Cheers! 7/27/15 Is National Scotch Day

Come. Sit down. Share a dram with me.

A what?

If you’re not sure what a dram is, it’s time to learn my friend, because July 27 is National Scotch Day. If you don’t know anything about Scotch, get ready, because here’s the basics so you can indulge without sounding like a amadan (That’s Scottish Gaelic for fool).


A dram is the unit of drink when drinking Scotch whiskey (henceforth referred to simply as Scotch). As in, “Let’s have a dram and talk,” or “Pour me a dram, will ya?” But a fair warning, don’t order a dram of anything at your local dive bar, unless you like being looked at like you’re speaking a foreign language.

There Are Rules for Scotch

Like many things in life, Scotch has rules. To be considered a Scotch, a spirit must be made of malt whiskey or grain whiskey (or a blend of the two) distilled in Scotland. If it’s not made in Scotland, it’s not Scotch.

Scotch must also be originally made malted barley, although other grains can be added later, and it must be aged in oak barrels (not pine or maple or cherry) for at least three years.

Scotch has to have an alcoholic strength per volume of 40 percent, not to exceed 94.8 percent. This means Scotch runs between 80 Proof and 189 Proof. Hint: there is no weak Scotch.

 The 5 Types of Scotch

Scotch comes in five different varieties, which on the surface seem rather confusing, but we’ll break it down for you.

  • Single Malt Scotch: Single malt Scotch is made from only water and malted barley. It is made from a single batch at a single distillery.
  • Single Grain Scotch: Single grain Scotch must include other grain cereals in addition to the barley. The “single” it refers to is obviously not the grains, but the distillery where it’s made, which can only be one.
  • Blended Malt Scotch: Blended malt Scotch is a combination of two or more single malt Scotch made at different distilleries.
  • Blended Grain Scotch: Blended grain Scotch is a blend of two or more single grain Scotch from different distilleries.
  • Blended Scotch: Blended Scotch is a combination of one or more single malt Scotch with one or more single grain Scotch.

So, in a nut shell, when a Scotch is single, it means it was made at one distillery, not that it’s looking for a date on Saturday night. When it’s blended, it’s from multiple distilleries, kind of like a blended family where love actually exists. When it’s a malt Scotch, it’s made only from barley mash, you won’t find ice cream floating in your glass. When it’s a grain Scotch, the mash is made of barley and at least one other grain. This one gets to stand alone because hopefully you won’t misinterpret it.

Got it?


Now, get ready for National Scotch Day and have a drink (or two) with a friend. And when you do, tweet about it with the hashtag #NationalScotchDay to share the love!


Are you a fan of Scotch? Are you planning on a having a few for National Scotch Day? Let us know in the comments.




Molly Carter
Molly Carter
Molly is a freelance writer who talks about everything and anything from addiction, to sex. to skinning a deer. You can find her at, or Facebook.