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Issue 138 - Blending In

Whisky Magazine Issue 138
September 2016


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Blending In

The importance of blends in the Canadian market

Canadians are genetically predisposed to blending in. Have you ever seen a lumberjack skating down Main Street, maple syrup in one hand? That's because we Canadians blend in. So, when the conversation shifts from hackneyed clichés to blended whisky, it's no surprise that the art of blending is also embedded in the chromosomes of Canada's National Spirit and the people who make it.

Gibson's Finest Bold 8 Years Old

Blended Scotch and Canadian whisky share blending methodologies. Canadian blenders generally distill two whisky types that are combined after maturation. The first type of whisky, called base whisky, is high proof, similar to blended Scotch's grain whisky. The second is the lower proof single-grain flavouring whisky commonly made with rye, wheat, barley or corn, while Scotch uses single malt whisky for flavouring.

Master Blender Brian Kinsman oversees the William Grant and Sons portfolio including Grant's Blended Scotch and the mesmerising Gibson's Finest Bold 8 Years Old. This Bold expression is a shift from the other Gibson's whiskies. Kinsman boosted the flavour with extra rye, coupled with eight years maturation in a mix of barrel chars and virgin oak. Gibson's Bold was born to satisfy the cola cocktail niche, so it's blended at 46% ABV to let you taste the whisky in a mixed drink.

Crown Royal Cornerstone

There are no whisky regions in Canada. Each distillery blends its whisky according to its distinct style and process. That's why, like single malt S...

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