What is Blended Whisky?
A blended whisky is the production of whisky using one or more whiskies from a different distillery. So if we have Glenlivet single malt and we mix it with another Glenlivet single malt it is still as single malt. However if we mixed that single malt with a Glenfiddich it is now blended whisky, simples.
This allows whiskies of lesser age and personality to be used to blend flavours together and make a cheap alternative to single malt.
There’s always talk of blended whisky not being nearly as good as its closest competitor the single malt, but we beg to differ here at The Whisky Company. When the weather warms and your looking for something a little more thirst quenching and cooler you should turn to some excellent blended whiskies. Some examples of blended whisky are Johnnie Walker, Chivas Regal, Bells, Jameson Irish Whisky, Canadian Club, Seagram’s Seven American Whiskey and let’s not forget some of those extra special Japanese brands including Hibiki.
Some new blended whisky in the market now is the Pure Scot blend from Bladnoch Distillery and Hibiki Harmony from Suntory. These whiskies can be taken straight, on ice or mixed to make a refreshing contemporary drink full of style.
Explore the range of blended whiskies right here at The Whisky Company and if you have any questions be sure to email or call us for some answers.
Here are some facts of regulations for blended whisky around the world.
Most Canadian whiskeys are blends. Any grain spirit aged for at least three years in Canada may be called Canadian whiskey. Regulations do not specify any distillation limit, although in practice it differs little from the Scottish and Irish limit of 94.8%, as the purity of neutral grain spirit has a practical limit of approximately that value. Canadian whiskey may contain both caramel and flavourings.
Irish blended whiskey is defined by the Republic of Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine as a blend of two or more different whiskey types among the pot still,malt, and grain whiskey categories, and its production usually includes Irish grain whiskey that is produced from a distillate that “is much less intense in flavour when compared to Pot Still distillates … at a strength of 94.5% vol.”
Under the Scotch whisky regulations: ““Blended Malt Scotch Whisky” means a blend of two or more Single Malt Scotch Whiskies that have been distilled at more than one distillery; “Blended Grain Scotch Whisky” means a blend of two or more Single Grain Scotch Whiskies that have been distilled at more than one distillery; and “Blended Scotch Whisky” means a blend of one or more Single Malt Scotch Whiskies with one or more Single Grain Scotch Whiskies. The regulations also allow the addition of caramel colour, regardless of whether the final product is labelled as blended or not.
A mix of single malts only, without other types of whisky such as those made from grains other than malted barley, may be called a blended malt/vatted malt (a term no longer permitted).
American “blended whiskey” (alternatively labelled as “whiskey – a blend”) must contain a minimum of 20% straight whiskey. Blended whiskey that contains a minimum of 51% straight whiskey of one particular grain type (i.e., rye, malt, wheat or bourbon whiskey) includes the grain type in its label description – e.g., “blended rye whiskey” or “blended bourbon whiskey”. Spirits containing less than 20% straight whiskey but greater than 5% whiskey of any kind can be labelled “spirit whiskey”.
American “blended whiskey” is not to be confused with American whiskey labelled as a “blend of straight whiskeys”. A “blend of straight whiskeys” is a mixture of one or more straight whiskeys that either includes straight whiskeys produced in different U.S. states or colouring and flavouring additives (and possibly other approved “blending materials”), or both, but does not contain neutral grain spirits.
Most blended whiskeys do not list an age, although the regulations governing its production in some countries specify a minimum ageing requirement. All spirits in a Canadian, Scottish, or Irish whiskey must be aged at least three years, and any age statement refers to the minimum age of the spirits used in the blend. In the United States, the age statement only refers to the minimum age of the straight whiskey used within the blend (which must comprise at least 20% of the content). As neutral spirits are not considered whiskey, they need not be aged at all for the production of U.S. blended whiskey.