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Three Things You Didn’t Know About Blended Scotch Whisky

October 20, 2018 Beverage No Comments Email Email

Grant’s, the world’s number three Scotch whisky, and Australia’s number two, has announced a global brand refresh which includes striking new packaging and a renaming of its signature blend and a refined core range.

Launching in Australia this month, Grant’s Triple Wood is a new way of communicating the superiority of Grant’s liquid through its unique whisky making process and maturing in three distinct casks – Virgin Oak, American Oak and Refill Bourbon, for a smooth, rich and mellow taste.

 

Justin Strzadala, a former Brand Ambassador come Brand Manager of Whisky at William Grant & Sons says, “Australians love Scotch but there’s a bias in wanting to dazzle your friends with single malt expertise. The blended scotch category is often overlooked as a one size fits all, frequently shopped on price. This is a real shame because for the majority of Australian scotch drinkers it’s what they reach for every other day and there’s a lot more to its story than they think, both in terms of how it’s made and the flavour profiles.”

To help everyday scotch drinkers understand that not all blends are created equally and better navigate their choice, Justin Strzadala has shared three facts about blended Scotch whisky that you’re probably not aware of:

  1. The process of blending a Scotch whisky is a very complex and time-consuming process to ensure consistency of the blend. This is due to the scale and variety of individual whiskies that can be used to create a consistent flavour profile at the volumes needed to meet demand. A blend can consist of two or more different types of whiskies, as you need a range of single malt and grain whiskies to perfect the aroma and flavour profile, all of which must be aged for a minimum of three years. This is the reason why a Master Blender is one of the most coveted positions in the industry.
  2. The flavour profile of a blended Scotch whisky can be a very complex experience, with multiple layers of flavour and mouth feel, which is the result of its particular production process. There is a common misconception that blends are inferior and less complex in flavour compared to a single malt whisky. But in actual fact, due to the different types of blends, this can create a smoother, more complex drink as each whisky brings a distinct characteristic to the blend. Other aspects that impact flavour include the variety of grain and distillation methods that are used for blended scotch whiskies.

For the last 130 years, Grant’s has used the same formula, with 60% of its flavour being drawn from cask influence, rather than being aged in just one type of cask.

Brian Kinsman, Master Blender and Malt Master at William Grant & Sons says, “The Triple Wood process is at the very heart of what we create here at Grant’s. As a result of ageing our whiskies in three different casks, Virgin Oak which provides spicy robustness, American Oak lending subtle vanilla smoothness and Refill Bourbon bringing brown sugar sweetness, it is distinctive to taste and there is a balance of qualities drawn from the character of the wood.”

3.     The history of whisky, all started with blended Scotch whisky. We wouldn’t be here today, enjoying Scotch whisky in its variety of styles (Single Malt, blended malt, Single Cask, etc), if it wasn’t for the popularity and success of blends. Most people aren’t aware that the single malt category was only actively promoted from 1963 whereas five generations of Grants have stood together to hold the title of Scotland’s oldest continuously family-run, blended whisky makers. Blended Scotch whisky has had a strong reputation for over 100 years.

When all of this is considered, it takes a great deal of collaboration and shared passion to create a quality blended Scotch whisky. Having craftsmen’s expertise in the same location means the collaborative process is seamless, which is why Grant’s remains the only blended whisky producer to have its own Stillman, Cooper and Master Blender working together under the one roof. Specialist expertise can be passed from one generation to the next, ensuring that they always make consistently great whisky to their original, closely guarded recipe. In fact, it takes 198 pairs of hands to make Grant’s whisky from grain to glass.

Oliver Dickson, Head of Marketing at William Grant & Sons ANZ comments, “As Australia’s Scotch Whisky Experts, we’re extremely proud that in the challenging Blended Scotch market of Australia, Grant’s is bucking the trend, with both value and volume growing ahead of other brands. The new Grant’s Triple Wood bottle will reinforce our world class liquid credentials and solidify our position as Australia’s number 2 blended Scotch and help educate blended Scotch drinkers that not all blends are created equally.”

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