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Glossary - Definition of Whisky Words

Dram

A dram is the traditional Scotch whisky measure.

Synonyms: bite, catch, drop, finger, jolt, morsel, mouthful, nibble, pinch, portion, shot, sip, slug, snifter, soupcon, taste, toothful.

Cask

Casks are the oak barrels in which whisky matures. A cask is the generic name for these barrels. They come in various shapes and sizes. In order to be called whisky, the spirit must have matured for at least three years in an oak barrel.

Synonyms: barillet, barrel, butt, firkin, hogshead, keg, pipe.

Hogshead

Hogshead is a cask that holds 63 gallons.

Synonyms: barillet, barrel, butt, firkin, keg, pipe.

Cask Strength

Whisky spirit is placed in the cask at around 63% strength. It gradually reduces in strength due to the angels' share and is generally bottled at around 43%.

Single Malt

Whisky that comes from a single distillery. Much Scotch whisky is a blended product of whiskies from a number of distilleries. Single malt whisky is the premium scotch whisky product.

Whisky vs Whiskey

Throughout this site, the drink is referred to as 'whisky'. This is the accepted spelling of Scotch whisky. Irish whiskey and some North American whiskies spell it 'whiskey'.

Bourbon

Made in the United States, bourbon is whiskey made from a fermented mash made up of at least 51% corn. Produced at no more than 160 proof, matured in new oak barrels at no more than 125 degrees, it must be bottled at no less than 80 proof.