- 1. Sheep Dip Malt Whiskey
- 2. Chivas Regal 18 Year Old Scotch Whiskey
- 3. The Famous Grouse
- 4. Ballantine’s 30-Year-Old Blended Scotch
- 5. Dewar’s Double Double Aged Blended Scotch Whiskey
- 6. Compass Box Great King Street
- 7. Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch Whiskey
- 8. Johnnie Walker Black
- 9. Black Bottle Blended Scotch
- 10. The Big Smoke 46 by Duncan Taylor
- 11. Johnnie Walker Blue Label
- 12. Big Peat
- 13. 15 Year Haig Dimple
- 14. Mackinlay’s Shackleton Rare
- 15. Suntory Hibiki 21 Year
- 16. Rock Oyster
- 17. Chivas Regal 25 Year
- 18. Nikka Taketsuru 17 Year
If you like your whiskey, then chances are you know exactly what Scotch whiskey is. Whiskey is certainly an acquired taste – there’s no doubt about it. We’ve all ordered one thinking we were being a real old school gentleman only to realize it bites back. But if you’ve gotten used to how it tastes, and found out just how to savor it, you will know that the blended Scotch whiskies are actually very enjoyable.
Blended Scotch however, does not get a great rap in the exquisite world of delicious, fine, luxury whiskey. Blended Scotch whiskey is very arguably considered by many as a bit of a cop-out or used as mixing whiskies. This is likely because the mysterious world of blended Scotch whiskey has not been all too well explored.
We assume you’ve probably had your fair share of different whiskey throughout your lifetime, but what about blended Scotch whiskey? Have you ever tried it? Are you a connoisseur of blended Scotch whiskey? Or, are you completely clueless and you have no idea what a blended Scotch whiskey even is? Let us inform you.
What is blended Scotch whiskey? To sum it up, blended Scotch whiskey is made from a unique combination of various grains and malt whiskey (which is made from barley). It is also made from a wide variety of different whiskies, meaning that no one specific distillery brews it. Unlike single malt Scotch, which is created by one distillery using barley.
As a matter of fact, most single malt Scotches are considered as being blended themselves, using various grains, malts and other whiskies which are specific to a particular distillery.
The term ‘blended’ can mean a few things in the whiskey world, three to be exact, which relate to the elements of the actual whiskey itself. They are blended Scotch, blended malt and blended grain. It’s getting confusing we know, but hopefully this will help – below you can find a breakdown of each of the blends.
Blended Scotch – When you walk into a liquor store, you’ll quickly be able to observe that this variation will make up most of what you see when you check out the ‘blended’ section. Which makes perfect sense, because they’re a mix of both single grain Scotches and single malt Scotches, which have come from two or more completely separate distilleries.
Blended Malt – Blended malts are blends which have been born from pairing together two, or sometimes more than two completely different single malt Scotches which have been produced by various distilleries, combined into one batch. Blended malts tend to be much more of a medium to full body as opposed to light bodied.
Blended Grain – Blended grain is quite similar to blended malt. Blended grain combines an exquisitely smooth blend of two or more single grain Scotches from different distilleries. Blended grain malts tend to be much lighter and milder compared to single malts.
Hopefully that clears up the differences. When it comes to the blended Scotch whiskeys, whiskey lovers and weekend whiskey connoisseurs around the world are completely free to explore the mysterious world of blended Scotch whiskeys and the endless and largely undiscovered possibilities it has to offer.
You’ll be sure to find everything from smooth, beautiful pours of a world class standard right all the way to your throat and taste buds getting burned off all whilst you think ‘Who in their right mind took a sip of this and thought it would be okay to release it to the consumer market’. Science experiments if you will.
The most popular blended Scotch whiskey is from Johnnie Walker, maybe you’re familiar with it? But there are many others which are tasty.
Pull Up A Glass
Pull up a glass and get ready to pour as we’re going to delve into the world of the best blended Scotches. Now, as mentioned above, whiskey is an acquired taste, or one that you’ll just have to get used to or deal with. They all burn to some degree, but some are worse than others.
However, that’s not to say that blended Scotch whiskeys can’t be enjoyed. So, why not grab a cigar, light the fire, put on your best tweed suit and pour up a glass of something neat over rocks, while we discuss the blended Scotch whiskeys money can buy.
+RELATED READ: THE 17 BEST SCOTCH FOR BEGINNERS TO START YOUR SCOTCH JOURNEY
+RELATED READ: BEST 15 TENNESSEE WHISKEYS
If Johnnie Walker isn’t your thing, you’ll surely find something else to tickle your tastebuds or burn your throat. We’ve done all the hard work for this one, all you have to do is read it and if you’re compelled to try some of the blended Scotch whiskeys around then by all means do. In no particular order, here is our list of the best blended Scotch whiskeys around.
1. Sheep Dip Malt Whiskey
Best Age: 8 – 21 years
Notes: Salt Water, Toffee, Honey
If you want a reasonably priced blended Scotch whiskey, not to mention the fact it’s also tasty and fairly common, then you should definitely try Sheep Dip Malt Whiskey. A delicious, blended Scotch produced from a total of 16 completely different whiskies which have all been aged between a minimum of 8 years and a maximum of 21 years.
You can expect to taste very rich notes of things like toffee, honey, salt water and some spicy fruits. Together, they form a mouth wateringly delicious drink. If you like cocktails, then this is the perfect addition. It is worth noting that this blended Scotch isn’t actually dipped in sheep by the way, it’s just a nod to its countryside heritage, in case there was any confusion over that.
2. Chivas Regal 18 Year Old Scotch Whiskey
Best Age: 18 years
Notes: Sweet Spice, Caramel, Burnt Citrus
This beauty is situated between the Chivas brand 12- and 25-year whiskies, lies this beautiful 18 year old blended Scotch whiskey. Easily one of the best blended Scotch whiskeys on the market. Chivas first released this well-known label all the way back in 1997.
Almost 90 years later than its founding in the cold, harsh Scottish Highlands. It is made from around 20 malt and grain whiskeys. A distinctively textured spirit, which shows tasteful notes of sweet spice, caramel and burnt citrus, which makes it perfect for pairing with a nice cigar while sipping solo. Alternatively, it’s also great for adding a little kick to cocktails.
3. The Famous Grouse
Best Age: 6 years
Notes: Cinnamon, Orange Peel, Vanilla
One of the newest additions to the well-known family so called Famous Grouse, this mellow blended Scotch has been masterfully created by none other than Gordon Motion, a master blender. He used a combination of sherry and bourbon. You can find sweet notes of orange peel, cinnamon spice and other delicious notes of vanilla and dried fruits.
Very deserving of a spot on our list of the best blended Scotch whiskeys on the market. If you get a chance to pick this one up, it’s well worth it, and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg either. Brining the taste of great blended Scotch whiskey at a value for money price.
4. Ballantine’s 30-Year-Old Blended Scotch
Best Age: 30 years
Notes: Smoke, Sweet spice, Toffee
If you can get over the $300 price tag on a bottle of this world class blended Scotch, then you’re in for a delicious, smooth treat. You will not be disappointed with this impressive 30 years old blended Scotch. An award-wining blended Scotch is expertly crafted by combining only the finest hand selected grain and malt whiskies of only the highest quality.
It is then aged for a minimum of 30 years. They say this beautiful, blended Scotch is quite similar to you, it keeps getting better with age. This rare whiskey is incredibly complex and is a perplex combination of flavors. You can find notes of smoke, spices and honey and toffee. A well-balanced champion in the world of blended Scotch whiskey, you won’t regret trying this one out.
5. Dewar’s Double Double Aged Blended Scotch Whiskey
Best Age: 21 years
Notes: Cashews, Honey, Tropical Fruits
Need something to fill the empty hole in your life? Want to fall in love? Then let me introduce you to Dewar’s Double Double Aged Blended Scotch Whiskey. A beautiful 21-year-old blended Scotch which has a unique ageing process carried out across four different stages.
You can find sumptuous notes of things like cashew nuts and honey within this spirit’s delicious golden hue. Probably one of the easier blended Scotches to wash back, this one is silky smooth. If you want to give the perfect gift of a sophisticated blended Scotch, then why not try this one out? You will be well thanked.
6. Compass Box Great King Street
Best Age: No Age Limit
Notes: Toasted Oak, Vanilla, Spices, Apple
In the realm of beautifully blended Scotch whiskies, Great King’s Street are considered true artisans of the craft. A combination of single grain whiskies and single malt whiskies are masterfully pieced together to create this wonderful Scotch which we just had to include on our list of the best blended Scotch whiskies.
You will find beautiful notes of spices, apple, oak and vanilla in this great package. A true pleasure to drink. Perhaps not the smoothest of blended Scotch whiskies but still easy to drink none the less. Not to mention it is reasonably priced for the quality of this product, just another reason Compass Box is one of the best blended Scotch whiskies.
7. Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch Whiskey
Best Age: 3 years
Notes: Vanilla, Dried Apricots, Malt
If you consider everything from price, availability and taste, you could argue that Monkey Shoulder is one of the best blended Scotch whiskies on the market. Three completely different malts are combined to make this incredible blend of flavors. You can expect to find notes of nutmeg, dried apricots, vanilla, and spices.
A smooth, oak tasting palate is what you get when you sip on Monkey Shoulder. Ideal for sipping neat, or if you’re feeling brave you could mix this in with different cocktails and explore how its unique taste can be paired with various other alcohols. A great example of what a true blended Scotch whiskey is, Monkey Shoulder is among the finest on the market for the price, you can find it as cheap as $20. Who wouldn’t want a $20 bottle of blended Scotch whiskey? That is a serious bang for your buck, you have to at least try this once.
8. Johnnie Walker Black
Best Age: 12 years
Notes: Dried Raisins, Vanilla, Glazed Nuts
You have probably heard of Johnnie Walker before, as a matter of fact, you might even have a bottle currently sitting in your house right now. If not, don’t worry, your local bar probably stocks this as Johnnie Walker is easily considered one of the best blended Scotch whiskies on the market for many reasons. A go to for most who enjoy a blended Scotch whiskey.
Black by Johnnie Walker is blended from over 36 individual whiskies from different distilleries around Scotland. This includes very peat-heavy whiskey brands such as Lagavulin. With this blended Scotch in particular, you can expect to find many different flavors and notes. Butterscotch, dried raisins, charred oak and glazed nuts just to name a few.
A silky-smooth blended Scotch to enjoy in the evenings, best served on ice and sipped for maximum flavor.
9. Black Bottle Blended Scotch
Best Age: No Age Limit
Notes: Sweet Spice, Canned Pears, Honey
Now our list of the best blended Scotch whiskies would not be complete without the perfect blended Scotch for hot toddies. If you’re ever feeling a little crappy or under the weather, keep a bottle of this around, it will definitely pick you up. Enjoy hot or served on ice, you can sip away at this one on any occasion, even great for cocktails.
Reasonably priced on the cheaper end of blended Scotches, Black Bottle portrays tasteful notes of sweet spices, honey and canned pears. An interesting blend of high quality, full bodied blended Scotch whiskey.
10. The Big Smoke 46 by Duncan Taylor
Best Age: 3 years
Notes: Wood, Sea Salt, Campfire
An incredibly heavy peated, pale hued blended Scotch whiskey. Moderately priced, you can pick a bottle of this up for around $50. Produced from various malts, you can comfortably enjoy this with some nice tobacco or cigar. A true gentleman’s blended Scotch, with wonderful notes of flavors such as leather, sea salt, wood and vanilla.
Best enjoyed on a rainy winter evening in front of the fire, a true showcase of everything blended Scotch has to offer, hence its deserving spot on our list of the best blended Scotch whiskies around.
11. Johnnie Walker Blue Label
Best Age: 21 years
Notes: Cocoa, Nuts, Leather, Spices
Another interesting blended Scotch by none other than everyone’s favorite, Johnnie Walker. Easily the top producer of the best blended Scotch whiskies around the globe. This bright amber colored Scotch brings wonderful notes of spices, leather, cocoa and nuts together. You can expect a smokey flavor with this one. A steep price tag, you can expect to pay over $150 for a bottle of this. A must have if you love blended Scotch whiskies.
12. Big Peat
Best Age: 12 years
Notes: Spices, Nuts, Grass
If the name doesn’t pull you in, the price definitely will. Big Peat combines many smoky dram single malt whiskies together into a perfect blended Scotch that many peat lovers will happily die for. Easily one of the best blended Scotch whiskies on the market if you enjoy a smokey Scotch. You can find notes of nuts, grass and spices in Big Peat and it certainly doesn’t disappoint.
13. 15 Year Haig Dimple
Best Age: 15 years
Notes: Toffee, Honey, Oak, Chocolate
If you’re a Breaking Bad fan, then you’ll know this one. Recognized as Walter White’s last drink in the hit series. Now, we don’t recommend you cook meth while drinking this, we do recommend actually trying this blended Scotch. Old Walter did have some good taste, we can all agree. Also commonly referred to as ‘Dimple Pinch’, this lovingly blended Scotch is easily considered one of the best blended Scotch whiskies available on the market. Reasonably priced, you can pick this up for around $40.
You can expect an interesting combination of flavors with this one, such as chocolate, oak, toffee and honey. Making for a unique tasting blended Scotch.
14. Mackinlay’s Shackleton Rare
Best Age: No Age Limit
Notes: Floral, Apple, Orange, Lemonade
This is a really interesting one, and that’s why we have it on our list of the best blended Scotch whiskies. Originally inspired by a particularly interesting discovery back in 2007. A whiskey was discovered in Antarctica by none other than Sir Ernest Shackleton himself. Rebirthed and brought back to life by Richard Paterson.
A few different malts blended together to form this wonderful blended Scotch whiskey. You can expect a fairly complex flavor with notes of apple, citrus and some floral notes as well. If you can afford to splash out the $100+ price tag, you won’t be disappointed. Expect a bit of a kick and a 47.3% alcohol by volume with this one, so remember to drink responsibly.
15. Suntory Hibiki 21 Year
Best Age: 21 years
Notes: Wood Spice, Dark Cherry, Oak, Lemon
A Japanese whiskey that doesn’t need much of an introduction, Hibiki is rich in flavor, and you need to be rich to purchase this one, at a price of almost $200. You can expect some delicious notes of dark cherry, lemon, spice and oak with a smokey finish. Hibiki will most definitely be felt in your throat and leave a lasting impression that you won’t forget. Best enjoyed with a nice cigar whilst sipping neat.
16. Rock Oyster
Best Age: 18 years
Notes: Black Pepper, Ash, Peat
Another one of the best blended Scotch whiskies straight from Scotland, Rock Oyster is simply delicious. A wonderful blend of different single malts from the islands of Orkney, Aran, Islay and Jura. You can expect tasteful notes of peat, ash and black pepper with some hints of vanilla. This is a fairly reasonably priced blended Scotch whiskey for the alcohol by volume. $40 for an almost 47% blended Scotch whiskey.
17. Chivas Regal 25 Year
Best Age: 25 years
Notes: Berry, Malt, Toffee, Butterscotch
Our second Chivas blended Scotch whiskey on our list of the best blended Scotch whiskies. Chivas Regal 25 year is very deserving. You will not find a tastier whiskey. Do not be put off by the steep price tag of almost $200. You will not be disappointed with how this beautiful aromatic blended Scotch tastes. Featuring rich notes of berries, malt, Butterscotch and toffee.
If you’re looking for a classic blended Scotch whiskey then look no further, you may just have found your calling. We highly recommend this incredible blend for sipping on some ice while kicking back and chilling out after a long week. Smooth and silky on the throat, this is almost too easy to drink.
18. Nikka Taketsuru 17 Year
Best Age: 17 years
Notes: Cocoa, Oak, Fruit, Berries, Salad
Another Japanese blended Scotch that is very deserving of a spot on our list of the best blended Scotch whiskies. This 17-year-old blended Scotch packs a punch and a steep price. At almost $200 a bottle, you will have to splash the cash for this one. That being said, you won’t be disappointed. Japanese blended Scotch whiskies are some of the best in the world. Nikka has a quality reputation in the whiskey world.
You can expect some interesting notes with this one. Salad (really?!), berries, oak and cocoa just to name a few. A delicious blend that is perfect for enjoying neat whilst you relax and put your feet up after a long day.
You Bring The Blended Scotch, I’ll Bring The Cigars
Now, alcohol won’t make all of your problems go away, but it can definitely help you forget a few things. So why not dip your toe into the world of the best blended Scotch whiskies? Or maybe you’re sick and need a hot toddy, no judgement here. Just drink responsibly and don’t do anything out of character… or illegal. Sipping on a nice, blended Scotch, and just the one we might add, will be the best way to enjoy this type of whiskey. It saves the headache the next morning too.
Don’t let the stick that blended whiskies get put you off. You are missing out terribly on some wonderful tasting blended Scotch whiskies. You won’t find a better collection of unique notes and flavors than you will in the best blended Scotch whiskies.
So, next time you want to try something a little different, why not consider picking up a blended Scotch whiskey from our compiled list of the best blended Scotch whiskies around the globe. Plus, most of them aren’t too pricey in the grand scheme of things, so big bonus.
Why Does Blended Scotch Whiskey Get So Much Hate?
Truth be told, nobody really knows where the hate started or how it made its way into the world of whiskey. One can only guess that it started with an argument in some bar somewhere in the middle of nowhere with a couple of old men arguing over whose whiskey is better. One drinks single malt, one drinks blended Scotch, one drinks grain whiskey and it all ended in bloodshed as they fought over the topic. As you can probably guess, blended Scotch did not come out on top, hence why many people will not pay it the attention it deserves.
Do not be put off by the hate though, the world of blended Scotch whiskey is rather unexplored to a large extent. So it is ultimately yours to explore and have fun with. At the end of the day, as long as your drink makes you happy then who cares.
What Is The Best Blended Scotch Whiskey?
Our list of the best blended Scotch whiskies have all been listed above, but the choice will ultimately be yours and depends on individual palates. We have compiled a list of the best blended Scotch whiskies, which is casting a pretty big net considering they are all uniquely nice in their own way. The best will be completely subjective to you and what you like. What kind of flavors do you enjoy? Do you like the burn or do you prefer something smoother on your throat?
So why not try a few different blended Scotch whiskies for yourself and decide which are the best blended Scotch whiskies for you?
Can I Collect Blended Scotch Whiskies Like Pokémon?
Absolutely, you can definitely collect bottles of blended Scotch whiskies. Due to the unique history, craft and heritage of blended Scotch whiskies, this has ultimately created a very attractive collector’s market. Many people choose to invest in bottles or casks of blended Scotch whiskey. This then leads to an increasingly bigger secondhand market for rare or older whiskies, some of them are even auctioned off to the highest bidder. However, if you plan on purchasing any rarer whiskies, do make sure to do your research to avoid any scams.
Whiskey gets better with age, and the same applies to blended Scotch whiskies. If you want to pick up a few rare bottles for your mancave then go for it. Or you can just fill your decanter with some cheap run of the mill blended Scotch whiskey so you look the part.
What Exactly Is In Blended Scotch Whiskey?
To be perfectly honest, the recipes for many blended Scotch whiskies have not been made public, and for obvious reasons. However, you can make some good, educated guesses if you want to follow the breadcrumbs.
Take the most popular brand on the market, Johnnie Walker which is owned by Diageo. Diageo also own J&B alongside a large number of other single malts such as Talisker, Lagavulin, Oban, Singleton, Dalwhinnie, Cardhu, Knockando and many, many more. It would be a fair assumption that many of these single malts are carefully blended and combined into some Johnnie Walker blends.
What Exactly Do I Do With Blended Scotch Whiskey?
Well, this one is pretty easy. You drink it. However, there are many different ways you can enjoy a fine, high quality blended Scotch whiskey. You can enjoy it neat, meaning you have it straight with no ice or no water and is great if you care about being able to taste and savor the flavors of your blended Scotch. Or you could enjoy it on the rocks and have it slightly watered down. You could add some lemon, lime or orange peel to the glass with ice to add to the texture and flavor as well as making your drink much more refreshing.
If neither of those two methods tickle your fancy, you can just have it with water. Alternatively warm it up in a pan but not to boiling point, and have a hot toddy. Or, if you really want to spice things up, you can mix it into a cocktail and enjoy it in endless different ways.
So, There You Have It
Well, that just about sums up the best blended Scotch whiskies and everything in between. Do you have a favorite blended Scotch whiskey? Why not let us know in the comments below? Do you have any different opinions on what the best blended Scotch whiskies are? By all means, feel free to argue your case in the comments. But keep the hatred for blended Scotches to a minimum please!