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Whisky Glossary : Blending

Whisky Glossary and Definitions

Unlike wine, for example, whisky is not really about mystification, but it does bring its own jargon. Any unusual terms you are likely to come across are described and defined in this section.


Issue 153 Out Now

Whisky Magazine Issue 153

Cu Bocan | Highland Park | Jameson | Shelter Point | Tullibardine | Wyoming



Blended whiskies / whiskeys are a mix of grain whisk(e)y with Malt (or Bourbon or rye according to the country of origin). In Canada 9.09 per cent of the blend may be whiskies/whiskeys from other countries, or even distilled fruit juices.

100 Greatest Distilleries to Visit
Our team of writers around the world give you the distilleries you should visit.

December 2011, Issue 100, page 30

100 Greatest Whisky People
We highlight the people who have left a lasting legacy on the whisky world over the years.

December 2011, Issue 100, page 16

4 Roses blooming
As most American whiskeys look overseas for new drinkers, Four Roses finds its growth back home. Charles Cowdery investigates.

July 2008, Issue 73, page 14

?The ?Forty Creek Factor?
?A Canadian whisky maker's journey into music

September 2013, Issue 114, page 45

A balance of tradition and efficiency (Speyburn)
Deanston Distillery is something of a hidden gem. Ian Buxton visited it

April 2006, Issue 55, page 26

A brave new world
Using his knowledge and passion for wine,whisky maker John Hall is creating one of the most iconic Canadian brands, Rob Allanson went to find out why.

November 2007, Issue 67, page 45

A Case for Blends
Gavin D. Smithis a regular contributor to Whisky Magazine and the author of more than a dozen books about whisky, along with several on beer and Scottish history. He is also contributing editor of www...

September 2011, Issue 98, page 13

A day in the life... (Richard Paterson)
Dave Broom follows JBB's Richard Paterson on a typical working day and learns much about blending, showbiz and living life at full pelt

July 2001, Issue 17, page 20

A different beast
Canada's whisky industry is a pale imitation of what it once was. But if you're thinking of visiting its distilleries be prepared for a lot of travel – its few remaining distilleries are spread righ...

September 2007, Issue 66, page 32

A distillery seeped in history (Clynelish)
Ian Buxton travels North of Inverness to the remote distillery at Clynelish

July 2005, Issue 49, page 34

A distillery well off the beaten track (Tomatin)
Our mystery visitor made the long trek to Tomatin and found a distillery not geared up for the tourist or casual visitor

November 2004, Issue 44, page 17

A family affair
Charles Maclean visits inverarity Vaults a family company which has already earnt quite a reputation for the quality of its whiskies

December 2000, Issue 13, page 48

A forgotten gem (Deanston)
Deanston is the least-known of Perthshire's six remaining distilleries. Ian Buxton visited it

March 2006, Issue 54, page 30

A gem in the eye of a storm (Cardhu)
Say the word ‘Cardhu' and it stirs up images of underhand dealings. But the distillery intrinsically linked to last year's scandal is charming and impressive, and its staff outstanding. Ian Buxton r...

January 2005, Issue 45, page 30

A giant culled
Gavin D Smithlooks at the recent loss of Dumbarton,a once vast grain distillery

November 2007, Issue 67, page 34

A Highland affair
Caroline Dewar takes a stroll through whisky's heartland

July 2006, Issue 57, page 37

A Highland Queen
A Custodian Collection from Tullibardine

January 2016, Issue 133, page 29

A Liquid Legacy
Gordon & MacPhail may be the guardians of whisky’s history, but they’re safeguarding its future too

November 2017, Issue 147, page 30

A Locavore's Tipple
Liza Weisstuch goes in search of slow food whiskey

February 2013, Issue 109, page 34

A lord among malts (Glenrothes)
Glenrothes has a formidable reputation as a single malt and is a key component in the internationally renowned Cutty Sark. Tom Bruce-Gardyne visited the distillery

December 2003, Issue 36, page 42

A new dawn for Bowmore (Brian Morrison)
After 38 years in whisky, Brian Morrison, managing director of Morrison Bowmore Distillers, is retiring from his executie position to become Joint Chairman. He reminisces with Charles Maclean

February 2002, Issue 21, page 34

A new relationship
Beer guru Roger Protz looks at some oak aged beers on the market

December 2010, Issue 92, page 58

A perfumed world
Dave Broom explores the sensory experience of incense.

June 2010, Issue 88, page 20

A point of difference
Out man visits the hear of Whyte and Mackay's grain supply

December 2013, Issue 116, page 38

A record for Belgium
Whisky Live Belgium was held for the first time recently and it attracted 2,000 visitors

June 2006, Issue 56, page 55

A Region of Subtlety
Gavin D. Smith takes us through this often maligned producing region

January 2011, Issue 93, page 30

A reluctant whisky hero? (Bill Smith Grant)
Bill Smith Grant wasn't meant to inherit The Glenlivet. But as Iain Russell reports, his bold business decisions once he did revolutionised the whisky and made it famous

March 2006, Issue 54, page 46

A Road Less Travelled
Gavin D. Smith follows the Northern Highland Whisky Trail

July 2011, Issue 97, page 34

A royal threesome
It's one of the easier whisky trivia questions. Which three Scottish distilleries are allowed to append the word 'royal' to their titles, asks Gavin Smith.

November 2000, Issue 12, page 42

A sane man in a mad world
Irish whiskey is an aesthetic discipline, says Kevin Pilley so get a grip

May 1999, Issue 3, page 21

A single malt for the purists (Balvenie)
Once just William Grant's ‘other' Dufftown distillery, Balvenie is starting to build a big reputation for itself. Ian Buxton went to pay homage

February 2004, Issue 37, page 42

A special corner (South and East Highlands)
The region known as The Highlands covers a huge and disparate area. So in this area we focus just on the South and East part of the region

July 2007, Issue 65, page 36

A survivor
Our man visits one of ‘Scotland's oldest distilleries'

April 2014, Issue 119, page 30

A table of two names (Brora)
Gavin D Smith delves into Brora's past.

January 2008, Issue 69, page 30

A True Travel Retail Exclusive
Dublin and Cork airports chosen for Slane Whiskey global launch

February 2017, Issue 144, page 78



Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Syndicate 58/6 12 Years Old
Blended - Scotland - 40.00%
9 Ooh, now that has a beautiful palate cleansing finish!

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

The Antiquary 35 Years Old
Blended - Scotland - 46.00%
9 I need a big cigar, my slippers and a leather armchair next to a roaring fire to appreciate this!

Whisky Magazine - Editors Choice - Winner

Usquaebach Scotch Whisky Usquaebach An Ard Ri Cask Strength
Blended Malt - Scotland - 57.10%
9 Big and beautiful.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Chivas Regal 18 Ultimate Cask Collection
Blended - Scotland - 48.00%
8 Now, that's an example of a fine blended whisky!

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Glen Scotia Double Cask
Single Malt - Scotland - 46.00%
8 If from the distillery I think this is from, then it has seriously upped it's game.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

The Tweeddale Blend 12 Years Old - Batch 2
Blended - Scotland - 46.00%
8 A lovely old-fashioned blend.

Compass Box Great King Street
Blended - Scotland - 43.00%
8 Exemplary blending. Try with soda or on rocks.

Whisky Magazine - Editors Choice - Winner

Hibiki 17 Years Old
Blended - Japan - 43.00%
8 An elegant and satisfying dram. Well educated, in good quality casks for sure.

William Grant's 15 Years Old
Blended - Scotland - 40.00%
8 Quite an assertive blend. The nose delivers to the palate but it tastes older than 15 years.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

The Famous Grouse Blended Malt 37 Years Old
Blended Malt - Scotland - 47.60%
8 If this is John Ramsay's last blend then what a way to go. Masterly. The slow ever-changing multifaceted style is blending at its very best.

Ballantine's 17 Years Old
Blended - Scotland - 43.00%
8 The blending skills at Ballantine have long been renowned. The 17 has always seemed to me the most eloquent demonstration of that. Beautifully composed and mature.

Famous Grouse Gold Reserve
Blended - Scotland - 43.00%
8 A superb job of blending. When I tasted this whisky on its own, I thought it was good, but not especially distinctive. Tasted among its competitors, it was one of the standouts.

The Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch 5
Single Malt - Scotland - 50.00%
8 Wood speaks up. In an elegant way though.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Chivas Regal 25 Years old
- Scotland - 40.00%
8 Great blending,but it would be even better if bottled at a slightly higher strength.

Whisky Magazine - Recommended - Winner

Whyte & Mackay Original 40 Years Old
Blended - Scotland - 45.00%
8 Not exactly subtle,but one hell of a mouthful.Great blending.

Ballantine's 17 Years Old
Blended - Scotland - 43.00%
7 Quite a rustic profile, warmed up when aerated. Seems to have retained the waterfalls from all Scotland!

Caol Ila 8 Years Old Unpeated
Single Malt - Scotland - 59.80%
7 A straightforward example of a bourbon cask maturation. A bit burning on the tongue for me but some like hot, don't they?

Islay Mist 17 Years Old, Premium
Blended - Scotland - 40.00%
7 The Islay aromas and flavours seemed to have almost vanished among the heathery mainland notes in the blending. They were just hiding. I came back to the glass three or four hours later and they had e...

Dewar Rattray Cask Collection Strathmill 15 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 63.50%
7 Whatever its age, this whisky is full of youthful vigour.

Dewar's Signature
Blended - Scotland - 43.00%
7 Quite ordinary. Surprisingly firey for the strength. Lacks delicacy.

Ballantine's Christmas Reserve
Single Malt - Scotland - 40.00%
7 It's Ballantine's as you've seen it before but the “Christmas” angle is well worked. Great blending.

Auchroisk 10 Years Old
Single Malt - Scotland - 43.00%
7 This version is not obviously sherryish, but still manages very big flavours indeed. I'm very impressed.

Grant's 12 Years old
Blended - Scotland - 40.00%
7 Would take ice and ginger well. Very good blending.

Barrogill North Highland Blended Scotch Whisky
Blended - Scotland - 40.00%
6 Not exactly subtle,but one hell of a mouthful. Great blending.

Whisky Magazine - Editors Choice - Winner

Hibiki 17 Years Old
Blended - Japan - 43.00%
4 Relaxed and laid back. This is excellent blending.

Black Bull 12 Years Old
Blended - Scotland - 40.20%
Long and serious.

Grant's 12 Years Old
Blended - Scotland - 40.00%
Seems more mature than its age. A rich, complex blend.

Hibiki 12 Years Old
Blended - Japan - 43.00%
A combination of Japanese purity and intensity of aroma and the use of some plum-cask matured whisky gives a complex and multifaceted result - it's what blending should be.

Hibiki 17 Years Old
Blended - Japan - 43.00%
Seamless flow allowing flavours to slowly change - no edges, no joins.

World Whiskies Awards 2008 - World's Best Blended Whisky - Winner

Hibiki 30 Years Old
Blended - Japan - 43.00%

Johnnie Walker Black Label 12 Years Old
Blended - Scotland - 40.00%
The freshness of Red has been replaced by chewy mellow notes. Big flavour. Exemplary blending.

Johnnie Walker Blue Label
Blended - Scotland - 40.00%
Again the smoke, again the richness of character.

Johnnie Walker Green Label
Blended - Scotland - 43.00%
Multi-faceted,elegant and intriguing.

Royal Salute 21 Years Old
Blended - Scotland - 40.00%
Ripeness and weight is the key here. A gentle monarch.

World Whiskies Design Awards 2012 - Best Bottle - Winner

The Naked Grouse
Blended - Scotland - 40.00%
Powerful, individual and bold. The power of the oak is balanced by the richness of the fruit.



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