"It is true that whisky improves with age. The older I get, the more I like it." - Ronnie Corbett
Scotland - the home of heather on the hills, the Loch Ness monster and, of course, whisky.
Surprisingly (or maybe not so given the involvement of whisky), there is no official date for the creation of whisky, but it is known to have been in existence as we know it since before 1494 - it may have even been produced since as early as the 5th century.
There are two types of Scotch whisky - malt whisky (created by the Pot Still process) and grain whisky (created by the Patent Still process). However, within these processes there are unlimited combinations for the finish of a whisky, with variations in age spent in wood (from no age statement to 40+), the woods and finishes used (sherry, bourbon and port casks for example), varying peat levels and proof levels and even variation in the barley's used.
To classify as a scotch whisky, each bottle must have an ABV (Alcohol by Volume) percentage of 40 or higher, be produced entirely in Scotland, aged for at least 3 years and have no added substances besides water and caramel. The scotch whisky tag is more regimented than the old "champagne vs bubbles" debate after all.
There are numerous regions throughout Scotland producing whisky, as shown on the map to the right. It is argued that Speyside (home to Glenfiddich among others) is the cream of the crop, but we'd be hard pressed to write off any region in Scotland for the whisky produced from this fine country.