A blend was not an obvious choice when exploring our options to create a whisk(e)y. If you're familiar with the stigma of blended whiskeys, you'd think that's enough reason to steer clear. However, this stigma pushed us to make it the first whiskey in our collection. Let's start from the beginning.
Blending originated in Scotland in the late 1800s as a way for distilleries to produce whisky more efficiently. The process allowed them to mix spirits from several sources to create a lighter-tasting whisky and maintain consistency from bottle to bottle. Today, blended Scotch whisky combines single malts with single-grain whiskies, each upholding its standards, making it a cherished and a top-selling spirit. So where does this said ‘stigma’ come into play?
“Blending in the US used to be like a taboo kind of word, but the truth is, we’ve been blending whiskey for a very long time.” Ashley Barnes, Master Blender of The Spirits Group.
The US requires a blend to have a minimum of 20% straight whiskey aged at least two years. The rest can be whiskey of any type, age, quality, or neutral grain spirits. As a broad classification, American blends walk a grey line: is it a mix of whiskeys or whiskey with non-whiskeys? The most common method for American blends uses cheap neutral grain spirits, giving them a negative undertone.
As we join the movement to mend the name of blended American whiskeys, we insist that the lingering connotations shouldn’t deter seasoned whiskey drinkers. The art of crafting an exceptional blend requires plenty of patience and dauntless experimentation.
“One bad barrel [of whiskey in a small-batch blend] would ruin the entire batch. So if you’re not careful and don’t work with those compounds and those flavor profiles correctly, then you don’t always get a good product if you’re just dumping [different whiskeys] all together,” says Ashley Barnes on blending properly. Like any other form of blending, the final product is only as good as its ingredients and technique, and combining high-quality whiskeys will give you an excellent spirit.
We want to honor this technique in our blended American whiskey by instilling the values of its Scottish roots. Under The Spirits Group's meticulous care, we crafted a Four-Grain Blended American Whiskey that will delight experienced whiskey drinkers and welcome new tasters to the world of whiskey. This blend combines three premium whiskeys, an American whiskey aged 10 years, a wheat whiskey aged 7 years, and a rye whiskey aged 6 years, with four different mash bills, with 112.6 barrel proof. A unique blend that will make the Scotts and American whiskey enthusiasts proud.
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