Scotch whisky (Scottish Gaelic: uisge-beatha; Scots: Scots whisky/whiskie, whusk(e)y; often simply called whisky or Scotch) is malt whisky or grain whisky (or a blend of the two), made in Scotland.
All Scotch whisky was originally made from malted barley. Commercial distilleries began introducing whisky made from wheat and rye in the late 18th century. As of 2020, there were 134 Scotch whisky distilleries operating in Scotland.
All Scotch whisky must be aged in oak barrels for at least three years. Any age statement on a bottle of Scotch whisky, expressed in numerical form, must reflect the age of the youngest whisky used to produce that product. A whisky with an age statement is known as guaranteed-age whisky. A whisky without an age statement is known as a no age statement (NAS) whisky, the only guarantee being that all whisky contained in that bottle is at least three years old. The minimum bottling strength according to the regulation is 40% alcohol by volume. Scotch whisky is divided into five distinct categories: single malt Scotch whisky, single grain Scotch whisky, blended malt Scotch whisky (formerly called "vatted malt" or "pure malt"), blended grain Scotch whisky, and blended Scotch whisky.
The first known written mention of Scotch whisky is in the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland of 1494.
Many Scotch whisky drinkers refer to a unit for drinking as a dram.
According to the Scotch Whisky Association, the word whisky comes from the Gaelic uisge beatha or usquebaugh, which means "water of life"