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Whisky Glossary of Whisky. - Key Terms

Ageing

Process where a whisky spends time in oak barrels to become the whisky flavour we know. Very important part of the whisky making process. The whisky stays in the barrels till it has reached the correct age the distillery requires to receive the best taste. Time in the bottle does not count to the age of the whisky.

Alcohol

The amount of ethyl alcohol obtained by fermentation. The strength of the alcohol changes depending how long the it has been distilled. Normally distilled spirits are sold with an alcoholic strength of 40 percent alcohol.

Blended Whisky

Mixing different grains to produce the whisky taste.

Cask

A barrel which is usually made of oak, used for the ageing of whisky.

Charring

Charring(firing the barrel) the inside of a new barrel to give the whisky flavour as the whisky ages. This can also be called "toasting".

Distillation

This is done under heat where the alcohol can be collecting after vaporizing because water will vaporize at a higher temperature when heat is used. The alcohol is then condensed back to liquid form.

Fermentation

Yeast consuming sugars and converting them into alcohol & carbon dioxide.

Grist

Ground grains used for whisky making.

Malt

The name given to a grain which is usually barley germinate by steeping it in cold water. In the end more alcohol will be producted because the grain is high in sugar.

Marrying

Allowing a blended whisky time in large containers which can be oak or stainless steel. This happens before the bottle of the Whisky

Mashing

Cooking grains to release the starch content.

Mouth Feel

The effect that a whisky has on the palate of the mouth. Lingering is just one effect whisky can have when your are tasting

Neat

A whisky served neat is when no water or other liquid is added and that includes no ice.

Nose

The aroma of the whisky

Oak

The wood used to make barrels for ageing whisky. This is how the whickey receive it's flavours and develops it's smoothness, finesse, colour and tannin.

Pot Still

The traditional style of still used for distilling whisky. The Pot Still operates in a batch distillation process.

Rocks

A whisky served "on the rocks" is not diluted, and served over ice cubes.

Tails

This is low in alcohol and is the "tail end" of the distillation. Can be known as feints.

Yeast

This is a living organism that is vital for the fermentation process. It feeds on sugar, and produces alcohol and carbon dioxide as by-products, but is so important to the whisky making process.

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