Haircloth Spread over the Kiln floor to prevent the barley dropping into the peat furnace below. In modern distilleries, a metal grating serves the same purpose.
Head of the Distillation See "Foreshots".
Heads See "Foreshots".
Heart of the Distillation See "Middle Cut".
Highlands One of the four whisky-producing regions of Scotland, The north of the "Highland Boundary Fault Line", roughly a line drawn between Dundee and Glasgow (see "Malt Whisky Regions Map"). It is, by far, the largest group and comprises a number of districts and sub-districts :-
The Western Highlands covering the distilleries on the west coast, around Oban and Fort William.
The Southern Highlands covering the distilleries just north of the "Highland Boundary Fault Line" boundary with the Lowlands, from Alexandria in Dumbartonshire in the south-west to Pitlochry in Perthshire in the north-east.
The Eastern Highlands covering the distilleries on the east coast, from Brechin and Montrose in Angus in the south to Banff in Banffshire in the north.
The Northern Highlands covering the distilleries in the north, from Dalwhinnie in Inverness-shire in the south to Wick in Caithness in the north.
Speyside covering the distilleries to the south of the Moray Firth, from Forres in Morayshire in the west to Huntly in Aberdeenshire in the east to Ballindalloch in Banffshire in the south. Speyside is sub-divided into a very large number of sub-districts : Bogie, Deveron, Dufftown, Fiddich, Findhorn, Inverness, Livet, Lossie, Rothes, Speyside and Strathisla.
The Islands covering the islands off the west and north coast of Scotland. These are the Isles of Arran (Lochranza - Arran Distillery), Jura (Craighouse - Jura Distillery), Mull (Tobermory - Ledaig & Tobermory Distillery), Skye (Carbost - Talisker Distillery) and the Orkney Islands (Kirkwall - Highland Park and Scapa Distilleries).
The Highlands embraces many areas north of the fault line and produces various styles of whisky - from spicy, aromatic whiskies such as Old Pulteney and Balblair in the north, to the fuller, slightly peaty and nutty whiskies of the south (Aberfeldy) and west (Glenlochy), whilst the east coast distilleries, Glenesk and North Port included, produce a lighter, fragrant whisky (compare with "Islay", "Campbeltown" and "Lowlands" region characteristics). As the dividing line is geographic, some Highlands distilleries near the "Highland Boundary Fault Line" show characteristics of the Lowlands region and vice-versa.
High Wines (US term) The product of the first distillation in a batch or pot still process. The high wines are distilled for a second time in the spirit still or doubler. Confusingly, in the UK, the product of the first distillation is known as low wines.
Hogshead See "Casks".
Hopped Yeast Mash (US term) A mash flavoured by cooked hops in which yeast is propagated.
Hydrometer A floating device, usually made of glass, which gives an indication via a scale on its side of the specific gravity of a liquid in which it is floating. The scale is read at the water/air boundary of the liquid being measured.