There are many who are partial to a glass of blended Scotch whisky, but few can claim to know much about it, or how it is made or even its origins. Simply called ‘scotch’, such whiskey is essentially a kind of malt or grain based whiskey made particularly in the picturesque hills of Scotland.
Traditionally, the local scotch lovers made it at home with malt barley alone, and stored it in barrels in their cellars. However, today the popularity and demand for fine scotch has crossed international borders, and as a result, traditional scotch has been heavily commercialized and diversified.
Most scotch available off the racks is produced in state-of-the-art factories called distilleries. And that is not the only change witness by the scotch brand, as companies are experimenting with many different grains such as wheat and rye.
There are numerous kinds of scotch whiskies available in the market. These include single malt whiskey, blended malt scotch whiskey, blended grain scotch whiskey, plain blended scotch whiskey and single grain scotch whiskey, to name just a few.
However, while the grain used to make such scotch whiskey might change or be blended differently, the process of going about making such fine scotch whiskey has remained almost the same over the ages. Irrespective of which kind of blended scotch whiskey it is, it still needs to be aged or rested in solid oak barrels for a minimum of three years.
In terms of its raw products, blended scotch whiskies true to their name, usually contain a number of whiskies made out of different grain and malt distilleries. Experts believe that the best blended scotch whiskey constitutes an average ratio of 40 per cent malt and 60 per cent grain. The general thumb rule while making such blended scotch whiskies is that the more malt it has, the smoother it will taste to the palette.
Blended Scotch whisky also has an elaborate blending process that spans over at least five years. It is generally said that the more time it takes to make such blended scotch whiskies the more unique and elaborate they are in taste and flavor. Not surprisingly, the year of such blended scotch whiskies matters greatly and generally the older the blended scotch, the more expensive it is.
Even today, irrespective of the mushrooming of such distilleries, the best blended Scotch whisky comes out of Scotland, and constitutes a blend of about 90 per cent whisky native to Scotland. Such Scottish whisky could be either malt whisky alone or a blend of malt whisky with its grain based counterpart. In fact, such blended scotch whiskies were created as a tempting alternative to the comparatively drab and harsh single malt whiskies of the old ages.
Today, numerous leading brands of liquor are synonymous with good, old school blended Scotch whisky. The most popular among them are Johnnie Walker, Dewar’s, The Famous Grouse, Chivas Regal and Ballantines Whisky. These blended scotch producers have each mastered the art of combing various Scottish malt and grain whiskies to produce and represent their own unique brand style and flavor, responsible for their success.