WHISKY - FAQ's VI
Blending was pioneered by Andrew Usher in Edinburgh in the early 1860s. It was only after this practice became common that a taste for Scotch Whisky spread first to England and then throughout the world.
The reason for this was that Pot Still Malt Whisky was inclined to be too strongly flavoured for everyday drinking, especially by people in sedentary occupations and warm climates. By combining Malt Whisky with Grain Whisky, which has less pronounced characteristics, the demand for a whisky that is milder in flavour and more suited to the conditions of modern life can be met.
There is no fixed percentage and the proportion differs from one blender to another. No brand owner is willing to reveal the proportions of the different whiskies used, but the blender determines the proportion according to the character he is seeking for his blend. This character is determined not only by the proportions of Malt and Grain Whisky which it contains, but also by factors such as the ages of the individual whiskies and the manner in which they combine to bring out the finest qualities in each other.
What is a deluxe blended Scotch Whisky?
It is a blend which contains a higher proportion of carefully selected older and, therefore, more expensive whiskies. When there is an age label on a bottle of blended whisky, does it refer to the average age of the whiskies in that blend?
No. The law requires that when the age is declared on a label, it must refer to the youngest whisky in the blend.
For example, if a blend is described as an eight year old, the youngest whisky in that blend must have been matured for at least eight years.
Is it legal to sell whisky which is less than three years old for consumption in this country?
No. Although the spirit is distilled under the strict conditions applied to the production of Scotch Whisky, it is not entitled to be described as Scotch Whisky until it has matured for three years. This does not apply to compounded spirits such as gin, vodka and liqueurs.