Blending scotch has become more popular throughout whisky production for two very different reasons.
The first was a way to combine the below-par mash bill so that a cheaper, more palatable whisky could be produced and bottled.
But blending is not just a way to make the less expensive whisky taste a little better, as its second use is as an artful way for whisky distilleries to become more creative in producing different blends of high quality whisky, appealing to lots of different drinkers.
Scotch whiskies are some of the best blended whisky in the world, exported and sold throughout the Americas and especially popular across Asia.
Historically, blending whisky was propelled into popularity by Scotsman Andrew Usher in the 1860s, who felt as though the most single pot still or single malt whisky was too heavily scented for most everyday consumption.
By combining malt and grain whiskies in varying proportions, the resulting taste is far subtler and pleasing for use in a variety of different settings.
The most common mixed whiskies are single malt and single grain, and there are no real guidelines as to the best percentages – it depends solely on your own preferences.
As blended whisky can often come across as more innovative than the standard single malts, they are most widely enjoyed throughout the new world, where people are more likely to buck traditions and try something new.
Try the 793 Monkey Shoulder as a surefire introduction into discovering blended whisky, made to taste distinctly smooth and remaining flavourful, this is a blend that is not overpowering.
Working well with mixers or straight, Monkey Shoulder’s oaky tannins balance out its heady smell, proving to be a great example of what makes blends so popular.
Find your favorite Blended Whisky
Chivas Regal – 12 Year Old 70cl Bottle€35.33 Find merchant
Grants – Ale Cask Finish 70cl Bottle€20.12 Find merchant
Johnnie Walker – Blue Label 20cl Bottle€69.99 Find merchant
Johnnie Walker – Blue Label, King George V Edition 70cl Bottle€560.79 Find merchant
Johnnie Walker – Blue Label 70cl Bottle€173.98 Find merchant
Famous Grouse – Miniature 5cl Miniature€2.11 Find merchant
Grants – Sherry Cask Finish 70cl Bottle€20.33 Find merchant
Johnnie Walker – Gold Label Reserve 70cl Bottle€62.57 Find merchant
Famous Grouse 4.5 Litre Bottle€149.53 Find merchant
This is a term which generally refers to any whisky which is then blended with another type of lower-priced whisky, whilst ensuring that the flavour is largely unchanged.
Owing to the strict rules around how Scotch whisky and single malts are labelled, blended whisky made for this reason has to be honest with its contents, naming the youngest whisky in the blend and legally requiring a maturation date of three years minimum.
There is still a huge market for blended whisky, so even if you are a person who enjoys a quality drink, then a blended comparison is still a worthy choice!
Buy a bottle with tasting notes close to your own preference and see if you can honestly taste the difference.
If it all goes terribly wrong and really don’t enjoy it, there is always plenty of room for cheaper blends in cocktails, your Christmas pudding or even a whisky cake.
Editor-in-Chief and Wine Writer
I have been online since it all began, with blogging and creating websites. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one of my passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂