Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Single Grain Scotch Whisky. Blended Scotch Whisky. Blended Malt Scotch Whisky. Blended Grain Scotch Whisky.

Phew. There are only five categories, but put them all together like that and, well, phew.

Once again, the lovely folks at the Scotch Whisky Association have a great section detailing the intricacies of each category. But, really, here’s all that you need to know:

Any whisky with the word single in its label has been made in one distillery only. A blend, on the other hand, is a mixture of whiskies from different distilleries. Whiskies from a single source are sold under the name of the distillery that produced them (such as Glenkinchie or Laphroaig), and blended whiskies are sold under brand names (such as Chivas Regal, Dewars or The Famous Grouse).

A malt whisky is made from malted barley only, whereas a grain whisky is made from other cereals, such as wheat or maize. Most grain whiskies are used in blends.

That’s it. Simple, huh!

Want some more funky fundamentals? Click here to return from Scotch Categories: Single Malt Whisky, Grains & Blends to the Whisky Basics page.