Developing a taste for scotch should be a mandatory rite of passage for every person on the planet. Of course, the best single malt scotch is going to be found in Scotland, hands down.
Despite other countries trying to get into the game, the honest truth is that Scotland has it down to an art, and rightly so, considering many of the distilleries can boast a history of a hundred years or more.
What Makes a Single Malt Scotch a True Single Malt Scotch?
According to the Master of Malt website, a single malt Scotch whiskey has a particular background to earn the title. It can only be distilled in a single distillery in all of Scotland. It must be distilled in a copper pot and come from water, yeast, and malted barley, nothing more.
Oh, and it has to age in an oak cask “for at least three years and a day” to be considered a legitimate single malt Scotch.
Those are pretty stringent guidelines, aren’t they? Even so, the guidelines are well worth their weight in Scotch!
Where Can You Go to Find this Elusive True Single Malt Scotch?
Head to Scotland for true Scotch. Start in Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city, if you’re not sure where to begin. Here, you’ll find the Finnieston with plenty of Scotch to be had.
If you want to go out and explore more of Scotland, you won’t be disappointed. Here are a few other places you’ll want to see on your Scotch-seeking excursion.
This one boasts a heritage from as far back as 1896 when it was founded by John Dewar and Sons. Two years later, they started producing their now infamous whiskey. They produce Dewar’s White Label whiskey, which also happens to be one of the most popular Scotches in the U.S.
As a bonus, Aberfeldy is also relatively close to both Glasgow and Edinburgh should you find yourself out that way.
Known for producing luxury whiskey, Strathisla was founded upon the principles of visionaries known as the Chivas Brothers.
James and John Chivas grew up on a Scottish farm. Wanting more, they found their way towards Aberdeen. After some time, they discovered the perfect blend for whiskey and attained a Royal Warrant in 1843 to begin producing whiskey and lay the groundwork for what would become Strathisla.
Closing in on 200 years in operation, GlenDronach was founded in 1826 in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. Initially, the distillery was home to all of the workers, and many of the old homes are still on the property to this day.
Bought by different people several times over since its inception, GlenDronach has never declined in quality. Truth be told, they have only ever gotten stronger.
Glen Grant Distillery
Founded in 1840 by brothers John and James Grant, Glen Grant has been around a long time and has an established reputation for quality whiskey.
You can find Glen Grant whiskey in Speyside, Scotland, as spry as it ever was, and living proof that Scotland has a rich history.
Founded in 1843 by William Matheson, Glenmorangie Distillery began producing fine whiskey in the Scottish Highlands. Back in the day, Matheson worked to create a whiskey that was both complex and smooth – he succeeded.
Since that day, the same goal for quality and taste have prevailed in Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch Whiskey. Drop on by and taste it for yourself.
Highland Park Distillery
Highland Park stands by its motto of being the product of the people, location, and history. They are, in fact, one of the very last distilleries that handles its own barley from start to finish.
Found in Orkney, Scotland, Highland Park embraces the region’s Viking history and uses it to its advantage, in a good way, of course. According to their history, the distillery was officially founded in 1798 by Magnus Eunson, a Viking through and through, but it’s not actually when the distillery started. It’s just when he got caught.
Also steeped in history, Bruichladdich was founded in 1881, but has taken an entirely different approach to whiskey from its counterparts. Instead of the classic bottle you expect to see whiskey in, they have a modern flair for their packaging.
Found in Islay, the distillery works to modernize whiskey’s image all while holding on to their roots in good taste.
Character and Whiskey
Whiskey, as per the Scottish traditions, should reflect the area it comes from. No two Scottish whiskeys are going to be the same, nor should they. But every single drop will be a taste to remember.