Flavour Profiles

Whisky is a versatile, complex spirit that can deliver a range of flavours evoking different responses from member to member. Our Tasting Panel has developed 12 unique flavour profiles to help group whiskies into easily identifiable categories. Think of them as locations on a flavour map, and prepare to take a journey through our ever-changing selection of single cask, single malt whiskies.

  • Young & spritely

    Our Young & spritely flavour profile challenges established age conventions and reflects the whisky's character rather than its age statement. Typically, the bottlings from this flavour profile come from within the 7 to 14-year-old age bracket and exude characteristics of younger whiskies, with flavours such as sour apple candies, rhubarb, gummi bears, tinned mandarins and plum tarts.

  • Sweet, fruity & mellow

    Our Sweet, fruity & mellow flavour profile is a culinary delight, with watermelon, Pimms, apple pie, or even lime marmalade. The profile focuses on the best in sweet whisky, evoking thoughts of sherbet and other treats. The mellow flavours and strength make this a popular profile for beginners and experienced enthusiasts alike.

  • Sweet & spicy

    Expressions within the Sweet & spicy flavour profile can vary, but common flavour experiences can include gingerbread, hot cross buns, mulled wine and even balsamic strawberries. Think about the culinary experience of bringing spice into sweet dishes, the addition of cinnamon to pastries or sweet chili flavours from East Asia.

  • Spicy & dry

    The Spicy & dry flavour profile contains expressions from all over Scotland. The iconic flavour experiences captured in the profile evoke memories of cooking with nutmeg, cloves and peppercorns. On the nose this profile delivers rich experiences and includes whiskies with strong aromas of sandalwood, pencil shavings and even tree bark.

  • Deep, rich & dried fruits

    The Deep, rich & dried fruits profile offers a wonderful selection of aromas and flavours. Our Tasting Notes describe fruity whisky profiles on the nose such as marmalade, honeycomb toffee, balsamic glazed fruits and demerara. If you discover flavours of rum truffles, molasses and salted caramel, you're probably not far off for this profile.

  • Old & dignified

    Our Old & dignified flavour profile exudes the characteristics that can only come from long, careful maturation and older, well-balanced age statements. The Tasting Notes typically refer to rich flavours with clear aromas, such as honeycomb, brandy snaps, polished wood, and dark chocolate orange to excite the palate and make this flavour profile a must-try.

  • Light & delicate

    The Light & delicate flavour profile is one to confound your expectations, as it may not reflect a whisky's age. The light whisky focuses more on subtle and delicate flavour experiences emerging from the drams, with softer flavours such as fresh laundry, peach, flower meadows and green tea.

  • Juicy, oak & vanilla

    A complex flavour profile, Juicy, oak & vanilla offers an interesting assortment of flavour experiences. Our exacting Tasting Panel describes clear aromas of honeysuckle, coriander seed and even dunnage warehouses. Flavours in this profile often include exciting, juicy fruits and a deeper wood flavour. Think chocolate-coated cherries, passion fruit or pineapple sorbet, and toasted oak.

  • Oily & coastal

    Our Oily & coastal flavour profile certainly contains coastal whiskies, but it isn't limited to them. That's because the Society challenges traditional whisky convention to focus on flavour as the main guide. The flavours in this category remind us of coastal settings and the foods and experiences available there, with oysters, barbecued prawns, seaweed, driftwood and beach bonfires.

  • Lightly peated

    The Lightly peated flavour profile is the first of three covering the sought-after Peated category. Lightly peated whiskies in this collection evoke intriguing flavours and aromas, from toasted marshmallows to smoky garden bonfires and wood ash. This profile makes an excellent first step into peated whiskies for those exploring whisky flavours and is a great offering for more seasoned peated whisky fans.

  • Peated

    The Peated flavour profile sits between lightly and heavily peated whiskies, offering a clear sense of peat for peated whisky enthusiasts and an intriguing step into the world of peated whisky for explorers new to the category. The profile has robust perfumed aromas on the nose, while the flavour delivers rich meats and roasted foods. Expressions can deliver herbal flavours and aromas that give this category a wide range of flavour experiences from lavender smoke to hospitals and a ship's engine room. 

  • Heavily peated

    Heavily peated whisky comes with the territory of strong smoky flavours and earthy tones. Smoky whisky fans will love the rich aromas of cigar butts and wood burning stoves. On the palate, heavily peated whiskies often deliver smoked fish or meats. The flavour combinations and intricate aromas make this a compelling and powerful category to explore.

  • Bourbon