Scotch Whisky Categories

31 May 2012

The Scotch Whisky Regulations 2009 formally define five categories of Scotch Whisky. The relevant category description must appear clearly and prominently on every bottle of Scotch Whisky sold.

Single Malt Scotch Whisky

A Scotch Whisky distilled at a single distillery (i) from water and malted barley without the addition of any other cereals, and (ii) by batch distillation in pot stills.   From 23 November 2012, Single Malt Scotch Whisky must be bottled in Scotland.

Single Grain Scotch Whisky

A Scotch Whisky distilled at a single distillery (i) from water and malted barley with or without whole grains of other malted or unmalted cereals, and (ii) which does not comply with the definition of Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Blended Scotch Whisky

A blend of one or more Single Malt Scotch Whiskies with one or more Single Grain Scotch Whiskies.

Blended Malt Scotch Whisky

A blend of Single Malt Scotch Whiskies, which have been distilled at more than one distillery.

Blended Grain Scotch Whisky

A blend of Single Grain Scotch Whiskies, which have been distilled at more than one distillery. 

Better Protection

The Scotch Whisky Regulations 2009 provide added legal protection for the traditional regional names associated with Scotch Whisky production, ie 'Highland', 'Lowland', 'Speyside', 'Campbeltown', and 'Islay'. These names can only appear on whiskies wholly distilled in those regions.

A distillery name must not be used as a brand name on any Scotch Whisky which has not been wholly distilled in the named distillery. Labelling must not by any other means mislead consumers as to where the Scotch Whisky has been distilled.