Blend? Single Malt? Vatted?

Although I might not follow SWA convention, for the purposes of my blog I define the following:

Blend: contains malt and grain alcohol; e.g. Dewar’s, etc.

Single malt: contains only malt whisky, from one distillery; e.g. Ardbeg 10YO

Vatted malt: contains a blending of malts, no grain alcohol involved, from more than one distillery; e.g. Big Peat; a blend of Ardbeg, Caol Ila, Bowmore, and Port Ellen.

Now for the “big secret”: blends were originally created in order to provide a consistant, palatable, product to customers. Therefor, there’s probably no reason to be a SMS (single malt snob) , even though I guess that would describe me ;-) , because there are some very fine blends that use very fine single malts in their creation.

Another “secret” is that the bottle you purchased, unless it came from one cask, was in fact a “vatted malt” from one distillery. The master blended selects various mature casks that are blended/vatted together to produce a recognizable “brand” whisky. Otherwise, the product would potentially vary, wildly and widely, from year to year.

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