Whisky Classified helps you choose a single malt whisky
that suits your palate, not someone else's
Whisky Classified is our unique classification of single malt whiskies by flavour.
If you like a particular malt whisky, then we tell you what other brands taste similar - or, if
you want to plan your malt whisky collection systematically, we show you the full flavour range of single malt Scotch whiskies.
On 28 September 2007, David Wishart presented and signed copies
of Whisky Classified at a seminar for new postgraduate students at the School of Management, University of St Andrews. Around 150 international management students attended his talk and tasting, which
featured 25 of our great single malt whiskies. This was repeated in 2008, and on 25th September 2009 here. Our 2009-10 intake is expected to exceed 250 graduate students.
Vote for Whisky Classified - All those in Flavour!It's not a Regional Classification!
The conventional way to classify Scotch malt whiskies is by region - Highland, Lowland, Speyside, Islay and Campbeltown. But knowing where they are made doesn't explain how they
taste. Not all Islay malts taste like a classic, smoky Islay! For an example of one that doesn't, click here. Some Speysiders are light and delicate, whereas others are rich and fruity. There are only three distilleries now operating in the Lowland region, and they are nearly 100 miles apart - this
hardly describes an appellation or terroire. The Highland region ranges from Glengoyne to Highland Park, 300 miles apart - both by distance and flavour!
It's not a "Quality" Classification!
Some whisky writers try to assess the "quality" of single malt whiskies -
they award marks-out-of-ten and construct league tables of "top" whiskies. They are often looking for depth, balance,
layered complexity and length of finish - criteria that are very personal to them. But your tastes may be different - you
may actually prefer lightly peated, fruity and fresh malt whiskies, in which case their ratings may not be very helpful. It's an anachronism that the best-selling malt
whiskies are generally not rated very highly by these pundits. Have a look at their ratings in Whisky Magazine, especially the blind tastings, and judge for yourself.
Classification by Flavour
Whisky Classified aims to help the newcomer navigate through the maze of single malt whiskies now available in the off-licence,
liquor store and supermarket. If you like a particular malt whisky, then it tells you what other brands taste similar. On the other hand, if you want to diversify your collection,
it helps you choose a range of malts that taste different.
Whisky Classified was developed in Scotland by a Scot. Unlike most other authors, David
Wishart has actually visited all the distilleries. His preliminary classification was circulated in 1998, a final draft version was issued in February 2000, and Whisky Classified was first
published in April 2000 - see press release. Of those commenting on Whisky Classified,
over 95% thought it would be useful to consumers. A subsequent revision was circulated in December 2001 and was approved for publication under the imprimatur of Scotch Whisky Heritage which is co-owned by the whisky producers.
Top News Story
The new second edition of David Wishart's book
"Whisky Classified: Choosing Single Malts by Flavour" has now been published in Dutch
by Spectrum and Gall&Gall, in Danish by Gyldendal, in Finnish
by Readme.fi, in Italian by
Edizioni Bolis, Azzano San Paolo, and in Swedish by Prisma, Stockholm.
Forthcoming talks and tastings are listed
Classification of Single Malt Whiskies
If you like a particular malt whisky but want to find out more, Whisky Classified tells you all about malt whisky styles for the common brands that are in the shops
now, aged 10-15 years in cask. There is information about our standard flavour profile, and seminars you can attend that include tutored malt whisky tastings.
Whisky Classified was launched in April 2000, seminars and tastings were held in Edinburgh, Scotland; Birmingham, England; Montréal,
Quebec; Namur, Belgium; Zürich, Switzerland; Limburg, Germany; and Speyside, of course. Some photos from our Namur presentation can be found here; and from WhiskyShip in
Zürich here. Both were attended by about 150 delegates. Further details of our seminars can be found here.
Whisky Classified: Choosing Single Malts by Flavour by David Wishart was first published by Pavilion Books, London in July 2002; the second edition was
published in May 2006; and the third edition was published in . It is also published in the U.S. by Independent Publishers Group of Chicago, and in Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Italian and Swedish - see foreign editions.
Choosing Single Malts by Flavour
Pavilion Books, London 2012
Order a signed copy here