The first ever Single Malt Scotch Whisky to be marketed outside Scotland was in 1963 while the first reference to Scotch Whisky was made in 1945. To name that whiskey; it was Glenfiddich.
The true whisky of Scotland is Malt whisky. A few grains are used in the production of malt whisky but barley produced purposely for the production of beer and whisky. In today’s time, more than one billion bottles are being exported by Scotland, and the largest market being is of France.
Key ingredients used in Single Malts are malt, vanilla, nutmeg, oak, smoke and dry fruits. At the moment, there are around 90 distilleries in Scotland for Malt Whisky that are functional and also sometimes go out of productions in time. Other than, you can also find 30 more distilleries of same purpose that are now not operational.
Single Malt traditionally is very simple to produce, just by using three ingredients i.e. malted barley, water and yeast. The point where each distillery differ depends on their characteristics; this can be related to duration of fermentation, style and size of the stills, condensers, alcohol percentage or the amount of spirit saved. Though, after the distillation, scotch is required to mature in oak casks in Scotland, the cask too contributes in differentiating the end products. A few factors where the cask play in differentiating role would be; age of maturity or the oak used to prepare the cask (American or European).
Even the whiskies of Scotland are differently identified. At first, it was identified as ‘Lowland’ and ‘Highland’ whisky. Then whiskies from Islay, Campbeltown and Speyside were too identified. So, basically, whiskies from different part are now identified as per their region of origin. And with the growing popularity of Single Malt Whisky, even the ‘Highland’ region is subdivided in to Northern, Western, Eastern, Southern and Islands. In the end, its all about the region and its tradition of flavours so as to alter the end product.