Scotch whisky is malt whisky or grain whisky made in Scotland. It must be made in a manner specified by law.
All Scotch whisky was originally made from malted barley. Commercial distilleries began introducing whisky made from wheat and rye in the late 18th century. Scotch whisky is divided into five distinct categories: single malt whisky, single grain whisky, blended malt whisky (formerly called “vatted malt” or “pure malt”), blended grain whisky, and blended whisky.
All Scotch whisky must be aged in oak barrels for at least three years. Any age statement on a bottle of whisky, expressed in numerical form, must reflect the age of the youngest whisky used to produce that product. A whisky with an age statement is known as guaranteed-age whisky. A whisky without an age statement is known as a no age statement (NAS) whisky, the only guarantee being that all whisky contained in that bottle is at least three years old.
The first written mention of whisky is in the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, 1495. A friar named John Cor was the distiller at Lindores Abbey in Newburgh, Fife, where, in October 2017, malt whisky production restarted for the first time in 522 years.
Many whisky drinkers refer to a unit for drinking as a dram.