How to Order Scotch

How to Order Scotch

It’s good to know how to order scotch whether you like the stuff or not.  It just makes for a more socially well-rounded individual.  Here are some scotch terms that you can learn before you head out to your next fancy event.

Scotch – scotch simply implies that the whisky was produced in Scotland. Other countries that produce whiskies are Ireland, Canada, America and Japan.

Peat – a moss common in Scotland. It is dried and used to fuel the fire to dry the malt. The peat fire gives the scotch a strong smokey aroma and taste. Some scotches are known for being peaty.

Blended Scotch – a bottle containing two different scotch whiskies. Blended scotch tends to be of lower quality.

Single Malt – a single malt scotch is like a purebred. Aged in one barrel and not blended with any other distillery’s whiskies. Although most distilleries do mix different batches of different ages together.

Malt – Malt indicates that barley grains were used during the germination and fermenting process.

Vatted Malt – a blend of single malts. This is done to control and produce specifics and desired flavors.

Age – Indicates the age of maturation of the youngest component in the scotch whisky.

Cask – Scotches are aged in various types of casks or barrels. Consulthow to taste scotch for a full explanation.

Neat – served in a rocks glass at room temperature with no ice.

Rocks – serve with ice cubes. Some scotch connoisseurs may specify how many rocks they’d like.

Water Side or Water Back – served neat with a small glass of water on the side so water can be added to desired taste.

Splash of Water – served neat with a splash of water already poured in. A splash would be approximately half an ounce of liquid.


So now you know if you hear a guy order “Scotch. Neat.” he’s not commenting on how cool it is that the bar carries scotch.  And that’s how to order scotch.


Facebook Comments

the Barman

Reese Richards aka "the Barman" is a 20-year veteran of the bar industry and founder of His goal is to bring the joy of bartending to as many people around the world as possible. He accomplishes this by producing high quality content in the form of articles, interviews, infographics, recipes, videos and training courses as well as through his bar consulting business. You can find him online here or connect with him on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest & Instagram