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31st October 2021

The five types types of scotch whisky

There are five types of Scotch whisky, which are classified under two categories:


  1. Single Malt Scotch Whisky
  2. Single Grain Scotch Whisky


  1. Blended Malt Scotch Whisky
  2. Blended Grain Scotch Whisky
  3. Blended Scotch Whisky

To help you understand the five types of Scotch whiskies, here’s a breakdown of the terminologies used:

SINGLE: Whisky produced by a single individual distillery in Scotland.

MALT: Malt refers to a whisky made only with malted barley and water.

SCOTCH: Whisky distilled and matured in oak casks for at least three years in Scotland.

GRAIN: Grain refers to any cereal grain like malted barley, wheat and/or rye used to produce Scotch whisky.

BLENDED: A whisky, made with a combination of either single malt Scotch or single grain Scotch from multiple distilleries is called a blended whisky.


Single malt Scotch whisky is made in a single distillery in Scotland by using 100% malted barley and water. It is produced using the traditional batch distillation process in copper pot stills.

There are five whisky production regions in Scotland, and the distilleries of each region are known for producing their own unique taste and character in Scotch whisky.


Single grain Scotch whisky is a product of one distillery in Scotland by using water and malted or unmalted cereal grains like barley, wheat and rye.

Single grain Scotch whisky is produced on an industrial scale and distilled using modern column stills. The resultant spirit is high in alcohol volume and is mostly used in the production of blended Scotch whiskies.


Blended malt Scotch whisky is made by combining two or more single malt Scotch whiskies from different distilleries. The single malt can come from different batches of production and does not combine single grain Scotch whiskies.

Blended malt Scotch whisky imparts much more character because it combines single malt Scotch whisky matured in different casks from two or more distilleries.


Blended grain Scotch whisky is made by combining single grain Scotch whiskies, from more than one distillery. It is known for its subtle, soft and piquant flavour.

Only a few distilleries produce Blended grain Scotch whisky in Scotland as the majority of single grain Scotch whisky is used to produce other derivative types like blended malt and blended whisky.


Blended Scotch whisky is a blend of one or more single malt Scotch whisky and one or more single grain Scotch whisky, distilled from multiple distilleries.

As it combines both single malt and single grain and the ratio of malt to grain varies in production; the master blender plays an important role in creating a consistent taste and flavour in blended Scotch whisky.