Terms You Should Know

The following phrases are terms of affection that should be used liberally when consuming the beloved single malt.

Angel’s Share

The amount of scotch whisky that evaporates from the barrel while the malt is aging.


Dram means “small drink” in Scots. It is the amount of spirit normally served in a single drink, an approximate equivalent of 1 1/2 ounces or a shot. A wee dram would be 1 ounce of scotch. Technically, a fluid dram is a unit of volume in the traditional apothecary system.


The way fine scotch of moderate strength should be served – without water and without ice. Many tasting experts suggest that water should be served on the side and a few drops of water should be added after an initial nosing and tasting to release the full bouquet and flavor. Stronger malts should be served with water at room temperature.

Slainte Mhath (slancha – vah)

A Gaelic toast that means “Good Health!”

Uisge Beatha (oo sa ka – be la)

Scot’s Gaelic for “water of life,” from the first part of which the word ‘whisky’ derives.

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