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Whisky is the spelling used in Scotland. Whiskey is the spelling used in Ireland, the US and some other countries. People very rarely call whisky "Scotch" in Scotland, they either ask for it by brand name or ask for any malt, or just ask for a whisky. The word "scotch" is used though (scotch is an appellation). A single malt scotch must fulfill three requirements:
i) It must be the product of only one distillery
ii) It must be made exclusively from barley malt
iii) It must be made in Scotland.
Highland malt whisky must be made in an area north west of a line which passes near Dunblane (my home town!). It includes both Deanston and Blackford, the adjacent towns to the west and north of Dunblane.
The definitive book on Malt Whiskies is:
Michael Jackson's Malt Whisky Companion A Connoisseur's Guide to the Malt Whiskies of Scotland Published by Dorling Kindersley Ltd, 9 Henrietta St, London, WC2E 8PS ISBN (1989 edition - probably superceded now) 0-86318-387-5. 9 pounds 95p. 240 pages, hardback Covers over 250 malts from over 120 distilleries with full tasting notes. Includes all well known brands plus rare and specialist bottlings Includes rating system for both the whisky and the distillery. Includes alphabetic index, and list of distilleries (with phone numbers) that offer tours.
The best selling single malt in Scotland is "Glenmorangie", pronounced to rhyme with "orangey" (stress on the 2nd syllable of Glen-mor-an-gie). This word comes from the Gaelic for "Glen of Great Tranquility". The best selling single malt scotch in the world is Glenfiddich (=Glen of the Deer). My personal favourites are Highland Park (12 years old, from Orkney). Jackson rates this as "The greatest all-rounder in the world of whisky". For special occasions, I'd recommend MacAllan 18 year old. Astounding stuff!
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