The different types of whisky

by Colin Sinclair
different types of whisky on shelves
Baffled by the different types of whisky?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone – most people who are new to this delicious liquor don’t know their single malts from their blended grains. But that’s where we can help. As a leading bottler and supplier of Scotch whisky, it’s fair to say, this is our area of expertise. Here our resident connoisseurs share a little insight into the ‘water of life’ and what the different types actually mean.

Malts and grains

There are two main types of Scotch whisky that you need to know about:

1. Single malt whisky

This is (by far!) the most popular choice amongst whisky drinkers. It’s an aged whisky – produced at just one distillery – using only malted barley, water and yeast. It contains no other grains or cereals and, for it to be classed as a ‘Scotch’, it must be distilled, produced and bottled in Scotland.

2. Single grain whisky

Just like a single malt, single grain whisky is produced in one distillery. However – along with the malted barley and water – other grains (such as wheat and corn) are added to the mixture. This gives the liquor a much lighter and more subtle flavour and makes it an ideal candidate for blending.
Single malt whisky made in Scotland
From these two types of whisky, three sub-categories can then be created:

1. Blended malt

Blended malt whisky, also known as a vatted or pure malt, isn’t commonly seen in the supermarkets. But it’s still very well-liked. Essentially, this type of whisky is made by combining two or more single malt whiskies – from different Scottish distilleries. The result is a unique flavour and character.

2. Blended grain

This type of whisky is very similar to a blended malt. However, rather than using two or more single malt whiskies, two or more single grain whiskies are combined instead. These are usually from separate distilleries in Scotland and, again, the process of blending creates a distinctive flavour.

3. Blended

Some of the world’s best-selling whiskies are ‘blended’. Fundamentally, this means the liquor was created by mixing one or more single malt, with one or more single grain. These malts and grains are likely to have come from different distilleries and are fused to create a smoother taste.


Discover your favourite ‘Scotch’ type today

Different types of whisky in our whisky tasting sets
If you’re trying out this tasty tipple for the first time, you may find yourself staring blankly at the shelves in your local shop – unsure on the ‘right’ type of whisky for you. Our advice? Just try a few different ones and see which you enjoy the most.
Miniatures – such as those available in our whisky tasting sets – are the easiest way to do that, allowing you to sample a wide range of Scotch types, without the expense of buying a full bottle. Each set features either three or five 30cl bottles, including both single malts and single grains from various Scottish regions. They also come with a series of tasting cards, with information about the distilleries, the cask type and strength and the kinds of flavours to look-out for whilst drinking.
So, why not treat yourself?
Browse our full online collection today, place an order and discover your favourite! And if you have any questions about the different types of whisky available, remember, you can always get in touch. After all, we have excellent knowledge in this area and we’re happy to help in any way that we can. Either give us a call on 01743 247220 or send an online message and we’ll get back to you.