In the world of whisky, the single malt gets all the glory. However, the success of recently released old and rare whisky blends — whether from malt or grain or both — proves that other categories of Scotch whisky deserve attention as well.
As 90 per cent of the whisky sold across the world is blended, the category has earned the reputation of being cheaper and of lesser quality. But before distilleries started marketing a unique house style, and single malt gained its present status, every distillery contributed to one or even many of the main blended brands. Most still do.
Nathaniel Ganapathi, better known as Nate Gana, a Japanese-Malaysian whisky consultant in Vancouver, says dismissing all blends is a mistake.
“There are some amazing blends out there, especially with a brand like Johnnie Walker, whose parent company Diageo owns so many incredible distilleries (Caol Ila and old Port Ellen, for example) that go into its blends,” he says. “Blue Label Ghost & Rare is on par with, if not better than, a significant percentage of single malts available today.”