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Tuesday 14 March 2017



For a comprehensive list of nearly 1500 Fun Facts, please click here.

Some 20 million casks, over 500 million cases, are maturing in warehouses in Scotland. This represents the equivalent of approximately 10 billion bottles of Scotch after bottling

Scotch is sold in more than 200 markets globally.    

Total amount of Scotch released for sale to the UK market was 90m bottles of 70 cl. each.

Scotch sells three times its nearest foreign whisky rival.

The industry generated about £3 billion in tax revenue to the UK government.

Scotch whisky accounts for a quarter of UK food and drink exports.

Export of Scotch whisky has increased by 87% in the past decade.

A closed bottle of Scotch can be kept for 100 years+ and will still be good to drink.

After opening, a half-full bottle of Scotch whisky will remain good for six to eight months.

The most expensive bottle of Scotch whisky today is Isabella’s Islay ($6.2 Million).

The oldest Scotch whisky on the market is the Aisla T’Orten 107 Years old, distilled in 1906 and available for $ 1.43 million (£870,000). Probably an April Fool's Day prank.

The highest price paid at an auction for a Scotch Whisky is £288,000 (for a 64-year-old 42.5 % Macallan malt whisky).

Glenfiddich is the largest selling single malt in the world, followed by the Glenlivet.

Johnnie Walker Red label is the world's largest selling Scotch whisky. 

Johnnie Walker Black label is the world's best-selling deluxe whisky.

The Famous Grouse is the most popular Scotch whisky in the UK.

Glenmorangie is the largest selling malt whisky in Scotland.

Aberfeldy is the most popular single malt Scotch whisky in the US.

Experts advise you to drink Single Malt whisky neat or with a tiny bit of water. The water supposedly ‘Releases the Serpent’ from the whisky.

If there is a serpent, there is also an Angel. As it ages, 2.0-2.5 % of the whisky maturing in a barrel is lost to evaporation every year. Distillers refer to this as the ‘angel’s share’.

But the Devil has the last word. The larger the barrel used to mature whisky, the more the spirit that is absorbed by the wood and lost, called by distillers the ‘Devil’s Cut’. The professional term for it is INDRINK.

The most expensive first world country in which to buy Scotch is New Zealand. In the EU, Austria and Switzerland are the most expensive.

Although their proof differs, standard drinks of beer, wine and spirits (liquor) contain an equivalent amount of alcohol – 0.6 ounces each. They’re all the same to a breathalyzer.

Glenturret is the oldest distillery in Scotland (1775), followed by Bowmore (1779). 

Glenturret, Oban and Glenlivet are the three oldest malt whiskies currently sold.

William Lawson’s blended Scotch, a relatively unknown brand, is a bestseller in Russia.

18,000 litres of Scotch whisky worth over $800,000 (£ 500,000) were accidentally flushed down the drain at the Dumbarton bottling plant of Chivas Brothers in March 2013. 

There are a total of 117 distilleries in Scotland, 110 malt and 7 grain or multipurpose, according to the research briefings and fact sheets presented to the UK Parliament.

In the UK, the six most popular Scotch blended Whiskies are The Famous Grouse, Bell’s, William Grant’s, Teacher’s, J&B and High Commissioner.

LVMH’s Glenmorangie distillery is one of the smallest in the Highlands and employs just sixteen craftsmen – ‘The Sixteen Men of Tain’ - who have become synonymous with the Glenmorangie brand all over the world.

Edradour was the smallest distillery in Scotland - Three people run the entire operation.

Strathearn distillery claims to hold that distinction. It is temporarily closed today.

Loch Ewe is the smallest distillery in size in Scotland.

Releases of Scotch whisky from bond for sale in the UK in the first half totaled 37.3 million bottles, down about 5.5% on the corresponding figure of 39.5 million in the opening six months of 2012. The SWA blamed the domestic excise duty regime, and called for UK Government help in this regard.

The fastest growing Scotch whisky in the world over the last five years was Black Dog.

The Australian Wine Research Institute has introduced a measure called a standard drink. In Australia, a standard drink contains 10 g (12.67 ml) of alcohol, the amount that an average adult male can metabolize in one hour.

Japanese owned Tomatin is the largest capacity distillery in Scotland.

Haig’s Pinch (Dimple) is the fourth largest blended Deluxe Scotch whisky in the world.

Persian  overlords were required to rule twice on a case; once when stone cold sober and again when intoxicated, in the belief of ‘in vino veritas’. 

UK Whisky Cheaper in Europe: The price of a bottle of whisky, including the Excise Duty, has been subject to Value Added Tax since 1973. The EU mandated size of the Scotch bottle is 70 cl or 700 ml, minimum 40 per cent ABV. In a single European market, Scotch actually costs less in Europe than in the UK. A 70cl of the average blended Scotch whisky might sell for £10.70 in the UK. Tax would take £7.07 or 66% of the retail price. In 10 out of 15 European countries, lower taxes mean that the same bottle is sold for less. Look at the list below:
Spain about £4.50 about 40%
Italy about £4.85 about 40%
Greece about £ 5.50 about 44%
Germany about £6.40 about 49%
France about £6.60 about 55%
Andorra about £ 3.75, about 35%

You Can Watch Whisky Production Processes Live: Bruichladdich, a distillery on the island of Islay, has webcams that allow you to see each of the whisky making processes as they happen. Go to and watch whisky being produced live (if they are working).

Age Mentioned on a Blended Whisky Label: A blended whisky contains anywhere from 15 to 50 different malt whiskies. The skill of the blender is to create character and consistency in the product – and to choose only the whiskies that complement each other. The age of the blended Whisky mentioned on the bottle refers to the youngest whisky in the blend. If it says 10 years it means that the youngest Whisky has been matured for a minimum period of 10 years in oak casks. The same holds good for Single Malt Whiskies as well. 

Dewar’s Adds Honey to Scotch: Bacardi, in an attempt to woo the younger generation, unveiled a brand called Dewar’s Highlander Honey, which the company describes as a Scotch whisky “infused with Scottish heather honey filtered through oak cask wood.” The Scotch Whisky Association argues that this Dewar’s product is not Scotch whisky and that under EU law, it has to be sold under the sales description ‘Spirit Drink’. The label may refer to Scotch whisky as one of its constituents.

The first malt whisky ever to be exported to Australia was the Dalmore, in 1870. 

The Dalmore is the only distillery permitted to source Matusalem sherry wood casks for finishing its single malt at Gonzalez Byass.

Cadenhead’s Whisky Shop on Canongate, when owned by the Cadenhead family, was Scotland’s oldest independent bottler till taken over by J & A Mitchell & Co. Ltd. in 1972. The name remains unchanged, even though Mitchell & Co bottle and sell Springbank, Longrow and Hazelburn Single Malt whiskies, along with Campbeltown Loch and Mitchell's 12 year old. Its unique selling point is that customers can have a bottle poured straight from a cask and labelled with a person’s name. When sealed it has a label with the ‘born on date’, as whisky stops aging as soon as it leaves the wooden barrel so each bottle is a unique blend.

The source of the name Auchentoshan is Gaelic. It means 'corner of the field'. 

Auchentoshan was probably started by Irish settlers, led by the MacBeathas.

Some sources claim that these Irish whisky distillers brought the Irish custom of triple distillation with them. Auchentoshan uses triple distillation.

Antique records from the year 1800 mention an (illegal) Duntocher distillery, which may have been a predecessor to the legal Auchentoshan distillery. A license for distillation was obtained in 1823.

The ‘e’ in whiskey: Scotch whisky is always spelled without an ‘e’? Most other nations such as United States and Ireland call their similar spirits Whiskey. Be sure you never add the ‘e’ when writing to a Scotsman. A very simple way to remember the spelling: if it comes from a country without an ‘e’ in its spelling, then its spelt Whisky. (e.g., Scotland, Japan, India, Canada, etc.).

Bruichladdich’s The Octomore 08.3 is “the most heavily peated Octomore to date”, containing barley peated to 309 ppm. Octomore 2009 Edition 06.3, peating level is 258 ppm. 

The Macallan claims that it has achieved success and fame through its ‘Six Pillars’, viz., Spiritual Home, Curiously Small Stills, Finest Cut, Exceptional Oak Casks, Natural Color and The Macallan itself.  It has released five expressions in honor of its pillars so far, starting in 2005; the 50, 55, 57, 60 and 62-year-old single malts in bespoke Lalique crystal. The 62nd was released on December 17, 2013 at a price of US$ 26,000.