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Whisky – “Water of Life”

Great tips and earn up to 5,000 miles on Malt Whisky collection


Whisky is derived from the Gaelic word “Uisge Beatha” meaning “water of life”

When it comes to Scottish Malt Whisky the ingredients are simple; water, barley and yeast. The production techniques pretty much remained the same; distilled using copper pot stills. However the end product produced varies from region to region, distillery to distillery and cask to cask. Offering both great pleasure and great challenges to navigate through. Here are some great tips to help you navigate through the world of Whisky.

Glenfarclas Whisky Special Offer

Earn up to 5,000 Miles on our top quality Scotch Whisky

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There’s nothing nicer than sipping on Whisky during the holiday season. Enjoy up to 5,000 miles when you redeem a bottle of selected Glenfarclas Whisky on our Lifestyle Awards Platform before 31 January 2021.

Glenfarclas whiskyMiles requiredMiles earned
Glenfarclas 12 y.o.12,030 miles1,200 miles
Glenfarclas 105 Cask Strength 60%16,600 miles1,600 miles
Glenfarclas 17 y.o. 43%21,650 miles3,200 miles
Glenfarclas 21 y.o32,480 miles5,000 miles
Malt Whisky Categories

The terms vatted malt, pure malt, single malt and single cask malt can be confusing and overtime the definitions have changed.  In the past what was know as a pure malt would more likely be know as a single malt today.  To keep things simple, the three main categories are:

  • Vatted Malt / Pure Malt – a Whisky made exclusively from malted barley and coming from more than one distillery

  • Single Malt – a Whisky made exclusively from malted barley and coming from only one distillery

  • Single Cask – a Whisky made exclusively from malted barley and coming from just one single cask
Tips on Whisky Tasting

The nose can pick up many more flavors than the palette. So time should be spent nosing the Whisky BUT start gently. With 40+% alcohol, Whisky can easily over power the senses. Don’t copy the wine world and plunge your nose deep into the glass. Better to start by gently passing the glass under your nose to gently pick up the aromas, then you can start to get a bit more intimate with the glass.


There are many traditionalists who tell you Malt Whisky should be drunk neat. However, a little water can help to open up the Whisky, release more aromas and flavours with the additional advantage of cooling down the alcohol. Start with a few drops of water and top up until you reach your perfect Whisky : water ratio.  

On the rocks with ice for a hot summer’s day works well, as the melting of the ice will negate the need to add any water.  Drunk too cold however, will dull the flavor profile.

Simple food pairing ideas with your Malts

  • Chocolate – Try pairing Malts with a high cocoa %, orange flavored, salted hazelnut and simple plain dark chocolate.

  • Cheeses – For smoky Malts, try to pair a mature cheddar. For spicy Malts, go for a strong blue cheese to match with. For lighter Malts, soft cheeses such as brie or goats cheese work well.

  • Nuts – For peaty Malts, try sweeter candied nuts. For the sweeter Malts, try with bitter nuts like almonds.

  • BBQ Meats - Almost any Whisky will go well with a grilled steak but best matches would probably be medium bodied rich smoky Malts.

Glenfarclas Distillery is a particular favorite with Asia Miles members. One of the last remaining distilleries to still use direct heat in their distillation, one of the first to embrace maturing their Whisky in sherry casks and also one of the first to introduce cask strength bottlings. They have built up an inventory of some of the oldest distillery owned and warehoused stocks in Scotland, with casks dating back to the 1950’s.