Whisky Facts

What is the name of the food grade colouring that you are legally allowed to add to Scotch Whisky?


What is a dram?

An arbitrary measure of whisky

Which is the correct spelling of whisky or whiskey.

Both depending on where it was produced; most of the world apart from much of Ireland and some of America does not use the ‘e’

What whisky has the highest PPM? 

Bruichladdich Octomore 6.3 has a mind-blowing PPM of 258

How many active distilleries are there in Scotland as at December 2019?

Over 120

What is the % lost to the the Angels’ Share in Scotland?

~2% each year

What is the % lost to the the Angels’ Share in India?

14% each year

Taking two casks one maturing in Scotland and the other in India, what difference would you notice in ABV over time?

In Scotland the ABV goes down

In India the ABV goes up

What species of wood is virtually all whisky matured in around the world?


What are the three main types of oak used in whisky maturation? 

Quercus Robur (European Oak)

Quercus Alba (American Oak)


Quercus Mongolica (Japanese Oak)

How do you pronounce Laphroaig? 


Which distillery in Scotland was the first licensed whisky distillery? 

The Glenlivet

What metal are whisky stills made from? 


Name the six basic steps in the whisky making process

Malting > Mashing > Fermenting > Distilling > Ageing > Bottling

What are five styles of Scotch whisky? 

Blended Scotch Whisky > Blended Malt Whisky > Single Grain Whisky > Single Malt Whisky > Single Cask Whisky 

What is the difference between Single Malt and Blended Scotch Whisky? 

Single malt Scotch whisky is still a blend, but it is a blend of whiskies from one distillery whereas blended Scotch whisky is a blend of grain and malt whiskies from multiple distilleries

How much of the Scotch whisky industry does Blended Scotch account for? 

Over 91%! 

What’s the minimum age a Scotch whisky must be matured for? 

3 years 

How much of the flavour of whisky comes from the cask? 

The cask the spirit goes into makes up around 70% of the flavour of the end whisky

How much of the colour of whisky comes from the cask? 

100% ! Yes, it goes in as a clear, fresh spirit and all the colour is drawn from the wood it matures in… unless food grade colouring added to present a consistent product to whisky drinkers



What was the value of Scotch whisky exports in 2018? 

Exports of Scotch whisky grew to £4.7bn, according to official HMRC figures

Name the country that is the biggest consumer of Scotch whisky in the world? 

France – 188 million bottles per year are consumed 

Name the top three biggest whisky drinking nations

France, United States, India



How many bottles of Scotch are exported every second? 

41 bottles of Scotch were shipped overseas each second in 2018

How many countries in the world drink Scotch whisky? 


How many people are employed by the Scotch whisky industry in Scotland? 

10,000 directly, and Scotch supports a further 30,000 around the UK



What popular condiment would not exist without whisky casks? 


What is the name of the fresh spirit to run from a whisky still? 

New make / Clearac / White Dog – depending where you are in the world 

What links blenders Johnnie Walker, George Ballantine and John Dewar? 

They were all grocers who began blending whisky



Who was the first blender of Scotch whisky? 

Andrew Usher in the 19th Century 

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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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