What is Single Grain Scotch Whisky?

let’s begin

There are several categories of Scotch whisky so it can get a little confusing. Let’s take a closer look at one of the categories: Single Grain Scotch Whisky.

Grain whisky has a pretty simple definition. It is whisky that has been made from any grains, that can include but is not limited to corn and wheat. The difference between this and malt whisky is that malt whisky, to legally be called whisky, has to be made from malted barley and only malted barley.

Single grain whisky has often been used in blends to add a bit of body as well as allowing brands to lower the price, since it is cheaper to produce grain whisky than malt whisky. Currently, it is the category that holds the smallest market share, at somewhere around 2%. While it is still used in blends today, single grain Scotch whisky is making a bit of a name for itself on its own terms, despite previous images of it as less flavoursome and lower quality.


There are distilleries in Scotland solely dedicated to the creation of single grain Scotch whisky. This includes sites like Cameron Brig, Loch Lomond and Girvin. These distilleries and others like them are breathing new life into the perception of single grain whisky. Independent bottlers like ourselves at GreatDrams with our Girvan Single Grain expression, and Compass Box with the Hedonism release are also making grain whiskies more accessible.

The grain whisky they bottle here is high quality, with a lot of thought going into maturation. Rather than being used to bolster flavour in blends, it is being bottled on its own merit. Loch Lomond and Givan have both won awards for their grain whiskies, giving single malts a run for their money. Brands like Haig Club and even Johnnie Walker are also making grain whisky more popular.

GreatDrams has our own exclusive bottling of this style of Scotch whisky

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below and let’s have a chat! 

Tags: Grain WhiskyScotch WhiskyScotlandSingle Grain
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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.

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