Whisky Glossary


ABV stands for ‘Alcohol By Volume’ which is the standard measure of how much alcohol is contained in any given volume.

Angel's Share

Sometimes a little bit of whisky gets lost to the open air, and we call that the Angel’s Share. It’s caused by whisky evaporating through the wooden cask and it can account for up to 2% per year.

Blended Whisky

A whisky made from a variety of different types of whisky (malts / grains) from different distilleries.

Bulk Litres

Bulk litres refer to the entire litres of liquid in a cask, the combined total of pure alcohol and liquid. A cask filled with 200 bulk litres at 64% ABV would have 128 litres of pure alcohol (64% of 200).

Cask Strength

Whisky that has been bottled from a cask without dilution. Generally, this would make the abv anywhere from 55% - 70%.


This is when we burn the insides of the casks to add more to the flavour.

Duty Suspension

When your cask is being stored or transported between bonded warehouses, it is held and transported under duty suspension. This means you don’t have to pay duty on your cask, which is the tax levied by HMRC on alcohol (currently £28.74 per litre of pure alcohol) until the cask is removed from bond.

First Fill

Casks used for the first time in Scotland after their original use.


OLA stands for ‘Original Litres of Alcohol’ and RLA stands for ‘Regauged Litres of Alcohol’.

OLA refers to the number of litres of pure alcohol which were initially placed into the cask and RLA represents the litres of pure alcohol remaining in the cask after a regauge has been implemented, checking the health, contents and value of your cask.

Pot Stills

This is a copper distillation apparatus which is used to heat the mash (fermented grain/barley etc.)


A reguage is where a distillery or warehouse measures the cask to establish the volume of liquid and ABV of the cask.

Single Malt

This term which we are all familiar with simply refers to whisky made from malted barley from a single distillery.


A WOWGR licence (Warehouse owners and keepers of Warehoused Goods Regulations) is a certificate that companies can obtain when they meet the strict requirements set by HMRC.

Wine Glossary


An appellation is a geographical location used to easily identify and differentiate where wines are produced.


A Chateau is a wine estate in France which includes both the winery in which wines are made and the vineyards which produce the grapes.


Claret is the term used to describe a red wine that is produced in Bordeaux.


A French word that translates to ‘Growth’. Generally used in reference to a wine of high quality.


Climat in wine-making refers to vineyard sites that have unique and specific environmental conditions such as soil and climate. It is a word more closely associated with wine production in the Burgundy region.


A word used to describe a winery estate or vineyard, typically used in regions such as Burgundy.

First Growth

First Growth refers to the top five highest-ranking wines under the 1855 Classification of the Medoc; Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Chateau Margaux, Chateau Haut Brion, Chateau Latour.

Grand Cru

Grand Cru is a classification of the highest quality vineyards from a region. It's a term predominantly used in Burgundy to define the region's most exceptional wines.


Within the wine industry, OWC stands for ‘Original wooden casing’ and refers to the original wooden packaging that wine was shipped in from the place of production.


When a chateau purposefully tailors their wines to suit the tastes of acclaimed wine critic, Robert Parker Jr.

Second Wine

A second wine is a wine produced from a chateau which is not included in its main label, usually made from surplus grapes, saving the best quality grapes for the main production.

Super Second

Super second is the name given to wines of exceptional quality which are not classified as first growths. These are wines which can compete with first growths for quality and price. Super seconds are known as an ‘unofficial’ classification system, meaning there are no written rules for it.

Super Tuscan

The term Super Tuscan is the term used to describe Italian wines, produced in the region of Tuscany that are of extremely high quality. These wines are typically made using non-traditional making methods and grapes that are not indigenous to Italy. This unofficial classification is different from the typical Tuscan classification.


A natural compound found in the skin and seeds of grapes that adds a slightly bitter note to the overall flavour profile of the wine after it has been produced.


Terroir is the word used to describe the soil and climate of a grape-growing region.


Vinification is the process of transforming and fermenting grapes into wine.


Vintage is the year in which grapes were harvested or the year in which the bottles were produced.