Man is holding whiskey and rom bottles

Single malt or blended? How to choose Scotch Whisky

How do you find the right Scotch whisky and choose what you want?

Scotch whiskey is one of those drinks considered status, special. You don't usually buy it to read the label. Still, understanding the information on the bottle will help you figure out exactly what you want.

Among the nuances you should pay attention to when choosing is the origin of the whiskey. Scotland is divided into several whiskey producing regions:

- Speyside - the valley of the River Spey.

- Highland - highlands.

- Lowland - lowland

- Islands - islands

- Isle of Islay.


Some fans are used to the fact that as a rule representatives of the same region have common features. But that's not always the case.


In addition to Single Malt Scotch Whisky there are other categories.

Single Malt Scotch Whisky is made only from barley malt spirit from a single distillery. Must be bottled in Scotland.

Blended Malt Scotch Whisky: If several single malts produced at different distilleries are blended together, regardless of their proportions, the resulting drink becomes blended Scotch Whisky. Earlier such whiskey in English was called Vatted Malt. It is forbidden to use the term "Pure Malt" because it can be either Single Grain Scotch Whisky or Blended Scotch Whisky.

Single Grain Scotch Whisky: Single Grain Scotch Whisky produced in a single distillery from barley malt and other grains.

Blended Grain Scotch Whisky: When several grains of Scotch whisky produced in different distilleries are blended to produce Blended Grain Scotch Whisky. In Scotland since the 80's of the twentieth century wheat has been used primarily for this purpose.

Blended Scotch Whisky is the most important category in terms of sales volume worldwide. It is a drink resulting from the blending of one or more types of single malt with one or more types of grain whisky from different distilleries.


Strength indicates the ethyl alcohol content of the drink and is expressed in degrees by volume percentage. In English-speaking countries, strength is sometimes measured in units of pruf (proof). An American prüf is equal to twice the number of degrees of alcohol, and in the UK this unit has not been used since 1980.


One of the most important characteristics of a drink, especially if you buy a bottle for a decent amount. It is a mistake to think of ageing as an absolute indicator of quality as the optimal length of time for the same drink varies depending on the climate. In cooler regions, whiskey is aged longer. In hot climates the chemical processes take place more quickly. For Scotch whisky as well as for any other whisky there is a short aging period: for Scotch it is three years. Therefore it becomes clear that the age indicated on the bottle is the age of the youngest spirit.

Back to blog

Leave a comment