The congener of “Digestive Biscuit” is part of the Grainy, Cereal group of the Scottish Whisky Flavour Wheel.

Where the “peat” group was mostly linked to phenol based chemicals the grainy group clearly makes reference to the barley or the malted barley. Since Barley is a grain.

The entire grainy category B is related to Fermentation characters.

Barley is a Cereal grain but not al cereal grain is barley. Other cereal grains are:

  • Maize, corn
  • Rice,
  • Wheat,
  • Barley,
  • Sorghum,
  • Millet,
  • Oats,
  • Rye,
  • Triticale,
  • Fonio
  • Spelt
  • Durum

When one looks at the cereal grain in the list below one immediately spots whole families of whisky and whiskey.


This blog is about digestive biscuit. Which is made from wheat.

Main ingredients of a biscuit are:

  • Wheat flour,
  • sugar,
  • malt extract,
  • vegetable oil,
  • wholemeal,
  • raising agents (usually sodium bicarbonate,
  • tartaric acid and malic acid),
  • salt

according to the Dutch version of this cookie the ingredients are :

  • Tarwebloem 54%, wheat
  • plantaardige olie (palm), vegatable oil from palm
  • volkoren tarwebloem 16%, wholegrain wheat flour
  • suiker, sugar
  • gedeeltelijk geïnverteerde suikersiroop, partially inverted sugar syrup
  • rijsmiddelen (natriumcarbonaten, appelzuur, ammoniumcarbonaten), Raising agents (sodium carbonates, malic acid, ammonium carbonates),
  • zout, salt

The ingredients are mostly the same but as one can see differences from country to country are there. Which means my biscuit does not need to be your biscuit.

Now back to the whisky making process.

Is there any wheat in the Scottish whisky making process. No. But, are wheat and barley when milled down to component parts really all that different compare to one another on a cell-wall basis. Is the husk really that different? Good questions to ask.

Is there vegetable oil in the process. yes, oils from the barley are being extracted during the fermentation process. Wheat oils? No, but yes to barley oils. Are wheat oils and barley oils the same? Interested question.

Is there sugar in the process. Maltose, frucose and other kinds of “ose” so Yes. But the whole idea is to turn those into drinkable ethanol when adding yeasts. Do some of those sugars make it through the process into the whisky? Interesting question.

the acids and raising agents are probably not in the whisky process but the chemical components might be present in the mash and wash that are the same. Interesting.

Ok there is no salt in this part of the process, but some saltiness could come into the whisky during maturation by the sea. Let’s ignore the salt for now.

While going through the list of components of these cookies and formulating question I draw the conclusion that I need additional research to understand what’s the analogy between the cookie and the whisky.

First thing I will do is buy cookies and smell em!

More to come soon! I will add some kind of (semi)intelligent conclusion to this blogpost as soon as I figure it out. Sorta.