Scotch Whisky – The Water of Life

Whisky Glass

Celebrating Whisky in Scotland

Whisky has been a part of Scottish culture for over 500 years. It’s known as ‘the water of life’ or, in Gaelic, ‘uisge beatha’,  and is our National drink. May is World Whisky Month, with World Whisky Day falling on 15th May.  During the month events are held internationally. The events promote and educate participants about whisky around the world. Normally some of these would take place in distilleries. However, this year there is a digital event taking place from May 14th – 16th called the World Whisky Weekender.

Our passengers often ask their Tour Leaders various questions about scotch whisky. Therefore, today in honour of World Whisky Month we will share some interesting facts about whisky.

whisky casks within a distillery

Did you know?

Whisky casks have normally been already used to make bourbon or sherry. The flavours are absorbed into the wood and help flavour the whisky. 

A description of important words within the whisky world

Did you know?

In 2019 a bottle of Macallan Fine and Rare 60 year old whisky was sold at auction for $1.9 million.


How many types of whisky are there?

As of 2018 there were 133 distilleries in Scotland. There are then whisky distilleries across the world too. Most distilleries produce more than 1 whisky which means there are lots of options to choose from.

Is there one area in Scotland which is famous for whisky?

There are 5 main Scotch whisky regions; Campbelltown, Highland, Islay, Lowland and Speyside. Each area produces quite different whiskies and as some of the areas are very large they contain a number of different distilleries too. The Speyside region has more than 50 distilleries. This makes it the most densely packed.

Can I view the whisky making process?

Yes, when you visit most distilleries you can have the opportunity to see whisky being made. Many distilleries offer a range of tours which allow you to explore whisky making. Some even have the opportunity to make your own blend or bottle your own whisky too.

Why is whisky so expensive?

There are a few different factors that affect the cost of whisky. Firstly, the angels share is important as mentioned in the image above. Each year evaporation causes the liquid within each cask to reduce. Therefore, this means the amount of whisky left at the end is a lot less. This makes it rarer and in turn more expensive. Secondly, it also takes many years to age whisky. This length of storage time involves a lot of other costs that are reflected in the whisky’s price.

What does scotch whisky taste like?

Each whisky has it’s own unique flavour so you really have to taste a few to decide which flavour profile is for you. Whisky from Islay for example has a smoky taste due to the peat use in the manufacturing process. Others may have citrus notes or honey. There’s a never ending list of notes you can taste within a whisky. Most distilleries will have the option for you to taste a number of their whiskies to see which one you like best.

Would you like to visit a whisky distillery while on tour?

Some of our tours offer the opportunity for our passengers to visit a distillery. You can find out more on our Whisky Destination page.

If you are looking to make whisky a greater focus of your visit then we would recommend our bespoke private tours as a way to tailor your experience further. By completing the form on our Private Tour page you can make contact with our Travel Experts who are waiting to plan you perfect trip.

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