Whisky

Blended vs. Single Malt Whisky

Guest post by David Jagoe

It is my opinion that many neanderthals drink blended whisky rather than single malts, for cost/drunkeness tradeoff reasons. But this fact has unfortunately meant that even bigger and snobbier neanderthals, who are able to think only by antithesis, figure that only single malts are worth good drinking.

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth!

Consider the reasons for blending whisky – and there are only two:

  1. To utilize large quantities of poor cheap primary product to create a cheap and (importantly) *consistent* finished product for consumption by neanderthals
  2. To blend primary components in order to create a final product which is more complex and sophisticated than its primary parts

Now I can hear some snobby neanderthals at the back grunting something about point 2. How can that be the case? they ask. Well its simple. How does one create a whisky which is pleasing to the (sophisticated/trained) human palate? (And let’s be clear – when we’re talking about quality in whisky that is the ultimate – nay,the only – criterion). I’ll tell you: trial and error.

Now tell me – which is the faster feedback loop?

  1. putting raw ingredients in a barrel and letting them mature for 10 years (or 30!)
  2. blending intermediate ingredients to the taste of an (expert) human palate

Hmm.

So my thesis is that it is possible to create a blended whisky which is of higher quality than any single malt.

Disclosure: my favourite whisky is a fabulous blend by Compass Box Whiskies called “The Peat Monster”.

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