Scotch malt whisky is made from malted barley by distilling it several times in pot stills and ageing it for 5–25 years.
Scotch malt whiskies have a strong, distinctive and sometimes smoky taste. You can also discern notes of dried fruits, nuts, toffee, peat, tar, herbs and spices in them.
Scotch malt whiskies are served on their own or with a dash of water.
To enjoy the distinctive aromas to the full, use a tulip-shaped glass with a sturdy bottom. A dash of water can help to release the flavour of whisky and weaken a stronger whisky to make it easier to drink. As a digestif, malt whisky can make your stomach feel slightly less full.
Scotch malt whisky is served at room temperature.
Many distilleries make malt whiskies in wine barrels that have previously been used to age sherry, port, Madeira, Sauternes or red wine. This adds a range of aromas and distinctive notes to malt whiskies.
There are only a little more than one hundred malt whisky distilleries in operation in Scotland.