How to Drink Scotch Whisky

It should be noted that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to drink Scotch whisky – it is very much down to a question of personal taste. However, let us offer a few basic suggestions and, for those interested in pursuing the pleasures of “nosing” and “tasting” further, we provide a link below to a detailed introduction to “nosing and tasting” scotch whisky. scotch whisky
Many who drink Scotch whisky neat say they do not want to spoil the taste by adding water. However, equally as many will say that adding a touch of water, particularly if it is pure, soft spring water, (ideally the same spring water used in the making of the particular whisky!) serves to enhance the distinctive aroma and flavour of a whisky. Tap water may contain high amounts of chlorine and therefore would not complement any whisky – your best bet is to opt for bottled Scottish mineral water!
Adding ice to a whisky can provide a refreshing drink but it should be noted that it will dull the fine taste and wonderful aromas and so should never be contemplated when conducting a “whisky nosing and tasting.” Similarly, carbonated water is not an ideal accompaniment for whisky as it will also interfere with the aromas.
The addition of mixers such as ginger ale, soda and even coca cola, is a popular trend, however it does beg the question – why drink whisky at all if you need to mask the taste?
“Nosing” and “Tasting”
The sense of smell is one of the most sophisticated of all the senses, and the pleasure that can be gained from “nosing and tasting” the many wonderful and varied scotch whiskies available today is an experience that should be treasured. This is particularly true if it is experienced in a convivial atmosphere with a group of friends – old or new.

It should be noted that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to drink Scotch whisky – it is very much down to a question of personal taste. However, let us offer a few basic suggestions and, for those interested in pursuing the pleasures of “nosing” and “tasting” further, we provide a link below to a detailed introduction to “nosing and tasting” scotch whisky. scotch whisky

whisky beirut lebanonMany who drink Scotch whisky neat say they do not want to spoil the taste by adding water. However, equally as many will say that adding a touch of water, particularly if it is pure, soft spring water, (ideally the same spring water used in the making of the particular whisky!) serves to enhance the distinctive aroma and flavour of a whisky. Tap water may contain high amounts of chlorine and therefore would not complement any whisky – your best bet is to opt for bottled Scottish mineral water!

Adding ice to a whisky can provide a refreshing drink but it should be noted that it will dull the fine taste and wonderful aromas and so should never be contemplated when conducting a “whisky nosing and tasting.” Similarly, carbonated water is not an ideal accompaniment for whisky as it will also interfere with the aromas.

The addition of mixers such as ginger ale, soda and even coca cola, is a popular trend, however it does beg the question – why drink whisky at all if you need to mask the taste?

“Nosing” and “Tasting”

The sense of smell is one of the most sophisticated of all the senses, and the pleasure that can be gained from “nosing and tasting” the many wonderful and varied scotch whiskies available today is an experience that should be treasured. This is particularly true if it is experienced in a convivial atmosphere with a group of friends – old or new.

American Whiskey American Single Malt Whiskeys

  • Charbay
  • McCarthy’s
  • Notch
  • Peregrine Rock
  • St. George
  • Stranahan’s
  • Wasmund’s
  • Woodstone Creek

American Corn Whiskeys

  • Catdaddy
  • Mountain Moonshine
  • Old Gristmill
  • Old Oak
  • Virginia Lightning
  • Georgia Moon
  • Dixie Dew
  • Mellow Corn
  • J.W. Corn
  • Platte Valley

Bourbons and Distillers The following distilleries are open to the public.

  • Four Roses Distillery — Lawrenceburg, Kentucky
  • Heaven Hill Distillery, Bardstown, Kentucky
  • Buffalo Trace Distillery — Frankfort, Kentucky
  • Jim Beam Distilleries, Clermont, Kentucky
  • Woodford Reserve Distillery — Versailles, Kentucky
  • Maker’s Mark Distillery — Loretto, Kentucky
  • ild Turkey Distillery — Lawrenceburg, Kentucky

Kentucky Bourbons

  • 1792 — Barton Distillery, Bardstown, Kentucky
  • Ancient Age — Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, Kentucky
  • Baker’s — Jim Beam Distilleries, Clermont, Kentucky & Boston, Kentucky
  • Barclay’s – Barton Distillery, Bardstown, Kentucky
  • Basil Hayden’s — Jim Beam Distilleries, Clermont & Boston, Kentucky
  • Beam’s Choice – Jim Beam Distilleries, Clermont & Boston, Kentucky
  • Benchmark & Benchmark XO (single-barrel) -Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, Kentucky
  • Black Maple Hill – Bardstown, Kentucky
  • Blanton’s — Buffalo Trace Distillery — Frankfort, Kentucky
  • Booker’s — Jim Beam Distilleries, Clermont & Boston, Kentucky
  • Buffalo Trace — Franklin County, Kentucky
  • Bulleit Bourbon — Lawrenceburg, Kentucky
  • Cabin Still – Heaven Hill Distillery, Bardstown, Kentucky
  • Colonel Lee – Barton Distillery, Bardstown, Kentucky
  • Corner Creek — Bardstown, Kentucky
  • Daniel Stewart – Heaven Hill Distillery, Bardstown, Kentucky
  • Eagle Rare — Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, Kentucky
  • Early Times — Brown-Forman, Louisville, Kentucky (export version)
  • Echo Springs – Heaven Hill Distillery, Bardstown, Kentucky
  • Elijah Craig & Elijah Craig Single-Barrel — Heaven Hill Distillery, Bardstown, Kentucky
  • Elmer T. Lee — Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, Kentucky
  • Evan Williams — Heaven Hill Distillery, Bardstown, Kentucky
  • Ezra Brooks Old Ezra Rare Old Sippin’ Whiskey — Heaven Hill Distillery, Bardstown, Kentucky
  • Fighting ***** — Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, Bardstown, Kentucky
  • Four Roses — Four Roses Distillery, Lawrenceburg, Kentucky
  • George T. Stagg— Franklin County, Kentucky
  • Han*****’s Reserve – Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, Kentucky
  • Heaven Hill — Heaven Hill Distillery, Bardstown, Kentucky
  • Henry Clay Rare – Henry Clay Distillery, Kentucky (out of production)
  • Henry McKenna – Heaven Hill Distillery, Bardstown, Kentucky
  • I. W. Harper – Bernheim Distillery, Louisville, Kentucky
  • Jacob’s Well – Jim Beam Distilleries, Clermont & Boston, Kentucky
  • James E. Pepper – Berheim Distillery, Louisville, Kentucky
  • Jim Beam — Jim Beam Distilleries, Clermont & Boston, Kentucky
  • J.T.S. Brown – Heaven Hill Distillery, Bardstown, Kentucky
  • J. W. Dant – Heaven Hill Distillery, Bardstown, Kentucky
  • Kentucky Gentleman — Barton Distillery, Bardstown, Kentucky
  • Kentucky Tavern – Barton Distillery, Bardstown, Kentucky
  • Kentucky Vintage – Bardstown, Kentucky
  • Knob Creek— Jim Beam Distilleries, Clermont & Boston, Kentucky
  • Maker’s Mark — Maker’s Mark Distillery, Loretto, Kentucky
  • Mark Twain – Mark Twain Distilling Co. Bardstown, Kentucky
  • Mattingly & Moore – Heaven Hill Distillery, Bardstown, Kentucky
  • Noah’s Mill – Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, Bardstown, Kentucky
  • Old Bardstown – Kentucky Bourbon Distillers, Bardstown, Kentucky
  • Old Charter— Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, Kentucky
  • Old Crow — Jim Beam Distilleries, Clermont & Boston, Kentucky
  • Old Fitzgerald – Heaven Hill Distillery, Bardstown, Kentucky
  • Old Forester — Brown-Forman, Louisville, Kentucky
  • Old Grand-Dad — Jim Beam Distilleries, Clermont & Boston, Kentucky
  • Old Heaven Hill – Heaven Hill Distillery, Bardstown, Kentucky
  • Old Kentucky – Bardstown, Kentucky
  • Old Pogue – Bardstown, Kentucky
  • Old Rip Van Winkle — Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, Kentucky
  • Old Taylor – Jim Beam Distilleries, Clermont & Boston, Kentucky
  • Old Weller – Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, Kentucky
  • Pure Kentucky – Bardstown, Kentucky
  • Rebel Yell — Bernheim Distillery, Louisville, Kentucky
  • Rock Hill Farms Single-Barrel – Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, Kentucky
  • Sam Houston – Louisville, Kentucky
  • Ten High — Barton Distillery, Bardstown, Kentucky
  • Tom Moore – Barton Distillery, Bardstown, Kentucky
  • T. W. Samuels, Heaven Hill Distillery, Bardstown, Kentucky
  • Very Old Barton – Barton Distillery, Bardstown, Kentucky
  • Wathen’s – Charles Medley Distillery, Owensboro, Kentucky
  • Straight Old Kentucky
  • Wild Turkey — Wild Turkey Distillery, Lawrenceburg, Kentucky
  • Willett — Willet family Distillery, Bardstown, Kentucky
  • W.L. Weller — Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, Kentucky
  • Woodford Reserve — Woodford Reserve Distillery, Versailles, Kentucky

Non-Kentucky Bourbons

* A. H. Hirsch – Michter’s, near Shaeffestown, Pennsylvania [closed, but still available]

* Bowman’s — A. Smith Bowman Distillery, Fredericksburg, Virginia

* Tuthilltown Hudson Baby, Tuthilltown Spirits, New York

* Sam Cougar – Seagrams Distillery, Lawrenceburg, Indiana

* Virginia Gentleman — A. Smith Bowman Distillery, Fredericksburg, Virginia

* Woodstone Creek – Woodstone Creek, Cincinnati, Ohio

Bourbons from Unknown distilleries

* Woodstock

Tennessee Whiskey

* Jack Daniel’s

* George Dickel

* Gentleman Jack

Rye Whiskey

* Heaven Hill Vintage

* Hirsch Vintage

* Hudson Manhattan

* Jim Beam Rye

* Jack Daniel’s Rye

* Michters

* Old Overholt

* Old Potrero

* Pikesville

* Red Hook

* Rittenhouse

* Sazerac

* Templeton Rye

* Van Winkle Family Reserve

* Wild Turkey Rye

* Rendezvous Rye Whiskey

Wheat Whiskey

* Bernheim Original – Heaven Hill Distillery, Bardstown, Kentucky

Canadian whisky brands Canadian single malt

* Glenora Distillers, Glenville, Nova Scotia (independent)

o Glen Breton Rare

o Glen Breton Ice 10 Year

o Glen Breton Ice 15 Year

Canadian blended whisky

* Alberta Distillers, Calgary (independent)

o Alberta Premium

o Alberta Premium 25 Years Old

o Alberta Springs Rye Whisky 10 Years Old

o Alberta Springs Rye Whisky 25 Years Old

o Tangle Ridge Aged 10 Years

* Allied Domecq

o McGuinness Silk Tassel

* Barton Brands

o Barton’s Canadian 36 Months Old

o Canadian Host

o Canadian Supreme

o Corby’s Canadian 36 Months Old

o McMaster’s

o Northern Lights

* Canadian Mist Distillers, Collingwood, Ontario (Brown-Forman)

o Canadian Mist

* Century Distilling, Vancouver

o Century Reserve 8 Year Old

o Century Reserve 13 Year Old

o Century Reserve 15 Year Old

o Century Reserve 21 Year Old

* Corby Distilleries, Toronto (Allied)

o Gooderham & Worts Ltd

o Lot No. 40

o Pike Creek

o Royal Reserve

o Royal Reserve Gold

* Diageo

o Crown Royal

o Crown Royal Limited Edition

o Crown Royal Special Reserve

o Crown Royal XR

o Crown Royal Cask 16

o Seagram’s 83 Canadian Whisky

o Seagram’s Five Star Rye Whisky

o Seagram’s Seven Crown

o Seagram’s VO

o Seagram’s VO Gold

* Highwood Distillery, High River, Alberta

o Centennial 10 Year Old Rye Whisky

o Highwood Canadian Rye Whisky

o Saskatchewan Wheatland Rye Whisky

* Hiram Walker (Allied)

o Canadian Club Premium

o Canadian Club Sherry Cask Aged Eight Years

o Canadian Club Reserve 10 Years of Age

o Canadian Club Premium Classic Aged 12 Years

o Hiram Walker Special Old Rye Whisky

o Wiser’s Deluxe

o Wiser’s Deluxe 10 Years Old

o Wiser’s Very Old

o Wiser’s Special Blend

o Wiser’s Reserve

o Wiser’s Small Batch

o Rich & Rare

* Kittling Ridge (independent)

o Forty Creek Barrel Select

o Forty Creek Three Grain

o Forty Creek Small Batch Reserve

o Pure Gold

o Mountain Rock

* Maple Leaf Distillers, Winnipeg

o Canadian Cellars Rye Whisky

* Schenley (Barton)

o Black Velvet DeLuxe

o Gibson’s Finest Aged 12 Years

o Gibson’s Finest Rare Aged 18 Years

o Gibson’s Finest Sterling Edition

o Schenley Golden Wedding

o Schenley OFC Aged 8 Years

* Williams & Churchill Ltd., Quebec/Alberta

o Danfield’s Small Batch Private Reserve

o Danfield’s Small Batch 21 Years Old

* Windsor Distillary

o Windsor Canadian

German Whisky Brands

* Blaue Maus

o Grüner Hund Vintage 1991

o Blaue Maus Vintage 1993

o Krottentaler Vintage 1994

o Schwartzer Pirat Vintage 1995

o Spinnaker 1997

* Gruel

o Gruel Single Grain Whisky 5 Year Old

o Gruel Single Grain Whisky 7 Year Old

o Gruel Single Grain Whisky 9 Year Old

* Höhler

o Whessky, Irish Style

o Whessky, Scottish Style Single Malt

o Whessky, Rye Style

o Whessky, Bourbon Style

o Whessky, Bourbon Style Cask Strength

* Rabel

o Schwäbischer

o Whisky von der Alb

* Reiner Mösslein

o Fränkisher Whiskey

* Slyrs

o Slyrs Bavarian Single Malt

* Sonnenschein

o Sonnenschein 10 Year Old Single Malt

* Volker Theurer

o Black Horse Original Ammertal Whiskey

Irish Whiskey Brands Irish Single Malts

* Brogan’s Legacy Irish Single Malt

* A Drop of the Irish

* Bushmills Ten Year Old

* Bushmills Sixteen Year Old

* Cadenhead’s Peated Single Malt

* Clonmel Single Malt

* Connemara

* Erin Go Bragh

* Knappogue Castle

* Locke’s Single Malt

* Merrys Single Malt

* Michael Collins Single Malt

* Preston Millennium Malt

* Shanahans

* Shannon Grain Single Malt

* Slaney Malt

* Suir Peated Malt

* The Irishman Single Malt

* Tyrconnell

Pure Pot Still Whiskeys

* Green Spot

* Daly’s of Tullamore

* Dungourney 1964

* Dunville’s VR

* Dunville’s Three Crowns

* Jameson 15 Year Old Pot Still

* Magilligan

* Midleton 25 Year Old

* Midleton 30 Year Old

* Old Comber

* Redbreast (whiskey)

* Willie Napier 1945

Blended Irish Whiskeys

* Avoca (whiskey)

* Baileys Irish Whiskey (not currently available)

* Ballygeary

* Brennans

* Bushmills White Bush

* Bushmills Black Bush

* Bushmills 1608

* Cassidy’s

* Coleraine

* Clontarf

* Crested Ten

* Dunphys

* Erin’s Isle

* Feckin Irish Whiskey

* Golden Irish

* Grace

* Hewitts

* Inishowen

* Jameson Irish Whiskey

* Jameson 1780 (replaced Jameson 12 Year Old)

* Jameson Distillery Reserve

* Jameson Gold

* Kilbeggan

* Locke’s

* Michael Collins Blend

* Midleton Very Rare

* Millars

* Murphy’s

* Old Kilkenny

* O’Briens

* O’Neills

* Old Dublin

* Paddy

* Powers Gold Label

* Red Breast Blend

* Strangford Gold

* The Irishman

* Tullamore Dew

* Wild Geese

Single Grain Irish Whiskeys

* Greenore

Japanese whisky brands

* Nikka

o Yoichi

o Miyagikyo

o Black Nikka

o Taketsuru

* Suntory

o Yamazaki

o Hakushu

o Hibiki

o Hokuto

o Kaku

New Zealand whisky brands

* Milford

Scotch Whisky Brands Single Malt Scotch

* Aberfeldy

* Aberlour

* Allt-A-Bhainne

* Ardbeg

* Ardmore

* Arran

* Auchentoshan

* Auchroisk

* Aultmore

* Balblair

* Balmenach

* The Balvenie

* Bell’s & Sons

* Banff

* Ben Nevis

* BenRiach

* Benrinnes

* Benromach

* Bladnoch

* Blair Athol

* Bowmore

* Brackla

* Braeval

* Brora

* Bruichladdich

* Bunnahabhain

* Caol Ila

* Caperdonich

* Cardhu

* Clynelish

* An Cnoc

* Coleburn

* Convalmore

* Cragganmore

* Craigellachie

* Dailuaine

* Dallas Dhu

* The Dalmore

* Dalwhinnie

* Deanston

* Drumguish

* Dufftown

* Edradour

* Fettercairn

* Glen Albyn

* Glenallachie

* Glenburgie

* Glencadam

* Glen Deveron

* Glendronach

* Glendullan

* Glen Elgin

* Glenesk

* Glenfarclas

* Glenfiddich

* Glen Flagler

* Glen Garioch

* Glenglassaugh

* Glengoyne

* Glen Grant

* Glen Keith

* Glenkinchie

* The Glenlivet

* Glenlochy

* Glenlossie

* Glen Mhor

* Glenmorangie

* Glen Moray

* Glen Ord

* Glenrothes

* Glen Scotia

* Glen Spey

* Glentauchers

* Glenturret

* Glen Turner (whisky)

* Glenugie

* Glenury Royal

* Highland Park

* Imperial

* Inchgower

* Inverleven

* Isle of Jura

* Kilchoman

* Kinclaith

* Knockdhu

* Knockando

* Ladyburn

* Lagavulin

* Laphroaig

* Ledaig

* Linkwood

* Littlemill

* Loch Lomond

* Lochnagar

* Longmorn

* The Macallan

* Mannochmore

* McClelland

* Millburn

* Miltonduff

* Mortlach

* North Port

* Oban

* Pittyvaich

* Port Ellen

* Port Charlotte

* Old Pulteney

* Royal Brackla

* Rosebank

* St Magdalene

* Scapa

* The Singleton

* Speyburn

* Springbank

* Strathisla

* Strathmill

* Talisker

* Tamdhu

* Tamnavulin

* Teaninich

* Tobermory

* Tomatin

* Tomintoul

* Tormore

* Tullibardine

* William Grant & Sons

Grain Scotch Whisky

* North British Grain

* Cameron Brig (Cameron Bridge Distillery)

Blended Scotch

* Bailie Nicol Jarvie

* Ballantine’s

* Bell’s

* Black & White

* Black Bottle

* Buchanan’s

* Chivas Regal

* Cutty Sark

* Dewar’s

* Dimple

* The Famous Grouse

* Gran Old Parr

* Grand Macnish

* Grants

* Haig

* Hankey Bannister

* Johnnie Walker

* J&B

* Long John

* Sandy Mac Old Scotch Whisky

* Monkey Shoulder

* Morriston Gold

* Old Inverness

* Old Smuggler

* Pinch

* Passport Scotch

* Queen Anne

* Stewart’s Cream of the Barley

* Teacher’s Highland Cream

* Tè Bheag

* Vat 69

* William Lawson’s

* White Horse

* Whyte & Mackay

* lotay whisky

Independent Bottlers of Scotch Whisky

* Adelphi

* Cadenhead’s

* Douglas Laing & Co

* Duncan Taylor

* Gordon & MacPhail

* Hart Brothers

* Ian Macleod Distillers

* James MacArthur

* Murray McDavid

* Old Malt Cask

* Queen of the Moorlands

* Robert Scott

* Scottish Malt Whisky Society

* Signatory

Thai whiskey

* Mekhong whiskey

* Hong Thong whiskey

* Sang Thip

* SangSom

* Black Cat whiskey

Welsh Whisky Brands

* Penderyn Distillery

Other European whiskies/whiskeys

* Armorik – Breton, France

* Bagpiper – India

* DYC – Spain

* Fryske Hynder – Netherlands

* Mackmyra – Sweden

* Manx spirit

* Millstone – Netherlands

* Royal Challenge – India