Pronouncing Scotch whisky

Screenshot of whiskey educator Roy Duff's Youtube channel explaining Scottish pronunciation.
Don't let Scottish words like "Bunnahabhain" deter you from learning whisky lingo. Roy Duff can help.

If I had to guess, I'd say that the second highest barrier to entry in the Scotch whisky world is pronunciation (the first is the misconception that all Scotch is "smoky").

I mean, how many Scots Gaelic non-speakers out there could pull off the phrase "Bunnahabhain is just a short taxi ride across Islay from the Bruichladdich distillery" without some prompting? And how many Scotch whisky ultra-nerds like to lord up their ultranerd-dom by scoffing at folks who say "ISS-lay" not "AYE-la"?

That's why I was psyched to come across How To Pronounce Scotch Whisky #1 and How To Pronounce Scotch Whisky #2. Both are videos from the "whisky evangelist" Roy Duff, a native Scot and an entertaining and empathetic guide through the challenges of Scotch brand, place, and distillery names.

Duff's lighthearted, no-BS pronunciation primers take only a few minutes to digest. As he says, "it's only polite" to learn how to pronounce brand, distillery, and place names correctly.

Check out these great videos!