot water is mixed in a large, circular vessel, known as a mash tun. Mashing extracts soluble sugars from the malted grain.
What is "maturation"?
The practice of storing whisky in casks in order to achieve a more mellow and well-rounded spirit. Many countries specify a legal minimum maturation period. During maturation the porous casks allow the whisky to interact with the external atmosphere, and the spirit takes colour and flavour from the wood. At the same time, some of the higher alcohols are transformed into esters and other compounds with attractive aroma profiles.
What does the term "middle cut" mean for Scotch whisky?
The most pure and desirable spirit collected during distillation. Also known as the heart of the run.
What does the term "new make" mean for Scotch whisky?
Freshly-distilled whisky.
What does the term "nose" mean for Scotch whisky?
The aroma or bouquet of a whisky. Along with colour, body, palate and finish, the 'nose' is used to quantify and describe a whisky. Most whisky professionals, particularly blenders, use their noses as the principal means of analysing whiskies.
In what ways is peat used for Scotch whisky production?
Peat has an important influence on whisky character when it is used to flavour malt in the kiln, but much of the process water used in Scottish distilleries flows over peat and this also plays a minor part in influencing the finished product.
What is "pot ale"?
Pot ale: The high protein waste liquor left in the low wines still after the first distillation has taken place.
What is a "pot still"?
(Picture: the pot stills at Glenkinchie)

A copper distillation vessel. The size and shape of pot stills varies from distillery to distillery, and pot still variables play an important part in determining the character of spirit produced.
What does the term "proof" mean?
Measurement of the strength of spirits, expressed in degrees, calculated using a hydrometer. Although still employed in the USA, the proof system has now been superseded in Europe by a measurement of alcohol strength as a percentage of alcohol by volume.
What does the term "reflux" mean for Scotch whisky?
During distillation some of the heavier flavours with comparatively high boiling points condense from vapour back into liquid form before leaving the still and are redistilled. This is known as reflux, and the greater the degree of reflux the lighter and 'cleaner' the spirit produced. Short, squat stills produce little reflux, compared to tall, slender stills. The angle at which the lyne arm is attached also affects the levels of reflux.
What does the term "run" mean for Scotch whisky?
The flow of spirit from a still during a specific period of distillation.
What does the term "Scotch" mean?
Whisky distilled and matured in Scotland, but usually with the colloquial implication of blended whisky.
What does the term "silent" mean for Scotch whisky distilleries?
Just as a closed theatre is said to be 'dark,' so a closed, though potentially productive, distillery is described as 'silent.'
What does the term "single" mean for single malt whisky?
A single malt whisky is the product of one distillery, not vatted or blended with any others.
What does the term "single cask" mean?
Most bottles of single malt will contain spirit from between 100 and 150 casks, vatted to give consistency, but a single cask bottling comes from one individual cask. It is frequently sold at cask strength and is prized for its individuality.
What is Scotch whisky before it has spent the requisite maturation time to officially become Scotch whisky?
Until it has been matured for three years in its country of origin, Scotch whisky is officially known as spirit. It is produced in a spirit still, monitored and separated in a spirit safe, and collected in a spirit receiver.
What is a "spirit safe"?
(Picture: the spirit safe at Auchentoshan)

A secure, brass and glass box within which cutting takes place without the stillman being able to have direct physical contact with the spirit. The purpose is to create a "pure" source which the authorities may test in whatever way they choose, without any chance of the distiller affecting the outcome by selecting samples. Spirit safes are locked, and may only be opened by the authorities.
What is a "still"?
Whether a pot or continuous still, operation is on the principal that alcohol boils at a lower temperature than water (173°F, 77°C) and is driven off as vapour, leaving behind the water. It is subsequently condensed back into liquid form.
What is a "switcher"?
A mechanism consisting of rotating arms which is fitted to a washback to reduce excessive frothing during fermentation.
What does the term "triple distillation" mean for Scotch whisky?
The practice of distilling whisky three times rather than the usual twice in order to achieve a light, pure style of spirit. Triple distillation is a traditional characteristic of Irish whisky, and also of Scottish Lowland whisky-making.
What is a "tun"?
A large vessel in which mashing takes place, usually known as a mashtun. However, in a distillery the 'tun room' is home to the washbacks.
What does the term "vatting" mean for Scotch whisky?
The process of mixing or blending components in a vat. Regarding Scotch whisky, the term was formerly most often applied to 'vatted malts,' that is more than one malt vatted together prior to bottling. The term has now been dropped by the Scotch Whisky Association and most distillers in favour of the expression 'blended malt,' which is thought to be less confusing for consumers.
What does the term "wash" mean for Scotch whisky?
The liquid at the end of the fermentation process, ready for distillation.
What is a "washback"?
The vessel in which fermentation takes place, traditionally constructed of wood, but now often made of stainless steel, which is easier to keep clean.
At what points in the whisky-making process is water used?
Water is one of the key components of whisky production. Water is necessary for steeping during the malting process, for mashing and for cooling the vapour from the stills back into liquid form. As a source of reliable, pure water is crucial to distilling, most distillery sites have been chosen with this in mind.
What is a "worm"?
A long, coiled copper tube, attached to the lyne arm of the pot still, and fitted into a large wooden vat filled with cold water, known as a worm tub. Before the introduction of 'shell and tube' condensers, the worm tub was the only means of condensing alcohol vapour back into liquid form. A number of distilleries continue to use worm tubs, as experts insist that the character of whisky made using a worm tub differs significantly from that cooled in a modern condenser.
What is "wort"?
Essentially unfermented beer, wort is produced in the mashtun.
What are the stages that barley goes through in the whisky-making process?