Navigating the world of whisky words can be like deciphering code.  It seems there is a special lingo. Terms are thrown around like confetti, from cask strength to expression, mash bill to single malt, and small batch. But fear not!  Let’s decode this boozy jargon in a way that won’t leave you feeling like you’ve sipped too much of the good stuff.

Single Malt  This term's pretty straight-forward. It's a whisky monogamist.  It's a Scottish term originally and there it means the whisky's made in one distillery from start to finish.  But hold up, it doesn’t mean it’s just one lonely cask; it could be a big mix of casks of malt as long as it’s all from the same spot.

Here's something though.  Australia doesn't have a definition for Single Malt so some Aussie whiskies carrying this term on the label have had more than one distillery involved in the process.  There are pretty good reasons for them doing that and we are not sayin' they are right or wrong using the term. What do you reckon? Should an Aussie Single Malt be from a SINGLE distillery?  We'd love your view, so please comment below.

Cask Strength  So, cask strength is like the raw, uncut version of whisky—straight outta the barrel, no water added to mellow things down. It's the rebel, the renegade of the whiskey world, it is out there packing a punch (our Cask Strength releases go into the bottle at the abv that they were in the cask (usually they hover up there in the mid 60% abv range or higher).  Just remember, if it's too wild for your taste buds, you can always dilute it yourself, in fact we recommend a splash of water.

Expression  Now, here’s a term that’s like whisky's version of jazz—no definition,  just whiskey-makers jamming out with different mash bills, techniques, and casks. It’s their artistic expression, their way of saying, “Hey, this is our whisky, our vibe.”

Mash Bill  Think of the mash bill as the whisky’s recipe.  It's all about the grains—barley, corn, rye, wheat, oats—playing together in a boozy symphony.  For some whisk(e)ys, there are rules like, “Bourbon, you gota  have at least 51% corn in your mix!”

 

Small Batch  Ah, the elusive “small batch”—a term as vague as predicting the weather in Tasmania.  But what "small" means can vary wildly. Some distillers might call 3000 bottles small batch , while others (like us) chuckle and say, “That’s cute, but let us show you what small batch really means!”

December 13, 2023 — Rex Burdon

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