Scottish whisky is renowned both for its single malt and its blended whiskies. A single malt whisky is a product of a single distillery made using a local source of water and malted barley, aged for at least 3 years in oak barrels, and of an alcoholic strength of at least 40% vol. The great strength of Scottish single malts is that it often reflects perfectly its environment. For example, Islay and island malts often bear the briny imprint of maturation in warehouses close to cold northern seas, whereas the softness and smoothness of lowland malts reflect the gentler climate of southern Scotland.
Blended Scotch is a product of blending malts and grain whisky from different distilleries. The aim is generally to produce a smooth, easy to enjoy whisky for both drinking and in some cases mixing.