One of life’s greatest pleasures has got to be kicking back while enjoying a glass of some fine scotch whisky. That being said, everyone has their own preferred type of scotch – which is why you should know exactly what it is you’re sipping on.
You might think to yourself “Why it’s scotch, of course!” but can you say for certain what kind of scotch is actually in your glass? The Good Stuff has made a guide to shed some light on the differences of scotch types – more specifically, single malts and blended scotch.
Blended Scotch Whisky
Before being able to identify a blended scotch, we must first understand what exactly a ‘blend‘ is. There are two ways to look at this:
- Blend could mean a mixture of two or more whiskies bottled together then sold as a single whisky on its own. However, some would consider this as an ‘unofficial’ definition of the word.
- The true meaning of the word blend in the context of scotch refers to whiskies produced from the marriage of barrel-aged malt and grain whiskies.
It’s important to note that there are three types of blended whiskies which scotch drinkers may encounter:
- Blended grain scotch whisky: A blend of single grains from two or more distilleries.
- Blended malt scotch whisky: A blend of single malts from two or more distilleries.
- Blended scotch whisky: A blended scotch is a mix of both malt and grain whiskies, sourced from several different distilleries.
Single Malt Whisky
The term ‘single malt’ has caused much confusion among whisky fans and casual drinkers alike. Many assume that if a whisky is labelled as a single malt, it automatically means that the liquor is produced from just a single barrel or batch of whisky. It does not.
As a matter of fact, most single malt whiskies are blends themselves and are formed by a mixture of various whiskies from different barrels. Essentially, single malts are referred as such simply because they are the product of a single distillery.
But Which is Best?
There’s not much of a clear-cut way to answer this question as it really depends on what you’re looking for. The taste of these whiskies will vary depending on how they’re distilled and what goes into them.
Generally speaking though, single malt scotch possesses a more distinct and earthy flavour while their blended counterparts would more than likely be smoother and more pleasant in taste but lacking the bold flavour and character of a single malt.
If you’re still uncertain at this point on what suits you the most, the best way to enjoy whisky is the way that you like to enjoy whisky.
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