Common Whisky Myths and Misconceptions

Whisky is a spirit that is steeped in history. A beverage that is globally revered, it’s one of life’s little pleasures and that simply isn’t going to change anytime soon.

Here at Great Drams, we can talk about whisky until we’re blue in the face. In fact, that’s exactly what we do. We’d like to think we know more than our fair share of whisky facts, and we’d also like to say that we can tell fact from fiction. You see, in an age where people can share opinions and pass them off as facts with the tap of a screen, there’s a fair amount of myths and misconceptions surrounding whisky, which we’d like to clear up for good.

Whisky is an intricate topic, and it’s one that we’re passionate about. Chances are you feel the same, which is why you’re on our site reading this today.

To help make sure that what you’ve heard about whisky/whiskey is indeed accurate, here are several common whisky myths and misconceptions, and the truth behind them.

The Darker the Colour, the Older the Whisky

One of the most common myths and misconceptions surrounding whisky is that the darker the whisky, the older it is. This is simply not true.

The general consensus is that the longer the whisky spends in a cask, the darker its colour becomes. This is not necessarily the case.

If a whisky is aged for 3 years in charred, ex-bourbon cask for example, it will take on a naturally dark colour fairly quickly. Compare it with a 15-year-old whisky aged in light oak barrel, and the 15-year-old could come out much lighter in colour than the 3-year-old.

Put simply, don’t assume a whisky has been aged for a long time just because it has a rich and dark colour.

Scotch is an “Old Man’s Drink”

Now, I may not be a spring chicken anymore, but I certainly don’t consider myself to be an “old man” not yet at least, and yet I love Scotch.

Whisky, especially Scotch, has undergone a bit of a metamorphosis over the last decade or so. There are now more younger people drinking Scotch than ever. It’s seen as a fashionable and trendy drink. Myself personally? I just love the taste.

Basically, anybody of any age can enjoy Scotch, providing they’re of a legal drinking age of course.

Blended Whisky is an Inferior Product

No, no, no, and definitely no! Blended whisky can be every bit as delicious as a single malt.

Blending whisky takes real skill. There are only a handful of Master Blenders in the world, and they’re the very best of the best. You need to know which notes and flavours compliment each other, which to avoid, how long to age, which cask to age it in, and heaps more besides.

There are plenty of premium quality blended whiskies out there that taste absolutely outstanding. Please do not assume that a blended whisky is going to be inferior to a single malt because that isn’t necessarily going to be true.

A Whisky is Guaranteed to Taste Like the Previous Liquid Stored in its Cask

While aging a whisky in a sherry cask is a great way of imparting sherry notes into it, don’t assume that a whisky is going to taste just like the previous liquid stored in the cask.

While ex-bourbon, ex-sherry, and ex-port casks are great for getting subtle notes of these flavours into your whisky, it’s the wood itself that’s the biggest factor.

What I’m trying to say is, don’t assume a Scotch whisky aged in an ex-bourbon cask is going to have bourbon notes, because that’s not necessarily the case.

Looking for rare, award-winning, limited-edition, unique, and delicious whisky? If so, then look no further than and be sure to check out our vast selection of Scotch.

Here you’ll find all manner of different whiskies to suit all palates and budgets, that you simply can’t get on the high street or your local off-licence. We also have an extensive array of whisky/whiskey-related information so you can learn more about your favourite drams, how they’re made, and the distilleries that produce them.

Photo by Thomas Park on Unsplash

Tags: misconceptionsWhisky Myths
Picture of Greg


My name is Greg, and I’m a brand strategy consultant, writer, speaker, host and judge specialising in premium spirits. My mission is to experience, share and inspire with everything great about whisky, whiskey, gin, beer and fine dining through my writing, my brand building and my whisky tastings.

You might be interested in

More from the blog

Leave a comment

Follow greatdrams

latest articles

Latest whisky

exclusively from GreatDrams

GreatDrams Whisky Subscription
Sign up to the awesome GreatDrams Whisky Subscription

Login / register