Playing time: 60 – 120 minutes
The Whisky Game is an educational fun board game not only for whisky connoisseurs. Each player becomes one of the legendary whisky characters and travels across Scotland and Ireland to discover local distilleries and create their own collection of the best bottles. The way to victory, however, doesn’t depend only on knowledge, but also on the chosen tactics, selected character and, of course, luck.
Notice: Playing this board game is certainly a social event, so it is nice to have a sip of delicious water of life with friends. However, The Whisky Game is definitely not a so-called drinking game. It does not require players to drink whisky at any stage of its tasks.
The following text has been revised to enhance its clarity and correct any errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Updated as of January 9th, 2023.
Choosing a character
Before the game begins, each player draws a character card from the deck.
Each character has a special ability that accompanies the player throughout the game. If a player forgets to use their character‘s ability during their turn, they cannot apply it later on.
Descriptions of each character can be found in the Character cards section
Movement on the map
Players roll the dice to determine who will start. The highest roll begins, and then players rotate clockwise. The starting field is Edinburgh or Dublin (red fields - player can choose). Players roll the dice and move the map in any direction they want. If a six is rolled, the player rolls again. It is allowed for multiple players to stand on any field at the same time.
If a player goes to a specific field (distillery, lost distillery, harbor, airport, pub), he doesn‘t have to hit the field exactly, just roll the dice with a sufficient number to reach the goal. However, this rule does not apply to Special fields (players must always roll the exact amount to land on these fields).
The Resources field is specific - players receive tokens by both landing on the resource fields and passing through them (players draw one token from the token bag). There are 3 types of raw materials - barley, water and? Yes! Yeast, of course. It is not desirable for a player to “wander” around these fields in order to intentionally step on them. It‘s not specified in the rules, but we‘re all gentlemen, aren‘t we?
A player first has to reach the port field. The player then moves to the sea (shifts the figure to the field marked on the sea) during their next turn. The figure moves again during the following turn. Once the player reaches the port, they play again immediately.
In order to travel by plane, a player needs to possess a flight ticket which is available in the Special Cards deck. If a player has a flight ticket, they must take one turn to reach the airport field and give away their flight ticket (or keep it if it is a return ticket). The player moves to the destination airport during their next turn and plays immediately. The game board displays three airports: Glasgow, Dublin, and Aberdeen.
When a player reaches a distillery field, they must select the question's difficulty level right away. If the player answers the question correctly, they get a Distillery/Bottle card depending on the difficulty of the chosen question:
- Easy = 1 point bottle
- Normal = 3 points bottle
- Hard = 5 points bottle
and can move again during their next turn. If the player does not answer the question correctly, they must try their luck at another distillery. It is not allowed to visit the same distillery consecutively, but a player can return to the previous one after visiting another. Discard the question cards that have been used.
Players can collect up to three bottles from each distillery, but once they have collected all three, no more bottles will be available at that distillery. It is important to note that each player can only have one bottle from each distillery. If a player wants more bottles, they will have to visit other distilleries.
When a player receives a bottle card, they must place it on the table in front of them, making sure that all the players can see all the bottles on the table. This allows all the players to count points at any time during the game. However, only bottles from lost distilleries remain hidden until the end of the game. These bottles can potentially shuffle the standings in an interesting way by the end of the game.
On the map, you can find fields marked with a barrel icon. You don't need to hit these fields precisely. Every time you cross or land on a resource field, you will receive raw material token. The game offers Barley, Water, and Yeast as resources. You can convert these resources into The Lost Distillery card or exchange them in The Pub.
Here, players have the option to acquire a card for a The Lost Distillery bottle. To obtain it, they must trade 2x Barley, 2x Water, and 2x Yeast. Once the trade is made, the required resources are returned to the raw materials bag, and a bottle is drawn from The Lost Distillery pack. The bottle contains a certain number of points, but the value of the card is kept secret from opponents. Only the player who has the card knows its value.
Players have the option to exchange their resources at the pub, but there is a catch. The exchange is always in a 2:1 ratio in favor of the pub. This means that a player must give up two resources in order to obtain one.
For instance, let's say a player has 3x barley, 1x water, and 4x yeast, and needs water to exchange resources at the lost distillery. In this case, the player can obtain 1x water by giving up 2x yeast.
The map has special fields marked with the letter "S". Whenever a player lands on such a field, they need to draw a card from the Special Cards deck. These cards are not shown to the opponents. Players can use their special cards at any time during their turn, unless stated otherwise.
- Alan Winchester - triple points for Glenlivet bottles
- If you get a bottle from Glenlivet, it gives you triple points.
- Billy Leighton - double points for Midleton bottle
- Billy Walker - solving a question (throw 1 or 2)
- Every time you visit a distillery and don‘t know the answer, you can pick the bottle if you throw 1 or 2.
- David Stewart - see Billy Walker
- Gordon Motion - double points for Highland Park bottle
- Jim McEwan - change the question (throw an even number)
- If you don‘t know the answer, just change the question by throwing an even number. You can change the question (of the same difficulty) only once per turn.
- John Quinn - bonus move in Ireland (2x dice)
- You can move twice in Ireland.
- Nick Savage - jump to Bladnoch distillery from Macallan
- Whenever you visit Macallan, you can jump to Bladnoch distillery immediately.
- Rachel Barrie - double points for GlenDronach bottle
- Richard Paterson - spill the whisky
- Choose an opponent and select one of their bottles to spill.
- The opponent can shuffle their bottle cards so you cannot see which card is which.
+ EXTENDED game cards
- Friar John Cor - universal resources
- Each raw material can pay for another.
- Jim Swan - bonus move in Scotland (2x dice)
- You can move twice in Scotland.
- John Campbell - double points for Laphroaig bottle
- John Jameson - bonus move in Ireland (1x dice + 5)
- Stephanie Macleod - bonus move in Scotland (2x dice)
- You can move twice in Scotland.
- 50/50 cards - All fifty-fifty cards are used as 50 to 50 hints (each question has 2 remaining possible answers).
- The card can only be used once.
- Bottle cards - (Arran, Ben Nevis 10, Flora&Fauna collection, Powers Pot Still, Teeling Pot Still, BenRiach) - extra points for the player.
- Alwynne Gwilt / Becky Paskin /Dave Broom / Charles MacLean – These cards are designed to assist players when visiting a distillery.
- If a player is unsure of the answer to a question, they can use this card to receive a bottle. However, this card can only be used once, and once used, it must be returned to the bottom of the special card deck.
- Birthday - When a player gets this card, he must share a drink with their friends.
- This means that the player has to select one of their own bottles and return it to the bottle cards deck. If the player does not have a bottle, he can choose one opponent's bottle instead.
- Faker - This card is a single-use only.
- Choose one of your opponent's bottles and declare it fake. Then take that bottle from them and return the card to the bottle card deck.
- Fèis Ìle - Once a player receives this card, they can immediately move to any field on Islay.
- Flight ticket - The flight ticket is valid for one-way or return trips (depends on the type of card).
- Refer to the Air Transport field section for more information.
- Hangover - Whenever a player draws this card, the outcomes of their dice rolls will be decreased by 2.
- If the player rolls a number equal to or less than 2, they cannot move.
- This penalty continues until the player rolls a six. Once the player rolls a six, they should discard the card and play their next turn as usual.
- Horse-drawn Carriage - The player places this card in front of them and adds 2 points to each roll.
- If the player leaves Ireland or Scotland by boat or plane, they must discard the card.
- Leaking Barrel - The player must discard 5 resources.
- If he has fewer, hediscards all of them.
- If he has more, 5 are randomly drawn by an opposing player.
- Lost Distillery Enthusiast - This card is a single-use only.
- The player using this card can reveal one of their opponent's Lost Distillery bottles, making its value known to all players.
- Luck of the Irish - Use this card and move 10 fields in your direction.
- Once a card has been played, it is discarded.
- Prohibition – When a player draws this card, they must place it in front of one of their opponents.
During the opponent's turn, they must roll a dice in order to cancel the prohibition. They can try their luck three times per turn. If the opponent rolls a six, they throw the Prohibition card into the discard pile and can continue playing. Otherwise, the card remains in front of them.
The player who received the Prohibition card can still move freely on the field, collect resources and special cards, but they must NOT enter a distillery, a lost distillery, or a pub until the Prohibition is lifted.
- Robbie MacPherson (Smuggler) - This card can be used when visiting a distillery.
- Before selecting a question, the player needs to use this card. They can choose the difficulty level of the question and answer it. If the answer is correct, the player can select a bottle with a matching score from any distillery on the map, provided it is still available.
- Once the card is used, it should be placed in the discard pile.
- Spirit of Speyside - When a player draws this card, they must immediately move to any field in Speyside.
- Truck – When a player draws this card, they place it in front of themselves.
- The card doubles in value with each dice roll, but is discarded if the player leaves Ireland or Scotland by plane or boat.
+ EXTENDED game cards
- Aeneas Coffey - Use this card at any time to double their resources.
- After use, this special card is discarded.
- Angels – A player can exchange their opponent's 3 or 5-point bottle with a 1-point bottle of the same distillery, provided it is available.
- The player then discards the Angels card.
- Broken Cork - The player can choose an opponent, who must then select one of their bottles and drink it (i.e. discard it).
- This card can only be used once and is then discarded.
- Bottle cards - (Bunnahabhain 25, Craigellachie 31, Glenfarclas 105, Kilchoman 100% Islay, Royal Salute 21) - extra points for the player
- Gordon & MacPhail – A player can switch a 1-point bottle for a 3 or 5-point bottle from the same distillery (the bottle must be available).
- He then discards this card.
- Michael Jackson - see Alwynne Gwilt / Becky Paskin /Dave Broom / Charles MacLean card info
- Nick Offerman - Well, love for Lagavulin is powerful.
- The opponent you choose moves immediately to Lagavulin and does not play for 2 rounds. He‘ll be sitting in the chair drinking the local 16-year-old icon.
- Shackleton‘s Whisky - In exchange for this card, the player gets any available bottle from the Highlands region.
- Player‘s position on the board does not change.
- The Pattison‘s Crash - The player must discard 2 bottles from their hand and then this special card.
- Warehouse Collaps - Choose an opponent who discards 6 random resources.
- This special card is then discarded too.
- Whisky Show - Due to the Whisky Show in London, you will not be able to play for two rounds.
Whenever a player wants to answer a question, it is read aloud by the opponent on their right hand so that the answering player cannot see the correct answer on the card. After answering the question, the opponent provides the correct answer and reads the additional information if the card contains it.
If the player has answered correctly, they are given the appropriate bottle card from the bottle card deck.
The Lost Distillery cards
The value of the bottle from the lost distillery remains hidden from opponents until the end of the game (unless one of the opponents uses a special card „Lost Distillery Enthusiast“).
Aim of the game
To win the game, a player has to collect at least one bottle from each of the 6 regions (Ireland, Lowlands & Campbeltown, Highlands, Islands, Islay, Speyside) and reach at least 25 points!
The game ends when
So, choose your tactic, draw your character and hit the road to the whisky adventure!
TIP: If age permits, we recommend playing the game with a glass of some good whisky. What whisky? The one you like.
„Th e passion. It’s all about passion. People make this and they make that. But if it’s not made with passion, then it’s only a mere shadow of what it could be.“