Blended American Whiskey
Blended American Whiskey
Blended American whiskey is just that: a blend of different types of whiskeys that usually doesn't advertise its age. That is reasonable because any blended American whiskey that does display its age has to also list the ages of its mixed whiskeys, and each has to be at least as old as the finished product. This whiskey, with its subtle flavor that stays the same bottle after bottle, has become a favorite with those looking to enjoy a whiskey that goes down smooth.
The whiskeys that combine to produce blended American whiskey work together to create a light-bodied beverage that has a rich flavor and character unique to itself. Federal law states that blended American whiskey has to be at least 20 percent straight whiskey. It also must be made for sale at no less than 80 proof. The very good brands can be comprised of as many as 75 different straight whiskeys and grain neutral spirits. And most blended American whiskey is comprised of about 30 to 40 percent of straight whiskeys. Corn is the grain most often distilled to produce blended American whiskey.
Practiced distillers are adept at creating blended American whiskey that has the proper balance needed to enhance the attributes of its component whiskeys. They do so in a manner that maintains consistent taste, which patrons appreciate. By law, distillers can add coloring and flavoring that contribute to the popularity of blended American whiskey. That is not the case for straight bourbon. Chemical reactions over time produce the color and other attributes associated with straight bourbon.
A blended American whiskey isn't to be confused with any blended Scottish whisky. The American version is made with less than half its content being Rye and Bourbon, with the rest of the beverage provided by a neutral, mass-produced industrial beverage. That combination results in a less expensive blended American whiskey and is much lighter than Tennessee and Bourbon whiskeys, for example. Be open-minded about blended American whiskeys and don't dismiss them as a drink of choice. Many of the best known brands are brilliant products of a distiller's craft and deserve to be judged on their own merits.
Start of American Blended Whiskey
It was the repeal of Prohibition that began the production of blended American whiskey. One politically wise Canadian knew Prohibition was about to disappear. He met repeal with a vast amount of whiskey for U.S. customers. His next brainstorm was to begin producing a blended American whiskey based on what he knew about Canadian and Scotch blends. His new product was American bourbon or whiskey blended with a distilled neutral grain spirit or light whiskey. Since that time, blended American whiskey has assumed a substantial amount of the U.S. whiskey market.
Distillers have been producing spirits for more than 2,000 years, but the word "whisky" was apparently first mentioned in 1736. Europe and Canada prefer that spelling. It's obvious that blended American whiskey is a newcomer to the field. Enjoy it and drink responsibly.