Booze, Enjoyment, Scotch

The Single Malt Whisky Flavour Map

1 Comment 03 January 2012

Whisky isn’t complicated; it simply needs to be explained in the right way.

The Flavour Map will help you choose a single malt whisky based on its taste. Developed by some of Scotland’s most experienced professionals, the map demonstrates that – when it comes to flavour in a glass of whisky – all single malts can be plotted on a simple grid.

Created by the renowned whisky expert Dave Broom, and Jim Beveridge, one of the industry’s great noses, it’s an innovative way of comparing and assessing single malts. The Flavour Map means you can identify how light or rich, and how smoky or delicate a whisky is compared to ones you may already be familiar with.

To make it even easier, within the map’s experts have identified four distinct flavour profiles:

Click to see full size (1865×1869)

Explaining the two axis

The whiskies at this end of the axis normally use no peat in the malting process. While movement up the axis sees an increase in complexity, this is without any discernible level of smokiness derived by peat. Towards the light end there is a floral, grassy freshness. Moving towards the richer side of the map, subtler nutty, barley and biscuity flavours start to come through.

Single malts found in the two smoky quadrants all contain discernible levels of peat, which is burned in the malting process. Ranging from scented smoke and bonfires, to kippers and lapsang souchong, they’re epitomised by Islay malts such as Lagavulin and Caol Ila.

This end of the vertical axis houses whiskies whose characteristics exhibit fresh flavours: green grass, soft fruits, cereal. Such flavours tend to reflect the processes followed by a distillery, such as fermentation or size and shape of the stills.

Whiskies at the rich end of the axis contain characteristics often derived from the nature of the wood used during maturation. Typical flavours range from vanilla (given by American oak casks) to nuttiness to cigar box, chocolate and dried fruit (from European oak casks). Whether a cask is first fill or refill will make a difference to flavour.

The Flavour Map has been prepared and endorsed by the independent whisky expert, Dave Broom, together with Diageo Scotland Limited. In addition to the names of individual distilleries listed on the Flavour Map, the Classic Malts words, the Quaich device, the Flavour Map device and associated logos are trademarks.

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Your Comments

1 comment

  1. Piers says:

    <3 Lagavulin

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