Six Blended Whiskeys From Around the World To Try Before Next Weekend

by Lauren Vigdor  |  06.24.2022

It seems like everyone loves to sing the praises of their region’s best small-batch single barrel whiskey, and although we love them as much as anyone, we’d argue that blends can be just as bespoke as a rare single barrel. Blended whiskeys are some of the most popular whiskeys in the world, and as such are often associated with big-name brands, but there are craft distilleries and whiskey blenders all over the world creating small-batch blends that capture the essence of their locale.

What are blended whiskeys?

Blended whiskeys are blends (no surprises there) of several different batches of whiskey, either from the same distillery or different distilleries. Different countries have their own requirement for what constitutes a blended whiskey. For example, American blended whiskey must be at least 20% straight whiskey (the rest can be more straight whiskey or neutral grain spirits) while to be labeled a “Blended Scotch Whiskey” a whiskey must contain at least one single malt Scotch and one single grain whiskey (and be made in Scotland, but maybe that goes without saying.) Any age statement on a blended whiskey refers to the age of the youngest whiskey in the blend.

The whiskeys on this list do an outstanding job of capturing the spirit and personality of each location in which they were blended. They’re well crafted and unique spirits that you’d be remiss not to try soon. Here, six outstanding whiskey blends from around the world. If you’re strategic about it, you should be able to try them all before next weekend.

Found North Whisky specializes in unique, complex whisky blends that push the boundaries of what a Canadian whisky can be. Batch 001 was Found North’s inaugural whisky. It’s a spicy, herbaceous, fruit-forward blend of three different whiskies: a 16 year rye aged in Hungarian oak barrels, a 17 year rye aged in Speyside Scotch casks, and a 20 year aged double-distilled corn whisky. It has notes of cinnamon, cayenne, green tea, and blackberry.

Drink it as part of a tasting with Found North’s corn-heavy Batch 002, plenty of salty snacks, and good friends.

High Bank Distillery Co strives to honor the history of their hometown of Columbus Ohio. The name High Bank is a reference to the founding of Columbus on the higher bank of the Scioto river, despite it being easier to establish the city on the opposite, lower bank. The name Whiskey War is a nod to the whiskey wars of prohibition, which are said to have started just miles away from the High Bank distillery.

High Bank’s Whiskey War Barrel Proof is a high-proof high-rye blend that starts sweet and finishes with notes of pepper and baking spice. The 80% rye whiskey is a blend of three different American whiskeys, aged for at least four years, and bottled at 118 proof. It contains notes of gingerbread, dill, and vanilla.

Try it in a whiskey sour while you reconnect with an old friend.

Scotland: Compass Box Glasgow Blend Scotch

Compass Box’s Glasgow Blend is a malt-heavy (around 65%) blend of single malt, blended malt, and single grain whiskies. The inclusion of a peaty Islay single malt and malt whisky rested in Oloroso sherry casks makes for a bold, smoky Scotch with fruity notes and a hint of salinity.

Sip this one after dinner, preferably in front of a cozy fire with someone you love.

Ireland: Sliabh Liag — The Legendary Dark Silkie Irish Whiskey

With the Legendary Dark Silkie, Sliabh Liag Distillery aims to recreate the taste of 19th century Donegal whiskey. It’s a rich, smoky peated whiskey blend that starts with a sherry cask matured single malt, which is then blended with a bourbon barrel matured single malt, and a soft grain whiskey. It has a green apple and tobacco nose, hints of salted caramel, dark chocolate, leather, and spice, and a warm smoky finish that pleasantly melts away.

Drink this outside under the stars somewhere where you can hear the ocean.

Japan: Shin Group — Shin Reserve Blended Whisky

Shin Reserve Blended Whisky is blended in a distillery that also makes sake and shochu, and as result benefits from the assortment of casks at the distillery’s disposal. Shin Reserve is aged for several years each in former shochu, bourbon, and sherry casks. It tastes of creamy, caramelized sugar, vanilla, and spice with a hint of fennel, and is a beautiful introduction into the world of Japanese whisky.

Drink it in the afternoon, in a highball with a fresh citrus peel.

France: Celtic Whisky Distillerie — Gwalarn Blended Whisky

Although the name may be misleading, Celtic Whisky Distillerie is a French distillery making and blending whiskies “with a French soul and Celtic roots.” Their Gwalarn Blended Whisky is a combination of an unpeated whisky from Scotland, an unpeated German whisky, and their own peated single malt distilled on-site. They cut their whiskies with local spring water, which lends a fresh minerality to Gwalarn. The whisky has notes of vanilla, leather, tobacco, honey, and salt.

Try it in a Perfect Manhattan with equal parts sweet and dry vermouth.