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How Scotch Blended Whisky Is Made

How Scotch Blended Whisky Is Made


How Scotch Blended Whisky is Made - Video Part 3:


Also see Part 1 - How Malt Whisky is Made and Part 2 - How Grain Whisky is Made

The Famous Grouse Blended WhiskyThe majority of Scotch Whisky produced in Scotland is consumed in blended form. Blended whisky is made by blending Single Malt Whisky with Grain Whisky. The highly skilled and complex task of creating a marriage of Single Malt and Single Grain whiskies to make a blended whisky, is the responsibility of the Master Blender.

Each of the whiskies which goes into the blend are unique in their own right, and the Master Blender has to ensure that the individual whiskies combine successfully. The Blender's aim is to produce a blended Scotch Whisky, which is different from others, a little more subtle, a little more complex than the individual whiskies which have gone into the blend.

A blend is a careful combination of anything from 15 to 50 single whiskies of varying ages, compiled to a highly secret formula. The Master Blender will have spent long years mastering and perfecting the art of "nosing".

His acute sense of smell enables him to determine which whiskies will combine successfully with others, and those which will fight. Keeping the incompatible apart is all part of the Blender's skill.

Once the Blender has selected his single whiskies, he will nose them as new spirit fresh from the stills, to ensure they are up to the required standard. He will continue to nose them throughout maturation, until he is content that they should be taken forward.

Marriage of the blends in casksEventually, all of the selected whiskies are brought together, pumped into vats, and then back into casks where they will rest for a further period of up to eight months. This is known as the "marriage" - the period during which each component whisky harmonises with the others.

When a bottle of Scotch Whisky bears an age statement on the label, that is the age of the youngest whisky in the blend. It is not the average.

Upon completion of the marriage period, the whisky is ready for bottling. The Blender will nose it again, once it is reduced to the alcoholic strength required for bottling, to ensure that the quality of the blend is consistent with all the others he has produced over the years.

Once it is finally bottled, Scotch Whisky has reached the end of its long journey down the years in perfect condition, ready to be dispatched to whisky lovers around the world.
 

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