There is many a discerning Scotch enthusiast who will turn their nose up at drinking anything but single malt Scotch whisky, and some with good reason. But the truth of the matter is that many people don’t always understand the difference between blended Scotch and single malts, and what each offers.
Quite frankly, comparing Scotch blends with singles malts is like comparing oranges to apples. In fact blended and single malt whiskies have equal merit but are simply different, and meant to be so. By no means is a blended whisky created as an inferior or more viable option for the real deal. Far from it in fact! So here’s the difference:
First of all, any Scotch whisky by definition must be matured in Scotland for a minimum of three years in casks of oak.
A single malt is made with malted barley in pot stills at a single distillery. The ideology behind this is to achieve very distinguished flavours and subtleties that epitomises a single distillery’s style and trademark.
A blended Scotch whisky is created by mixing several single malts with wheat or corn whiskies in column stills. The byproduct of this method results in a versatile whisky that allows various styles of whisky to sing tunefully together in a glass. In a blend, the grain is as important as the malt. It is the glue that brings the flavour of single malts together.
Here’s our top tip 5 Scotch Whiskies, both Single Malt and Blended:
Talisker 10 Year Old Single Malt Whisky 700ML
Presenting a rich amber gold, this razor-sharp yet fresh single malt whisky unveils Islay-like seaweedy, smokiness and sweet maltiness. Bold maritime influence on the palate too, perfectly accentuated by a spicy, very peppery, long lingering finish. Beautifully balanced spirit – not harsh but warming.
The Ardmore Legacy Single Malt Whisky 700ML
The Ardmore Legacy offers the ideal introduction to peated (Barley grain, or damp malt, is exposed to the smoke of a peat fire) single malts. It combines notes of creamy vanilla, smoky charcoal, sweet honey and savoury spices with a pleasant smokey taste. The Ardmore Legacy is a full-bodied and smooth single malt whisky with the typical Ardmore dry, spicy notes and long-lasting finish.
Lagavulin Single Malt 16 Year Old Whisky 700ML
A powerful single malt Scotch whisky, this signature 16 year old malt has a strong peat, smoke and seaweed nose that is followed by a nutty complexity and light fruitiness. In the mouth characters of charcoal and dry woodiness followed by chilli chocolate and a hint of toffee.
Johnnie Walker Double Black Blended Scotch Whisky 700ml
Double the intensity of Johnnie Black Label, Double Black unveils a unique smokey finish that sets it apart from the pack. Aromas of fresh citrus and vanilla come to the fore immediately. The best way to release this great nose is to add a small drop of pure water. On the palate, flavours of dark raisins, orange, clove and that unmistakable long, lingering, smoky finish.
Chivas Regal 12 Year Old Blended Scotch Whisky 700ML
Round and creamy on the palate, Chivas Regal has a full, rich taste of honey and ripe apples, with vanilla, hazelnut and butterscotch notes.