How to Pronounce Scotch Whisky Names

Do you know how to pronounce Lagavulin? Glenfiddich? Glenmorangie?

If you know those, you’re in pretty good shape. How about Bruichladdich? Caol Ila?

Now, visit this website and play all the names. They have an audio file for a lot of distilleries (many of the majors, most of the smaller ones too) in both .wav and .au, though some are only in .au file format.

How many did you get right? If you got the pronunciation right did you accent the right syllable? Glenmorangie is easy to say but I bet you accent the wrong syllable like I did. 🙂

Learn how to pronounce scotch whisky names from an expert.

Bruichladdich Building Digesters to Produce Methane

If you’ve been to any business that produces a spirit, like a winery or a distillery, you’ll quickly learn that they all have one thing in common – they try to reuse whatever waste they can because it’s a smart business decision. Wineries take grape skins, stems, and seeds and use them as compost. Breweries and distilleries take their waste and resell it to other companies who turn it into feed.

It turns out that Bruichladdich is building an anaerobic digester to turn yeasty waste into methane gas, which can be burned for electricity! Bruichladdich is an Islay, which means it’s on the same small island as its more well known Islay bretheren – Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Lagavulin, … the list goes on. As is the case with islands, the waste needs to go somewhere and right now it’s being pumped into the Sound of Islay.

Each year, the distillery spends about $35,000 ferrying the waste to the pipeline for disposal and they’re going to replace it with a digester that could produce as much as 80% of the power the distiller needs. When you combine these savings with the renewable power credits, it’s a win win. It’ll take only 3-5 years to recoup the cost!

World's Strongest Whiskey

I just read about how Bruichladdich, an Islay whiskey distillery, is producing five thousand bottles of the “world’s strongest whisky” by distilling it four times to 92% alcohol, 184 proof. Whiskey is typically distilled two times but Bruichladdich is planning on doubling that to replicate a drink described in a 1965 travel book, The Western Isles of Scotland.

According to has the following to say about the book:

A book dated 1695 details a journey in the Hebrides and refers to a quadruple distilled whisky known as usquebaugh-baul pronounced something like ‘woo-sh-ka-voll’ and which does not appear to have any current meaning known to Gaelic speakers.

The only tasting note available, and perhaps the oldest whisky tasting note of all, states: “… the first taste affects all the members of the body: two spoonfuls of this last liquor is a sufficient dose; and if any man should exceed this, it would presently stop his breath, and endanger his life”. The writer went on to say “Two spoonfuls of this last liquor is a sufficient dose; if any man should exceed this, it would presently stop his breath, and endanger his life”.

92%, huh? That’s some potent stuff… I would prefer not to stop my breath or endanger my life. 🙂

World's Most Expensive Whiskies

Macallan 1926 Costs $38000 a BottleIn mid-2006, Forbes listed the world’s most expensive whiskies with the top bottle netting $38,000. That’s right, a single bottle of the stuff at the top of the list costs more than most of the cars on the road today. Which was it? It was The Macallan Fine and Rare Collection, 1926, 60 Years Old… a single malt of the highest order took the top spot and it’s not actually possible to buy it anymore.

Here’s what Forbes had to say:

The oldest and most sought-after of Macallan’s revolutionary Fine & Rare Collection is now sold out. It is still possible to taste this totally unique Scotch whisky at the Old Homestead Steakhouse in the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, N.J. However, it sells for a nosebleed-inducing $3,300 per dram, so you had better have had a good run at the craps table.

To clarify, the list was created to capture the most expensive of each type, so you’ll see clearly “inexpensive” Jack Daniels Single Barrel Whiskey listed because it’s the most expensive Tennessee whiskey. Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old is the most expensive rye whiskey and Suntory Yamazaki 18 is the most expensive Japanese whiskey. Anyway, here’s the rest of the list:

  1. The Macallan Fine & Rare Collection, 1939, 40 Years Old: $10,125
  2. Chivas Regal Royal Salute, 50 Year Old: $10,000
  3. Glen Garioch, 1958, 46 Year Old: $2,600
  4. Bruichladdich 40 Year Old: $2,500
  5. Glenfiddich 40 Year Old: $2,500
  6. Springbank 32 Year Old: $750
  7. Auchentoshan 1973 32 Year Old: $700
  8. Evan Williams 23 Year Old Bourbon: $350
  9. Midleton Very Rare: $139
  10. Suntory Yamazaki 18 Year Old Single Malt Whiskey: $110
  11. Sazerac Rye 18 Year Old: $55
  12. Johnny Walker Green Label: $50
  13. Bernheim Original Kentucky Straight Wheat Whiskey: $50
  14. Jack Daniels Single Barrel Whiskey: $42