Whisky Facts To Shock You

Whisky Facts To Shock You

As you can probably tell by now, we're obsessed with all things Whisky related. You are too if you’re reading this, so the following should either tickle your funny bone – rattle your grey matter – or annoy you.

Right, let’s get into it. The first one may sting a bit if you’re Scottish …



1. Around £125 per second is held in tax revenue by the Scottish government from the export of whisky.

Two ways to view this. Either a huge plus for the country – or an extra finger in the eye if your bins aren’t getting emptied on time.


2. Approx 99 million cases of Scotch are exported each year.

That works out as 37.(something) bottles per second. If you laid down each case head to toe, they would stretch around the globe from Scotland to Australia 2.7 times (unless you’re a flat earther. The distance then becomes irrelevant due to your insanity).


3. There’s a ratio of over 3 maturing whisky casks in Scotland - to every current resident. 

20 million casks - 5.50 million people. Get that party started!


4. Irish Coffee was invented in the 1940s by a guy from County Limerick (he claims). 

On a stormy night, Joe Sheridan added a tot to the coffee cups of a group of American visitors shortly after their plane had landed. He proclaimed it as ‘Irish Coffee’ (up until the 1940s – Irish whiskey drinkers called it brunch).


5. The Gaelic name for whisky(ey) is ‘Uisge Beathe’. This translates to ‘water of life’.

No argument from us!


6. The oldest legally functioning distillery in Ireland is thought to be the Old Bushmills Distillery. 

Their water of life has flowed since 1276. Incredible!


7. A flaming river of whiskey once flowed through Dublin. 

‘The Great Dublin Whiskey Fire’ of 1875 happened as a Liberties warehouse caught fire causing a burning river to cascade through the streets. 13 souls were lost.


8. ‘Evaporation loss’ during the maturation process is known as ‘The Angels Share’.

A well-known fact this one. But we love it too much to leave it out. 


Quick Quiz



Time to test your whisky wits on the biggest, smallest, and most expensive. We’ll leave out the figures and names involved until the end, so, give it your best shot …  


1. The record for the most expensive cask ever sold at auction was set in 2019.

This 30-year-old cask of Macallan landed the incredible sum of $         ? 


2. The most expensive bottle is a Macallan 1926 60-year-old single malt from cask number 263.

Sotheby's estimate was £350,000 to £450,000, but the hammer finally went down at a staggering -        ? 

It has since been known as the ‘Holy Grail’ of whisky. 

If that’s got you imagining the famous Macallan flavour – we’ve got you covered here.


3. The most expensive whisky cocktail also involved a Macallan. 55-years-old!

The Skyview Bar in Dubai served up this amazing take on a Manhattan. An oak stirrer made from the original Macallan cask was used to mix the drink – and the ice used was frozen from the same water that made the whisky. Here’s your bill  £         ?  Ouch!


4. The world’s largest (known) Scotch collection is aptly named ‘The Perfect Collection’. 

Estimated to be worth around £8 million – there are at least         ? bottles of mostly single malt in the full collection.


5. The world’s smallest bottle holds just 1.3 millilitres of whisky. 

The name on the label is -          ?


6. The world’s largest is 1.7 metres high and holds 228 litres of whisky.  

The name on the label is -          ? 


7. The record for the oldest bottle goes to Glenavon Special Liqueur Whisky.

 Sold at auction for £14,850, it was bottled somewhere between the years          and            ?



1. $572,000

2. £1.5m

3. £4,632

4. 3,900

5. White Horse

6. Famous Grouse

7. 1851 and 1858


If you got more than 3 – you’ve played a blinder. If you got more than 8 – you should probably put that bottle down. 



Far too many to make this a detailed list, but here are some you may not have heard about …


1. Ol' Blue Eyes himself Mr Frank Sinatra was buried with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s.

 Apparently, “It Was A Very Good Year”(only Frank fans are gonna get that - sorry). 


2. Bill Wilson (co-founder of A.A.) asked for whisky on his deathbed.

His request was refused.


3. The cast of The African Queen all had dysentery from drinking the water. But …

John Huston (director) and lead actor Humphrey Bogart didn’t. The two claimed this was due to drinking only whisky throughout the shoot.


4. Drake (rapper) and Conor McGregor (boxer) have their own whiskey brands.

Not sure why this annoys me. It just does! Anyone else?


5. The founder of Jameson’s Irish whiskey was Scottish.

John Jameson was also the great grandad of Guglielmo Marconi (if you don’t know him, put the radio on).


6. Nikola Tesla drank whisky every day of his adult life. (if you don’t know him, put the light on).

He believed a whisky a day would help him live to at least 150. He was 87 when he died, so a great effort. And win-win all the way.



In World War II, bourbon distilleries across the pond were commandeered to make fuel and penicillin. 

The vast majority of whisky exported from Scotland is blended, not single malt. 

Whisky is currently tested on the International Space Station to see how zero gravity affects it. 

In the NATO phonetic alphabet, Whisky used to be William. 

The average measure of whisky has fewer calories than a banana. (Yes!)

Reading next

Whisky Legends
Irish Whiskey Cracked Open

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