First of all is it whisky or whiskey?
The first case is Scotch and that's it, in the rest of the world whiskey is produced.
As a matter of fact, it can be found many Japanese labels having the word Scottish but this is because of the secular tradition of the production of the distillate in Japan. A distillate in fact: whisky is a brandy produced by distilling barley, rye and wort.
There is a harsh diatribe about who was the first country to produce it, Scotland or Ireland. Based on written sources, the challenge is unequal: it was in 1405 when Richard Magrannell Chieftain died after a sip of brandy... in Ireland. The first Scottish source dates back to the end of the seventeenth century.
How is whisky produced?
Whisky is produced according to a precise procedure, marked by the various phases of the process. There are 5 processes that lead to the birth of this famous distillate: malting, infusion, fermentation, distillation and aging.
Types of Whisky ?
Blended Scotch Whisky
These whiskies are composed by a percentage of Grain Whisky, produced without using malted barley but other cereals, and by a percentage of Malt Whisky, produced with malted barley
Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Whisky produced by a single distillery with the sole use of malted barley. They are expressive of the art of distillation and of the history of every distillery. They can be produced with a blend of malts, the youngest of which must have the age stated in the label. There are also Single Malts with no declared age: this is the case of No Age Statement, in NAS jargon. They tend to be very young products, however their minimum aging cannot be less than 3 years.
Single Malt Single Cask
Produced from a single cask, they are made of a single whisky whose aging is the one declared in the label. Single casks are often cask strength as well, ergo they are bottled at the full strength of the selected cask.
Distilled in continuous stills, it is produced from a blend of unmalted barley and other cereals (such as wheat). It is mainly used for blending, however there are also Single Grain Scotch Whiskies which, with considerable aging, are pretty smooth and appreciated
Blended Malt Scotch Whisky
formerly known as Vatted (a term still used by many connoisseurs and lovers), are composed by a blend of many single malts, blended in order to obtain a satisfying and balanced result.
All Scotch whiskies must be distilled and aged in Scotland for at least three years. If not, they cannot be defined as Whisky. Moreover, they must not contain any additive, besides the classic caramel used as a colorant. The minimum alcohol by volume must be 40% vol. They can undergo the process of cold filtration or not. In this case, they are defined as "Unchillfiltered".