Five surprising whisky facts, by Ian Buxton

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Whisky is a drink steeped in centuries of history, mystique, legend and tradition. But if you’re a novice whisky lover don’t let that put you off (even if you aren’t even 100% sure how to spell it *). Here renowned industry expert and writer IAN BUXTON provides five conversation-starting facts that every whisky lover should know.

It’s as old as the hills (almost)

Scotch whisky has been made since 1494 – and probably earlier. It was first recorded at a monastery in Fife (near today’s Edinburgh Airport) and now a new craft distillery is planned there.

It isn’t all about Scotland

There are around 100 distilleries currently operating in Scotland and great whisk(e)y is also made in the USA, Canada, Ireland, Japan – and Finland, France and India as well. All round the globe, in fact.

Want to make your own?

All you need is barley (or other cereals), yeast and water. Oh, and the Government would like you to have a licence as well!

Entrepreneurial spirit

There are now investment funds specialising in rare and collectable whiskies, and dedicated auction sites to help you sell your bottles. Prices have been growing fast.

Rare and precious

The most expensive Scotch whiskies now fetch over £100,000 a bottle and rare Japanese whisky is catching up fast.

About the author

Ian BuxtonIan Buxton is a former director of Glenmorangie and lived for many years on the site of a former distillery in Perthshire. He began his Scotch whisky career in 1987 and was made a Keeper of the Quaich (the industry’s highest honour) in 1991. He is the author of many articles and books about whisky, which he continues to enjoy from his home in the Malvern Hills (along with the occasional G&T!).

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* It’s whiskey in Ireland and the United States, whisky in Scotland and elsewhere.