Glossary

ABV
Percentage Alcohol by Volume (ABV) is the measure used throughout the wold to express alcoholic strength. In the USA, American Proof also appears on the label.

Alembic
Derived from the Arabic al’ambiq. A distilling vessel with a gourd-shaped pot and removable head, equipped with a be a to condense the vapor.

alembic
An alembic still.

Angels’ Share
During the maturing process of whisky, about 2% of the liquid evaporates from the barrel each year. The Scots call this phenomenon the Angel’s Share, the part of whisky that is reserved for the Angels.

Bourbon Whiskey
Bourbon is an American whiskey, which is made from at least 51% corn. Kentucky and Tennessee are well-known regions where this whiskey ist distilled.

Cask Strength
The strength the whisky is at when it is bottled without dilution with water( typically between 50-60% ABV). Casks are traditionally filled at 63,5% ABC (111 Proof) and loses strength during the course of its maturation. Whisky is commonly bottled at 40-43% ABV.

Floor Malting
Floor malting is a traditional method of malting, the process by which barley is processed for use in the whiskey distillation process. The grain is spread out by hand on a large floor called a malting floor, where the barley turns into malt. Today, most distilleries have switched to drum malting, where the grain is malted in a fully mechanically rotating drum.

Laphroaig Malting Floor
Malting floor at Laphroaig Distillery.

Pot Still
A still which operates in batches: it is charged with liquid, distilled off, cleaned and charged again. The pot still is made from copper.

Proof
An old method of assessing the strength of alcohol, by adding water and gunpowder. If the mixture ignites, it is ‘proof‘ or ‘at proof’. If the mixture fails to ignite, it is ‘under proof’.  If the mixture ignites with a bang it is ‘over proof’. 100 American Proof is 50% ABV (where 100 UK (Imperial) Proof is 57% ABV).

Rye Whiskey
Rye Whiskey is a whiskey with rye as its most important distinguishing ingredient. This type of whiskey is mainly distilled in the United States and Canada. In order to be called rye whiskey in the United States, the whiskey must contain at least 51% rye. In Canada this is 31%, but when the percentage of rye is above 51%, it is called a ‘straight rye whiskey’.

Single Malt
The product of an individual distillery, made in pot stills from only malted barley.

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