What is the difference between a Single Malt Whiskey, a Double Malt Whiskey and a Blended Whiskey?

Whiskey drinkers all have their own preferences in his regard. There is a certain ‘prestige’ attached to a “single malt’’ whiskey (which normally comes with an appropriate price tag), but an experienced whiskey drinker will probably say that it comes down to personal preference and taste.

Let’s look at some of the “whiskey terminology” which should assist in the reader to understanding the differences:

Single Malt:

Single malt whiskey is made in a single distillery. It can only be distilled from barley and water and must be aged for a minimum of 3 years in an oak barrel.

A ‘’double malt” whiskey is a blend of two specific single malt whiskeys to get a specific taste. Usually, the two specific distilleries will be named on the bottle. The term “Double Malt” is actually a misnomer – the correct term for this is in fact, “Blended”.

Blended Whiskey:

How does a “blend” differ from what is called a “Double Malt”?

The difference here is that a Double Malt Whiskey is made from two specific Single Malts going after a specific taste, whereas a normal Blended Whiskey is made by combining various whiskeys (two or more) together. The blend will be of two or more other whiskey’s which may not necessarily be single malt whiskeys. Blends can use grains other than barley and there is no minimum period for aging. Blended selections are often more consistent in flavor.

In conclusion, it is probably a good idea to experiment until you find what suits your taste. Some whiskey drinkers may reserve their single malts for special occasions while drinking their favorite double malt or blended whiskey at other times.

You may well find that your taste evolves and develops over time. By trying different whiskey’s, you will eventually develop a taste for specific distilleries (in the case of single malts or double malts) or particular blended whiskey’s, where you can be sure that the taste will be consistent over time.

I hope this information will help you. At TOPS, you can find an array of different whiskeys, Single and Double Malts as well different Blended options.

We hope to see you in-store soon!