Four Fun Blended Malts - The Whiskey Wash

Four Fun Blended Malts

Scottish blended malts live somewhere between single malt and blended whisky. Like blended whisky, they mingle the spirit of two or more distilleries. But unlike blended whisky, they don’t contain any grain whisky at all. Instead, they’re made up entirely of more flavorful and full-bodied malt whisky, which means they drink more like a single malt.

With that bold palette to work with, blended malts offer whisky makers an enticing field for experimentation and play. Here are four fascinating, high-concept, or just plain delicious blended malts to get to know.

Compass Box The Peat Monster

Well folks, it’s right there in the name: Peat Monster is a heavily peated blended malt from Compass Box, one of the reigning masters of the blending art. In a nod to transparency, Compass Box tells us the blend contains malt from Laphroaig, Ledaig, Caol Ila, and Ardmore as well as Clynelish, Teanininch, and Dailuaine. Light-bodied and pungently peaty, yet surprisingly approachable, this is one to make a new set of Islay devotees.

The Hive Batch Strength

The Wemyss family of Fife is known for its blended malts, including The Hive (fruity and sweet), Peat Chimney (peated) and Spice King (spicy and aromatic). In 2016 they released a high proof series called Batch Strength. Just 6,000 bottles of The Hive Batch Strength were released, each bottled at 54.5% alcohol. Built around Speyside malts, this is juicy, floral, desserty whisky but bottled at a decidedly powerful proof.

blended malt whisky

image via Johnnie Walker

Johnnie Walker Green Label

Each region in Scotland is different, but that doesn’t mean they can’t all come together harmoniously. Johnnie Walker’s cult favorite Green Label blended malt combines whiskies from the Speyside, Lowland, Highland, and Island regions. It vanished off of shelves mysteriously a few years ago, but it’s back now, and we couldn’t be happier.

Rock Oyster

Islay might be the most famous whisky-producing island in Scotland, but it’s certainly not the only one. Douglas Laing’s Rock Oyster introduces drinkers to the joys of Island life with whiskies from Orkney, Jura, Arran, and Islay. Sweet, saline, and peated, this whisky practically defines “maritime character.”

Usquaebach An Ard Ri

This upscale blended malt from Usquaebach is a blend of more than 20 Highland malts drawn from casks between 10 and 21 years, all pulled from Stewart H. Laing’s personal collection and bottled at cask strength. It’s complex and multidimensional, plus it comes in a unique ceramic flagon bottle.

About the author

Margarett Waterbury

Margarett Waterbury is a full-time freelance writer and editor. Her work has appeared in Spirited Magazine, Edible Seattle, Sip Northwest, Capital Press, In Good Tilth, Civil Eats, Travel Oregon, Portrait Magazine, Artisan Spirit, and many other publications. She is the former managing editor of Edible Portland, as well as the cofounder and former managing editor of The Whiskey Wash. In 2017, Margarett won the Alan Lodge Young Drinks Writer of the Year award. She received a fellowship for the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers in 2017 and 2019. When she’s not reporting stories, Margarett likes helping people use words to make interesting things happen in the world. She consults on communications and marketing projects, helps organizations raise money, and writes commercial and advertising copy for companies and brands with stories to tell. @margarett_maria