YESTERDAY was World Whisky Day, a celebration of Scotland’s national drink and the water of life.

Whisky is one of those subjects on which many people - from casual consumers to full-blown connoisseurs - like to consider themselves experts.

But how much do you know?

We’ve joined Keith Geddes, Master Blender at Tullibardine Distillery, at Blackford, Perth and Kinross, to find out.

Here are 30 questions that will test your knowledge. Some are straightforward, others less so, with multiple-choice answers.

And for each correct answer, reward yourself with a dram.

But please, don’t blame us if you wake up with a headache tomorrow morning …

1 What are the basic ingredients of malt whisky? (3pts)

2 For how long must spirit be stored before it can be called whisky? (1pt)

3 What are the other two criteria that must be met before spirit can be called whisky? (2pts)

4 Name the whisky regions in Scotland (6 pts)

5 Can you name all the distilleries on Islay? (9 pts)

6 What is the world's biggest-selling whisky brand (based on 2017 sales)? (1pt)

7 Can you name the rest of the top 5? (4pts)

8 Similarly, what's the world's best-selling malt whisky brand? (1)

9 And the rest of the top 5? (4)

10 What’s the most northerly distillery in Scotland? (1pt)

11 In 2017, Scotch whisky exports claimed 20 per cent of all UK food and drink exports. What was the value of these whisky exports: a) £4.359 billion, b) £17 bn or c) £8.29 billion?(1pt)

12 How many bottles of whisky are exported from Scotland every second? a) 724, b) 150, or c) 34. (1pt)

13 True or false? Frank Sinatra was buried with a bottle of Jack Daniels? (1pt)

14 Tullibardine commonly uses three types of cask to store and mature its whisky. Can you name the biggest? (1 pts)

15 And what is the volume of that cask? A 250-300l, B 450-500l, C 700-750l (1pt)

16 Can you name the other two cask types in common use? (2 pts)

17 True or false? A royal footman was demoted and had his salary cut for, as a joke, pouring whisky into the water bowl used by the Queen’s corgis? (1pt)

18 Tullibardine is a medium-sized distillery, but it still has a fair number of casks at different stages of maturity. Can you guess roughly how many? A 6,000, B 12,000, C 20,000 (1pt)

19 Experts says the cask is one of the most important factors in determining the character of a whisky. What do distillers do to a cask before filling it? a), rinse it out, b) burn it, c sand it down (1pt)

20 What is the sense that Master Blender Keith Geddes uses most often when sampling whisky for use in finished bottlings? A Sight, B Smell, C Taste

21 True or false? The average measure of whisky contains 64 calories - fewer than a banana. (1pt)

22 Tullibardine’s washbacks - where all the alcohol that finds its way into a distillery's whisky is produced - contain around 20,000 litres. How much yeast does the distillery add at this point to make wash? (1pt) A 5-10kg B 20-30kg C 50-60kg

23 What is vatting? (1pt)

24 True or false? One large oak tree is said to yield enough wood for roughly nine 60-gallon casks. (1pt)

25 True or false? Sheep manure is used in place of coal or peat as a fuel for kilning barley at the two whisky distilleries in Iceland. (1pt)

26 The distillers of which famous Scotch whisky hold the record for the largest bottle of whisky - a 1.7 metre bottle containing no fewer than 228 litres? (1pt)

27 What does Glenfiddich mean? (1pt)

28 True or false? American whiskey was once known as ‘brown vodka’? (1pt)

29 The phrase, ‘beautifully golden with floral, sweet barley notes and subtle hints of vanilla. On the finish, there is fudge, pear drops and soft spice', is used to describe which whisky? (1pt)

30 How many people are directly employed in the Scotch whisky industry in Scotland? a) More than 7,000 b) more than 10,000 or c) more than 18,000? (1pt)

Tullibardine - a brief history

Tullibardine has been in existence since 1488, when King James, IV of Scotland, stopped by the site on his way to his coronation at Scone Palace to purchase beer from the local brewery.

In 1947, the brewery was converted to a whisky distillery and named Tullibardine, which means “lookout hill” in Gaelic.

The distillery is now a traditional Highland working distillery, It is one of the few in Scotland that distils, matures and bottles its single malt all on one site, as well as having its own cooperage.

Master Blender Keith Geddes, who has over 20 years’ experience in brewing and distilling, is responsible for each of the products in Tullibardine’s portfolio. He is also responsible for product development, with trials and experiments taking place in the distillery’s on-site lab.


1 Yeast, malted barley, water; 2 Three years and one day; 3 It must be matured in oak barrels, it must be bottled at a strength of at least 40% ABV; 4 Highlands, Speyside, Lowlands, Islay, Campbeltown and Islands (many people contend that there are only five, and Islands shouldn't be included, but we at the Herald on Sunday love Island whisky so really want to include it!); 5 Ardbeg, Ardnahoe, Bowmore, Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain, Caol Ila, Kilchoman, Laphroaig, Lagavulin; 6 Johnnie Walker; 7 Ballantine's, Grant's, Chivas Regal, J&B; 8 Glenfiddich; 9 Glenlivet, Macallan, Singleton, Glenmorangie; 10 Highland Park in Kirkwall, Orkney; 11 A; 12 B; 13 True; 14 Butt; 15 B; 16 Barrel, Hogshead; 17 True; 18 C; 10 B; 20 B (the sense of smell is much better at detecting all the different elements in a whisky than taste; 21 True; 22 C (that's enough to make up to 10,000 or 12,000 batches of homebrew beer!); 23 Blending of a number of malt whiskies together to create a new product; 24 False – the answer is 3; 25 True; 26 Famous Grouse; 27 Valley of the Deer; 28 False – the distinction belongs to Canadian whisky; 29 Tullibardine Sovereign; 30 B – more than 10,000

How did you score?

5-10 - Oh dear! Whisky really isn't your thing

10-20 - That's more like it ... you're learning fast!

20-35 - You really will be able to impress your friends with your knowledge

35 + - Now we're jealous. You must be a whisky super-fan!