Single Malt Whiskey vs. Blends: What's the difference?

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Single Malt? Blend? Single Cask? Whiskey can be confusing, but we're going to do our best to explain the difference between single malt and blended whiskeys.

Single malt whiskey and blends are two types of whiskey that are popular among enthusiasts and casual drinkers alike. While both types of whiskey are made from fermented grains, there are some key differences between the two that set them apart.

Single Malt

Single malt whiskey is made from 100% malted barley and is produced at a single distillery. This means that all of the whiskey in a bottle of single malt has been distilled and aged in the same place, giving it a distinct flavor and character. Single malt whiskey is known for its rich, complex flavors and aromas, which are influenced by factors such as the type of barley used, the water source, and the climate in which the whiskey is aged.

Blended whiskey

Blended whiskey, on the other hand, is a mixture of several different types of whiskey, which are typically blended together to create a more consistent flavor profile. Unlike single malt whiskey, which is produced at a single distillery, blended whiskey can be made from whiskeys that are produced at multiple distilleries. This means that blended whiskey has a more uniform flavor than single malt, which can vary greatly depending on the distillery.

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What's the difference between single malt and blended whiskey?

One key difference between single malt and blended whiskey is the aging process. Single malt whiskey is typically aged in oak barrels, which imparts flavours and aromas from the wood into the whiskey. The length of time that single malt whiskey is aged can also affect its flavour, with longer aging periods resulting in richer, more complex flavours. Blended whiskey, on the other hand, is typically aged for a shorter period of time, which means that it does not have the same depth of flavour as single malt.

Another difference between the two types of whiskey is the price. Single malt whiskey is typically more expensive than blended whiskey, due to the higher cost of production and the longer aging process. This means that single malt whiskey is often considered to be a premium product, while blended whiskey is more affordable and accessible.

Despite these differences, both single malt and blended whiskey can be enjoyed on their own or in cocktails. Whether you prefer the rich, complex flavours of single malt or the more consistent profile of blended whiskey, there is a wide range of options to choose from in each category. Ultimately, the choice between single malt and blended whiskey comes down to personal preference and what you are looking for in a whiskey.