Tuesday, April 19, 2011
What is a blend?
As Led Zepplin once said "sometimes words have two meanings". That seems to be the case with blended whiskey. Take, for example, Johnny Walker. It is a blend. But it is a blend of (depending on the label) around 40 different malt whiskies aged in oak for around a dozen years. Other blends, not so much. I haven't found a recent bottling that displays the breakdown, but I did recently come across a bottle of Hannah and Hogg blended whiskey that displayed the breakdown on the label. I believe it was 20% straight whiskey aged 4 years and 80% grain neutral spirits. Often I will read whiskey reviews that assumes any blend, especially American whiskey, is a blend of grain neutral spirits and straight whiskey. But since the labeling doesn't tell you, who really knows? I sure don't. So what does blended whiskey mean? I guess only what the label or the internet tells you.