Skip to Main Content
23rd April 2024

Blended Malt Whisky vs Blended Scotch Whisky

The world of whisky is incredibly diverse with each liquid offering a unique flavour profile and history. Blended malt and blended Scotch whisky stand out, each bringing their own charm to the table. However, they are often wildly misunderstood and underappreciated compared to their single malt cousin. Delving into the key differences in the production of these two varieties helps to highlight their individual appeal.

Blended malt whisky is a product category that combines single malt whiskies from different distilleries. The defining characteristic of a blended malt is the exclusion of grain whisky; only pure malt whiskies are used in the blend. This results in a harmonious marriage of flavours, showcasing the unique characteristics of the various single malts.

The beauty of blended malt whisky lies in its complexity. By combining single malts, blenders can create a balanced and layered profile that captures the best of each distillery’s offering. The absence of grain whisky allows for a more pronounced malt influence in comparison to blended Scotch, appealing to those who appreciate the depth and richness that comes with this style.

These whiskies tend to showcase a more robust and complex flavour profile, with the individual characteristics of each malt coming to the forefront, ranging from smoky and peaty to sweet and fruity, depending on the whiskies in the blend.

On the other hand, blended Scotch whisky is a broader category that encompasses a mix of both malt and grain whiskies. This combination often includes a significant portion of grain whisky, which is more neutral in flavour compared to its malt counterpart.

Malt whisky can only be distilled from malted barley, whereas grain whisky can be made from any grain. The distillation process is also slightly different. Where malt whisky production uses pot stills, grain whisky uses column stills which creates a mellower flavour.

Blended Scotch whiskies are known for their smooth and approachable nature, making them ideal for a wide range of palates. The influence of grain whisky imparts a milder character, often featuring gentle sweetness and subtle complexity. This contributes to a lighter and more accessible profile, making blended Scotch a popular choice for both novice and seasoned whisky enthusiasts.

The primary distinction between blended malt and blended Scotch whisky lies in the composition of the blend. While both involve a careful selection and blending process, the choice of including or excluding grain whisky significantly impacts the final product.

Regardless of your preference, exploring both categories can lead to a deeper appreciation of the craftsmanship and artistry involved in creating these blended expressions. Whether sipping a complex blended malt or enjoying the approachable flavours of a blended Scotch, each dram tells a story of the distilleries involved, the expertise of the blenders, and the rich heritage of whisky-making.

Discover our blended malt, MacNair’s Lum Reek, and our blended Scotch, White Heather, each expertly created by veteran blender of fifty years, Billy Walker.


18th December 2023