NSLC Glossary of Industry Terms
Agency Stores: operated by established retailers authorized by the NSLC in small communities across Nova Scotia that do not have the population to support a full size NSLC store.
Limited Time Offers (LTOs): price discounts on products that run for a limited time.
Liquor Control Act: provincial legislation passed in 1930 that gave the NSLC broad authority to control the sale of beverage alcohol in Nova Scotia in a responsible manner.
Mocktails: a cocktail that is alcohol free.
Occasions: the NSLC’s free publication, published quarterly to help customers entertain responsibly and with ease.
Private Wine & Specialty Stores: (PWSS) independent alcohol beverage retailers that are contracted by the NSLC to sell specialty products that the NSLC does not carry. Currently there are four PWSS stores in Nova Scotia.
Retail Product Specialists: Retail Product Specialist is a key source of product information for customers and other members of the NSLC team. While providing superior customer service at all times the Retail Product Specialist is the beer, wine and spirits product expert who can help find the right product to meet your needs every time. Retail Product Specialists are located in select NSLC stores across the province.
Social Responsibility: an integral element to the NSLC’s legislated mandate that balances economic considerations, customer service and responsible retailing.
Value-adds: bonus items attached to beverage alcohol products which are available to customers for purchase in NSLC stores.
Wine Basket: a Wine Basket is a small format NSLC store placed within a grocery store that sells only wine. This alternative format store has been designed for improved customer convenience.
Abbey Beers: top fermented, rich, deep golden beer. The strong flavoured beer is meant to be savoured, with a full-bodied taste and spicy aroma.
Ale: beers brewed with top-fermenting yeast strains. This yeast performs at warmer temperatures than yeasts used to brew lager beer. Taste is characteristically fruity and spicy.
Amber: an American style ale that is generally bottom-fermented. Amber ale’s colour takes after its name.
Bitter: a traditional drink in England. Gold to amber in colour, low in strength and quite bitter, this ale is highly carbonated.
Brown Ale: a British style ale, medium amber to dark brown in colour. Usually, brown ale has a toasted malt and lightly hopped flavour.
Craft Beer: Craft Beer is a term which generally refers to beer that is brewed using traditional methods without adjuncts such as rice or corn.
Cream Ale: an American style ale that is golden in colour and has a delicate hop character.
Draught: filtered beer that is served from a pressurised container, such as a keg or a widget can.
Dry Lager: style of beer in which all carbohydrates have been fermented into alcohol and does not have an aftertaste.
Fermentation: conversion of sugars into ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide, through the action of yeast.
Hop: herb added to boiling wort or fermenting beer to impart a bitter aroma and flavour.
Ice Beer: beer that has been frozen to concentrate alcohol.
Lager: beers produced with bottom-fermenting yeast strains at colder fermentation temperatures than ales.
Light Lager: lager that offers lower alcohol content, that is pale in colour and lightly hopped.
Malt: is a barley seed that has been soaked until sprouted then dried.
Malt Liquor: stronger version of American lager, often with an increased proportion of rice or corn. Sometimes malt liquor is flavoured with fruit or menthol.
Microbrewery: a brewery that produces less than 150,000 hectoliters of beer annually.
Pale Ale: broad family of British-styled ales that are deep golden in colour, often considered bitter and strong in hop aroma.
Pilsner: style of bottom-fermented lager with a very pronounced taste of hops.
Porter: a heavy, dark-brown, strongly flavoured beer, usually higher in alcohol than regular beers. The dark colour and strong flavour comes from roasted malt.
Stout: a strong, dark beer. More fragrant of hops than beer, stout is made with dark-roasted barley giving it its deep, dark colour.
Trappist beer: an abbey style beer brewed within the walls of a Trappist abbey, by or under control of Trappist monks.
Blended Whiskey: a blend of different types of whiskies, generally a mix of one or more single malt whiskies. Made from 100% grain such as barley or rye.
Bourbon: American Whiskey made using at least 51% corn grain mash in a wheat, oats, rye & barley combination.
Brandy: liquor distilled from wine or other fermented fruit juice. The finest brandies are Cognacs.
Canadian Whisky: a blended whisky, which is distilled from rye, corn, and barley. Produced only in Canada under government authorization.
Cognac: A high-quality French brandy that is distilled from wine and produced in Cognac, France.
Cordial: a liquor (or liqueur) made by mixing or redistilling neutral spirits. Fruits, flowers, herbs, seeds, roots, plants or juices are used and a sweetener is added. Most cordials are sweet, colourful and highly concentrated.
Frappes: several liqueurs combined and poured over shaved or crushed ice.
Grenadine: flavouring for cocktails that’s made from pomegranates or red currants.
Gin: a spirit that is distilled from grain and flavoured with Juniper berries and other botanicals. The barrel aging process gives it the golden or straw colour.
Irish Whisky: made in Ireland. A blend of barley malt whisky and grain whisky.
Liqueur: a sweet alcoholic beverage made from an infusion of flavouring ingredients and a spirit.
Neat: a term referring to liquor that is consumed undiluted by ice, water or mixers.
‘On The Rocks’: a beverage served over ice without adding water or other mixers.
Rum: made by distilling the fermented juice of sugar cane, cane syrup and molasses. There are three colours of rum; white, amber and dark. When aged in uncharred barrels, the barrels change the colour and flavour. The longer the rum is aged the darker it is. Caramel and molasses is added to create dark rum.
Scotch Whiskey: produced only in Scotland; this traditional whiskey is a blend of whiskeys from native barley grain and Scottish pot stills. All Scotch blends contain malt whiskey. The smokey flavour comes from drying malted barley over peat fires.
Snifter: a short-stemmed, pear-shaped glass that is larger at the bottom than at the top, used for drinking liqueurs.
Single Malt: a variation of Scotch whiskey made in a single distillery; in a pot still with malted barley as the principal ingredient.
Tequila: is an agave based spirit made primarily in the surrounding area of Tequila, Mexico.
Vodka: refined and filtered liquor that is distilled. Originally made in Russia from potatoes, it’s now usually distilled from corn and wheat.
Whisky: the term used for whiskies made in Scotland and Canada.
Whiskey: the term used for whiskies distilled in Ireland and United States.
Aftertaste: the flavor that stays in the mouth after swallowing wine. Also known as a wine's finish, this flavor can be buttery, oaky, spicy, tart or bitter.
Aperitif: a wine meant to be enjoyed on its own before a meal in order to stimulate the appetite.
Appearance: refers to a wine's clarity, not color.
Balance: a well-balanced wine is a primary goal of the wine maker. Such a wine blends all of its components gracefully: the fruit, tannin, acid, and sugar. A wine's balance, in some cases, may only be realized after some aging.
Body: the impression of weight or fullness on the palate; usually the result of a combination of glycerin, alcohol and sugar. Commonly expressed as full-bodied, medium-bodied or medium-weight, or light-bodied.
Breathing: allowing a wine to mix with the air. Aeration occurs by pouring the wine into a larger container, such as a decanter or large wine glass. Breathing can be beneficial for many red wines and also for some young white wines. Chemically, breathing enables oxygen to mix with the wine, which hastens the aging process.
Château: generally a winery in France although the term is sometimes used for wineries in other parts of the world.
Clairet: an English term for a wine of France’s Bordeaux region.
Corked: an expression meaning the wine has gone bad. Implies an unpleasant, musty, moldy smell imparted by a flawed cork. Cork can contain bacteria that will cause "off" flavors in the wine.
Crémant: French sparkling wine made outside the champagne region of France.
Cult wines: certain wines for which customers pay higher prices than those of Bordeaux's First Growths (Premiers Crus).
Dry: having no perceptible taste of sugar. Most wine tasters begin to perceive sugar at levels of 0.5 percent to 0.7 percent.
Fermentation: the process by which yeast converts sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide; turns grape juice into wine.
Filtering: the process of removing particles from wine after fermentation. Most wines unless otherwise labeled are filtered for both clarity and stability.
Fining: a technique for clarifying wine using agents such as bentonite (powdered clay), gelatin or egg whites, which combine with sediment particles and cause them to settle to the bottom, where they can be easily removed.
Finish: the key to judging a wine's quality is finish, also called aftertaste, a measure of the taste or flavors that linger in the mouth after the wine is tasted. Great wines have rich, long, complex finishes.
Fortified wine: wine such as Port, Sherry and Madeira, whose alcohol level has been fortified by the addition of spirits.
Fragrant: a wine that is very aromatic and flowery.
Fruity: a fruity wine is one in which fruit flavors dominate the aroma and taste. Often these wines are easy-drinking and light.
Icewine: wine made from frozen grapes. Written, and trademarked as a single word - Icewine - in Canada. Called Eiswein in Germany.
Oak: the most popular wood for constructing barrels. Oak imparts flavors and tannin to wines during the barrel aging process; home winemakers can also accomplish this by using oak chips or powder.
Premier Cru: a French wine term corresponding to "first growth”. Premier Cru is considered a fine wine.
Varietals: wines made from particular grape varieties, as opposed to blends. Well-known red varietals include Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Merlot; popular white varietals include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling.
Vermouth: herb flavoured wine fortified with brandy.
Wine: made from the fermented juice of grapes.
Vintage: the term that describes both the year of the actual grape harvest and the wine made from those grapes.