Where It All Started

Jennifer Jordan

Jennifer Jordan is the senior editor at www.savoreachglass.com With a vast knowledge of wine etiquette, she writes articles on everything from how to hold a glass of wine to how to hold your hair back after too many glasses. Ultimately, she writes her articles with the intention that readers will remember wine is fun and each glass of anything fun should always be savored.

“Well designed blends are a true delight and well worth your attention…”

/img/placeholder.gif?aHR0cDovL2k1OTYucGhvdG9idWNrZXQuY29tL2FsYnVtcy90dDQ1L2dldGZyYW5rLzA0MTkxMC93aGlza2V5LmpwZw==I had a customer in the shop not so long ago and he came in with a certain air ……he first statement was: I don’t want any blends, because they are rubbish…

How un-true! was my thought…..

I have to admit that my personal preference leans toward single malts because I really like the individuality of a particular distillery….a single malt being a whisky from one source, or more accurately from one distillery. As with any product of nature, and whisky is no different, there are great variances. Even with batches that are distilled the same time, maturing in similar oak. Even next to each other in the same warehouse….how wonderful…

A blend is an amalgamation of different components: single malts and industrially produced grain spirit, distilled in a continuous column process. Unlike the single malt varieties, which use solely malted barley, the grain variety can use any type of cereal to produce spirit. I emphasize sprits because new spirit becomes whisky only after it has been matured in oak for a minimum of three years.

This means that all the spirit components in a blend, have evolved by maturation, into whisky. If they want to be categorized as Scottish whisky, they must also contain at least 40% ABV (alcohol by volume) and…. have matured their entire life in Scotland.

In days gone by, distilling was not such a precise art as our modern computer technology has created. However the true craftsmanship still prevails and is the essence of any signature of a distillery both in taste and flavor.

Blends evolved because much of the original distilled product had a kind of harshness.  The merchants who bought the different batches of this whisky, experimented and mixed the best components of one whisky with another to create (or build)  their blend in order to make it more palatable.

There is a great selection of blends available, many of which you will know. For most people the ‘blend’ was their first introduction to whisky. Many of the cheaper blends use a lot of grain as a ‘filler’, for bulking up the whisky. Most but are used as soon as they reach the end of the compulsory three year maturation and never see their fourth year.
 We have to remember that  85% of all whisky consumed is in a blended form, handed down from grandfather, to father and son and in many countries there was no choice -  blended Scotch was the only thing readily available. Even in this country we drank blends for a long time, because not much else was available.

My point in this long intro: A blend is a building block, like a foundation in a house. If you use poor concrete, untreated timber and sloppy craftsmanship, the end result cannot be great.

If you look outside of the main stream (with a few exceptions) you will find true craftsmanship in the creating of fine blends. Or what a chef would say: a dish is only as good as the ingredients you put into it……how true..
The craft of blending lies in the finding the right mix, using superior single malts and well aged grain…brought together in harmony…a dance on your tongue, a sparkle in your brain. Well designed blends are a true delight and well worth your attention.

 
Sort by
  • Dan says
    Another gem of information, cheers!
  • Andrew says
    If to be categorized as Scottish whisky, they must contain at least 40% ABV, how much do they need to be categorized as Irish whisky?
  • Boks says
    Whisky not for me,Good old beer thats the one !!
  • i find drinking blends is like eating deep fried salmon. there's definitely goodness there, but it's pretty well hidden by the not so good!
  • Tim says
    I find that blends can be just as good as single malts, it all comes down to finding a distiller whose tastes you agree with. There can be just as much care put into finding complimentary flavours and textures to create a good blend as it takes to develop a good single malt. It just depends on what the passion and skills of those within the distillery are.
  • Tim says
    I find that blends can be just as good as single malts, it all comes down to finding a distiller whose tastes you agree with. There can be just as much care put into finding complimentary flavours and textures to create a good blend as it takes to develop a good single malt. It just depends on what the passion and skills of those within the distillery are.
  • Tom says
    Two young Irish men were getting ready to go on a camping trip. The first one said, "I'm taking along a gallon of whiskey just in case of rattlesnake bites. What are you taking?"

    The other one said, "Two rattlesnakes!"
  • Dan says
    warm beer and cold women...
  • Gerry says
    I want a shot at that $10.000 bottle.Must put that on my bucket list.
  • best to be consistant

Post your comment

Want to have your say?

It's quick, easy and 100% free.

  •  

Features

Endorsed Events

  • SpringBreak FIJI SpringBreak FIJI

    Surrounded by nothing but tranquil water, SpringBreak Fiji brings together the best of everything

  • The Fijian Cup The Fijian Cup

    The Pacific Touch Rugby festival (Fijian Cup and Kava Cup) is underway on November 2, 2017 and with support from Touch Fiji and...

  • Rock Island VANUATU Rock Island VANUATU

    Rock Island is an all inclusive fully immersive travel experience which was brought into the music festival scene by The Rock and...

  • TourismHQ TourismHQ

    With seven years and growing under their belt; TourismHQ has established and continues to deliver on their extensive wealth of...

  • SPRING BREAK FIJI