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A Guide to Blended Whisky

Blended whisky is the most popular type of whisky in the world, but despite accounting for more than 75% of the industry’s value, it’s an often misunderstood spirit. 

Irrespective of its ubiquitousness, blends still face somewhat of an image problem, with many drinkers mistakenly believing them to be less complex and generally lower quality than their single malt counterparts.

We’re here to dispel that myth and tell you everything you need to know about blended whisky, including what it is, what the different types are and how it differs from single malt.

What is blended whisky?

Simply put, a blended whisky is a combination of two or more barrel-aged whiskies. This is usually a mixture of malt and grain whiskies, brought together to achieve a certain flavour profile.

Blended scotch is the most biggest category of whisky globally, making up more than 90% of all bottles sold.

The history of blended whisky

While there was an increased desire for single malts around the turn of the millennium, it wasn’t always so in demand. 

Historically, single malt whisky was considered too harsh, with unrefined flavours. As a result, in the 1860s, a Scottish brewer called Andrew Usher began adding lighter grain whiskies to heavier malts. This produced a more approachable spirit that was smoother, sweeter and more balanced – thus becoming a commercial hit.

Blends went on to completely dominate the market for another 100 years, with almost all scotch whiskies being blends. This started to change in the 1960s, when Glenfiddich became the first distillery to release a consumer-friendly single malt, but by the start of the 1980s, there were still only 27 available across the market. 

How is it made?

Blended whisky is made by combining different whiskies together, and the job of combining them comes down to the master blender.

The master blender will use their nose and experience to bring together anything up to 50 single malt and single grain whiskies to create a unique expression.

After they’ve been blended, the new whisky will spend up to eight months in casks, in what is known as the ‘marriage’ period. It’s during this time that the flavours of each individual spirit will mix with the others. 

Age statements

When it comes to age statements, the number listed on the bottle is the age of the youngest whisky used.

This means that if a master blender takes an 18 year old malt and adds a little bit of 10 year old, the result is a 10 year old whisky. 

An example of this can be seen with the Chivas Regal 12, which is a blended scotch made up of whiskies that have been aged for a MINIMUM of 12 years, but will likely contain spirit that’s older (although the recipe is a closely guarded secret!). 

As a result, many blended whiskies don’t carry an age statement at all. This is because, if a master blender adds a small quantity of particularly young whisky to the mix, marketing the release as a 3, 5 or 8 year old blend may be off-putting to buyers. It also probably isn’t a fair reflection of what’s actually in the bottle.

Are there different types of blended whisky?

Blended Scotch Whisky

This is your archetypal blended whisky and what most likely springs to mind when discussing the topic. It involves mixing one or more malt whiskies with one or more grain whiskies. The whiskies must have been distilled and aged in Scotland for a minimum of three years in order to be called scotch whisky. 

Blended malt 

Blended malts, also occasionally called vatted malts, are made without the use of grain. They’re a combination of single malt whiskies from different distilleries. Examples include Monkey Shoulder, Compass Box Spice Tree and Big Peat.

Blended grain

Made exclusively with grain whiskies from two or more different distilleries. Though generally harder to come by, blended grain is praised for its lighter profile and creamier mouthfeel. Some popular expressions are Compass Box Hedonism and Nikka Coffey Grain. 

How does it differ to single malt?

The difference between a blended whisky and single malt is simple.

While a blend can be a combination of different types of whiskies from different distilleries, single malts come from just one distillery and are made using only malted barley.

Where things get a little more confusing is that some (if not most) single malts are actually a vatting of differently aged and finished whiskies – as opposed to just coming from one barrel. However, providing that these whiskies come from the same distillery, and use only malted barley, then they are still released as single malts. 

Are single malts better? 

There is a common misconception that single malt whiskies are higher quality, more flavourful and generally smoother – but this certainly isn’t the case.

Though the maturation process of single malts can often lead to a more robust and full-bodied spirit, the craft that goes into making a well-balanced blend means that consumers may find blended whiskies more approachable. 

They also generally offer good value for money, are great for trying new flavours and are also better suited to cocktails or mixing.

So if you’re looking for an introduction to blends, why not visit our website? We have an excellent range of blended whiskies from all over the world. 

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What Is Grain Whisky (And Why Do We Love It)?

Once an unheralded component of blends, grain whisky has started to gain a following in its own right. 

Despite their ubiquitous nature in the industry, and the less expensive means of production, distillers have historically overlooked the commerciality of grain whiskies, instead choosing to limit their releases to ‘rare’ or unusual bottlings.

Thanks to some notable names (like Compass Box and Nikka) capitalising on its light and approachable profile, there’s now a range of fantastic grain whiskies hitting the shelves that are definitely worth your time.

Let us tell you everything you need to know about grain whisky, from how it’s made to which ones you should try!

What is grain whisky?

So how exactly does grain whisky differ from malt whisky? Well, it all comes down to the type of grain used.

In order to legally be called a ‘malt whisky’, the spirit has to be made from 100% malted barley. Conversely, grain whisky can be made with any grain!

These could include:

  • Wheat
  • Corn
  • Maize
  • Rye
  • …even rice!

Grain whisky will still include some level of malted barley, as this is needed for starch, but bottlings will predominantly be comprised of cereal grains.

How is it made?

As well as the type of grain used, the distillation process for grain whisky is also different to that of traditional malt whisky. 

While malt whisky will usually be made using a copper pot still, grain whisky uses a column still. 

Column stills, which are also referred to as patent or coffey stills, create a continuous flow of distillation. This leads to a spirit that’s higher in ABV, and one that is generally lighter in profile – which is why grain whiskies are commonly used to balance out blends. It can also be produced in larger quantities. 

What is it used for?

As we’ve already alluded to, grain whisky has historically found its place in the industry as a crucial component of blends. This is largely due to its light flavour and the ability to produce it in high quantities (and at a comparatively low cost).

Blended whiskies are usually made up of anywhere between 60-85% single grain, and with 90% of all whisky sold being blends, it’s easy to see the important role that grain whisky plays for distillers and bottlers.

As a result, the sale of single grain whiskies has been uncommon, instead being restricted to rare or limited expressions. Fortunately, this has started to change, as the market has begun to recognise the appeal of single grain’s approachability. And some are even being released with significant age statements. 

What are the characteristics?

Grain whiskies offer a great introduction to whisky, but there’s also plenty to enjoy for more experienced palates.

As grain whisky tends to be distilled to a higher alcohol content, it usually has a much lighter and less complex flavour profile. This can make grain whiskies more approachable, as big peaty or fruity notes are less pronounced. It’s also why they’re so popular in blends, as they’re able to provide a good base without disrupting the balance.

Additionally, depending on which grains are used, it can have a creamier mouthfeel. This is because grains such as oats or rye release more oils than barley, which in turn leads to greater viscosity. 

What are some good grain whiskies?

If you’re looking to get into grain whisky, there are some fantastic offerings available.

For example, a good place to start might be Compass Box Hedonism. The first whisky of its kind when launched at the turn of the Millenium, this is a blend of aged Scotch grain whiskies that are sweet, smooth and syrupy. It’s full of vanilla, toffee and chocolate notes – and has a seductively sumptuous mouthfeel. 

Meanwhile, the Japanese do some excellent things with grain whisky, and nowhere is this better illustrated than with the Nikka Coffey Grain Whisky. This is made using a Coffey still (thus the name) and a mash bill of corn, barley, and malted barley. As a result, we get lovely sweet and fruity flavours with notes of grapefruit and caramel biscuits.

In fact, there are now a wide number of expressions available, and you could try anything from the now closed Port Dundas, the Girvan Patent Still Proof, or the Loch Lomond Single Grain – just to name a few!

Interested in trying grain whiskies? You’ll find a wide range on our website.

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Must Read Whisky Books to Start your Collection

Looking to add some whisky books to your shelves? Then maybe we can point you in the right direction. 

Whether you’re trying to expand your knowledge, discover new drams or just want an easy bedtime read, there are a range of fantastic books ready to be explored. 

We’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular whisky books out there, covering everything from Japanese whisky to taste maps. 

The Way of Whisky – Dave Broom

Though it looks like your typical coffee table book, The Way of Whisky is so much more. This is a stunning exploration of Japanese whisky, that’s part travelogue, part whisky guide. It charts Broom’s journey across the country, taking in visits to distilleries and jotting tasting notes along the way. It’s not all whisky, though, it also gives a great insight into Japanese history and culture, detailing everything from bar culture to pot making. It’s also beautifully produced, accompanied by photos from Kohei Take.

Malt Whisky Companion – Michael Jackson

What would a list of must read whisky books be without the best selling one ever? First written in 1989 by the late great Michael Jackson (not that one), and continually revised since, Malt Whisky Companion is the definitive guide to all things whisky. With advice on buying and collecting, frequently asked questions, and more than 1,000 tasting notes, this is an absolute must have for any whisky lover. The eighth edition, which was updated by Dominic Roskrow and Gavin D. Smith, was released in 2022 and includes new and notable bottlings. 

The World Atlas of Whisky – Dave Broom

Another shout out for the prolific Dave Broom, with this book, The World Atlas of Whisky. While there’s information here on more than 200 distilleries, where this one really stands out is its guide to flavour profiles. With the help of Diageo, Broom has devised six flavour camp charts to help beginners and enthusiasts discover whiskies that match their taste. These are split into different styles such as ‘rich and round’ or ‘malty and dry’ and can help readers discover new favourites or step out of their comfort zone completely. 

Malt Whisky Yearbook – Ingvar Ronde

An annual release, the Malt Whisky Yearbook is a must-have for any whisky professional or hobbyist. First launched in 2006, by Ingvar Ronde, this is a one stop shop for everything that’s going on in the industry. As well as information on distilleries, and of course, tasting notes, it also includes articles from distinguished names. If you want to feel up to date with everything that’s happening in whisky, then this is your go-to.

Raw Spirit – Iain Banks

Perhaps better known for his fiction, Iain Banks takes us on a fascinating journey around Scotland as he searches for the perfect dram. This is not your dry and informative look at scotch; this is a witty and anecdote-filled travelogue that touches on culture, people, and politics – and of course, whisky! Written in 2003 (which will become apparent when you see the meandering monologues on Tony Blair), this is an alternative take on your classic whisky book, but certainly an entertaining one. 

Whiskies Galore – Ian Buxton

Another book that’s as much about the journey as it is the destination. Whiskies Galore sees Ian Buxton explore Island distilleries, taking in Islay, Skye and the Orkneys. What’s great about this book, is that it isn’t just facts and tasting notes, it’s full of asides and opinion. As the author travels up the west coast, we hear his thoughts on everything from Arran to Talisker, but not just on the whisky –  the people, the visitor centres and even a distillery’s standing in the industry all get assessed by Buxton. This is an entertaining read on one of the lesser written about regions of whisky. 

This list is by no means exhaustive, but is a great starting point if you’re looking to learn more about whisky. If you think we’ve missed any out, comment and let us know.  

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What is Cask Finishing: An Introduction

While whisky production has been taking place for more than 1,000 years, cask finishing has only become part of the process in the last few decades.

From sherry to tequila, red wine to pale ale, distilleries and independent bottlers have experimented with all kinds of finishes to bring a new flavour and intrigue to their releases.

We tell you everything you need to know about cask finishing, including what it is, how it works and which are the most popular finishes.

What does cask finished mean?

Whisky is aged in wooden barrels and the type of barrel used will have a massive influence on the profile of that whisky.

Usually, whisky will spend the entirety of the maturation process in just one barrel, but sometimes it gets moved into another barrel (that previously contained something else) for a second maturation. This is known as cask finishing and is done to impart additional characteristics.

Balvenie was one of the first distilleries to produce a cask-finished whisky when they released the Balvenie Classic in 1983 – which had spent a brief period in sherry butts following the initial maturation. Of course, they weren’t alone in trying to push the boundaries of whisky, and the likes of Glenmorangie and Diaego were similarly experimenting at this time. 

The following 40 years have seen the popularity of cask finishing grow substantially and it is now commonplace in the industry. 

How does cask finishing work?

Whisky must be aged for at least three years in order to legally be called ‘whisky’. However, in an attempt to get a different flavour profile, distillers will often transfer the matured spirit into another cask for a short amount of time – perhaps just weeks or months. 

In fact, there is no minimum or maximum time that a second maturation must last, but most tend to be between six months and two years.

The great thing about barrels is that they take on the flavour of whatever was held in them previously. This is because, when the barrel breathes, the liquid soaks into the wood – meaning that the barrel retains some of the characteristics of the liquid, even when it’s been emptied. 

During this second maturation, the breathing process continues and the liquid that’s been soaked into the barrel starts to impart some of its flavour back into the newly added whisky.  

What are the most common cask finishes?

So we know what cask finishing is and why it’s done, but what are the most popular finishes? Well, the three most common are sherry, bourbon and port, and they all have their own unique qualities. 


Sherry casks are by far the most common barrels used for finishing whisky on the market. While ex-Oloroso barrels are the most popular, fino sherry and Pedro Ximenez casks are also frequently used. Interestingly, almost all of the sherry casks used in the whisky industry have been ‘seasoned’ for that purpose – as opposed to using casks that sherry has actually been matured in (this is because bodegas don’t typically discard of their casks!). Sherry-finished whiskies tend to have warming notes of spice and dark fruits, coupled with a dark red hue and oily mouth finish.


After sherry, bourbon finishes are perhaps the most frequently seen on the shelves. In American law, barrels used to mature bourbon can only be used once, meaning most find a second home in the Scotch whisky industry. It’s thought that bourbon barrels impart around 60% of their flavour, and though similar to whisky in many respects, it’s profile adds elements of vanilla, caramel and subtle spice. 


If you’re looking for a dessert whisky, then look no further than a port-finished dram. With its deep colour and rich character, ex-port casks can transform a standard expression into something much more decadent. Whiskies such as the Glenmorangie Quinta Ruben or Penderyn Portwood have delicious notes of chocolate, dark fruit and honey – perfect for cold winter nights or accompanying a cheese board.

As well as these three popular finishes, you may also see whisky that’s been matured in casks that used to hold:

  • Rum
  • Red wine
  • Manzanilla
  • Moscatel
  • Tequila
  • IPA
  • Madeira
  • Sauternes

… just to name a few!

What can’t be used?

While Irish and American whiskey has almost complete flexibility as to what can be used in finishing, Scotch producers are a bit more restricted.

Thankfully, this has started to change, as updated regulations now allow for the use of casks that have held almost all types of spirits, wine or beer.

There are, however, exceptions. As a basic rule of thumb, if cask maturation is not used in the production of a particular liquid, then it can’t be utilised by the whisky industry. Gin, for example, isn’t allowed. 

Cider is also a no-no, which is why Glen Moray’s Cider Cask Project expression caused a little bit of a stir.

Interested in trying different cask finishes?

In a centuries-old industry, that’s often restricted by tight regulations, cask finishing has brought innovation, intrigue and some fantastic new whiskies to the market. 

But don’t just take our word for it! Visit our website and explore an extensive range of different finishes.

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What is No Age Statement Whisky (And Should You Buy it)?

Ever wondered why you can’t always find the age of your latest whisky purchase printed on the bottle?

What you’ve likely stumbled upon is a no age statement release, and though they’ve been common in the industry for a while, you won’t be alone in wanting to know more about what you’ve just bought!

We take a deep dive into no age statement whiskies, exploring what they are, why we have them and whether they’re actually any good (spoiler alert, they are!).

What does NAS mean?

‘NAS’ is an abbreviation of ‘no-age statement’. This basically means that the distillery hasn’t disclosed the length of maturation.

So, while you might be used to seeing a Bunnahabhain 12 (for example), with the 12 denoting how many years the whisky has been sitting in the cask, NAS whiskies tend to have names related to flavour, heritage or process – such as the Bunnahabhain Toiteach (which means smokey in Scots Gaelic).

All we can ever confidently say is that the youngest liquid in an NAS whisky is three years old, as this is the minimum age required in order to be legally called ‘whisky’.

Why do distillers release NAS whiskies?

Although the concept of NAS whiskies dates back to the prohibition era in the US, the practice has been thrown under the spotlight over the last decade as enthusiasts strive for more transparency – although the reason for their existence is a simple one.

As the demand for older and rarer whisky increased, distilleries had to come up with a way to keep up the supply.

After all, when the stock of your favourite 18 year old runs dry, it’s gone.

This is where NAS whiskies come in, as it enables distillers to fill a gap in the market while existing spirit matures. It also gives them a bit more freedom to experiment with different finishes and flavour profiles, without the constraints that a stated age imposes.

This is because any reference to age that appears on a bottle of whisky can only denote that of the youngest drop. In other words, if you have a predominantly 15 year old malt, but top it up with a punchier 5 year old, then that legally becomes a 5 year old bottle of whisky.

Unfortunately, this younger age statement can make that particular release less appealing to buyers and might not be a fair reflection of the quality of the drink. This is especially pertinent to NAS whiskies, as they are typically a combination of differently aged spirits.

What’s the controversy with NAS whisky?

The main arguments against NAS whisky typically relate to transparency and the belief that older bottles are better.

As NAS releases don’t list an age, it’s understandable that buyers may lack confidence in their purchase. This is fair, but it also ties into a common misconception – that age is always a reflection of quality.

There’s a myth in whisky that older bottles are better and anything younger than 10 years old isn’t worth your time; this definitely isn’t the case. Not all well-aged whiskies may be to your taste, just like not all young whiskies won’t be.

So don’t be put off by the thought that an NAS whisky might contain young spirit; chances are, it also contains some older spirit too – and it definitely doesn’t make for an inferior product!

Is NAS whisky good?

NAS whiskies are certainly worth tasting and there are plenty of fantastic bottles on the market for beginners and experienced drammers alike.

In fact, some of the most popular bottles of the last few years have been devoid of age statements.

Take, for instance, the A’bunadh releases from Aberlour. These heavily sherried, cask strength bottlings, have become a real cult favourite – and while we don’t exactly know the age of the whisky, it’s said to be a mixture of 5 to 25 year old spirit!

Similarly popular NAS whiskies include the Ardbeg Uigeadail, Glenfarclas 105 and anything by Compass Box. To be honest, there are loads of superb bottles out there and we couldn’t possibly list them all!

Conclusion: should you buy NAS whisky?


Age is just a number and nowhere is this better illustrated than with whisky. Sure, we all have our favourite 12, 15, or 18 year old bottles, but NAS whisky presents a fantastic opportunity to try something different and often at a reasonable price!

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Introducing: The Lakes Single Malt Whisky – The Whiskymaker’s Editions : Reflections.

This brand new release from the Lakes Distillery, showcasing the best of the Lake District, Reflections is a collaboration with Lakes resident patron chef Simon Rogan from the incredible L’Enclume and with online exclusivity at House of Malt.

Together we celebrate, not just past achievements but also the possibilities that lie ahead. Reflections is guided by earthly connections, grounded by a sense of place and stimulative of deep contemplation at meaningful moments in time. Restrained, elegant and light, but also incredibly vibrant, Reflections is autumnal Lakes in character, with spiced pumpkin and fragrant woodspice evolving into apple compote and warming cinnamon and a long, reflective finish. Non-chill filtered and natural colour, bottled at 54% ABV.

Lakes Distillery Reflections

Click here to order now

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Exploring Calvados

Where is Calvados?
Calvados, which is located in Lower Normandy. It is distinguished by the charming Pays d’Auge countryside with its apple orchards and half-timbered homes, some of which have what the French know as “colombage” thatched roofs. The area’s economy is dominated by agriculture, and the region’s famed culinary creations frequently use butter, cheese (particularly Camembert and Pont-l’Eveque), cider, and Calvados – the apple brandy that bears the region’s name. If you’re a lover of fresh cuisine, Calvados offers a huge variety of fresh fish and shellfish served “à la Normande” with a superb choice of local produce from market stalls offering colourful fresh fruit and vegetables.

What kind of alcohol is Calvados?
Calvados is a cider or perry eau-de-vie and not an apple or pear eau-de-vie — i.e. it is obtained from fruit that has already been fermented. It is dependent on the terroir, the varieties harvested, their quality and quantity, and the nature of the cider or perry made from these fruits. A good example of a fine Calvados is Christian Drouin 10 Year Old

What’s the connection between Calvados and whisky?
Since the ground-breaking 2019 amendments, Calvados casks have been permitted to be used for maturing or “finishing” whisky. Many distilleries have been experimenting with Calvados casks to delicious results. For example, Deanston 2007 Calvados Cask Finish is a superb, light golden coloured whisky with notes of sharp green apple, citrus zest and sweet caramel.

We highly recommend giving Calvados a try, have a look at the range available here, why not try side by side with a Calvados finished whisky to compare and contrast. Happy sampling – Team HoM.

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Whisky Glassware – how important is using the right whisky glass?

There are many different styles of whisky glassware on the market, gone are the days of the exquisite crystal tumbler being the only vessel of choice, which still has its place, but what’s the difference in glasses and why does it matter? At the House of Malt, we want to help our customers enjoy their favourite tipple, the way they like it. We all have a favourite way of taking our whisky. Here’s how to get the best from your whisky glass according to your preferred drinking style:

The Nosing Glass: This is one of the smaller styles of whisky glass. Its unique ‘tulip’ shape is designed with aroma in mind. The glass allows the air to circulate around the whisky, directing the aromas to meet your olfactory senses with an eloquent burst of fragrant notes and characteristics (that’s the bit when you stick your nose in and sniff!). Or maybe you are a wafter? This is the art of wafting air across the top of the glass to gather the aromas, rather than nosing. We would recommend this style of glass for a sophisticated and straight-up single malt whisky such as Glenfarclas. Our very own House of Malt Glencarin Glass is an excellent choice.    

The Heavy Tumbler: We told you they had their place, and it is right here for those who love to have their whisky ‘on the rocks’ or with a touch of water to open the flavour. The wider tumbler allows space for ice. You may have seen the trend to use extra large ice-cubes, this allows a larger surface area for chilling the whisky but a more solid form that will defrost more slowly than standard ice cubes: maximum chilling, minimum dilution. Norlan has developed a super RAUK Heavy Tumbler, which is the ultimate blend of advanced digital design and inventive product technique. Not only is this glass suitable for chilled whisky, but it also has extruded chevrons radiating from the centre, which serve to provide friction points for gripping ingredients used in muddled drinks. How about trying an old fashioned or a whisky sour. 

The Highball Glass: If you like your whisky in a cocktail, then this is the glass for you. The tall glass allows space for plenty of ice and your favourite mixers to make a long refreshing whisky cocktail. Swizzle stick and umbrella are at your own discretion! Why not try Aberfeldy 12 in a delicious whisky highball.

It really is that simple, decide if you’re a straight up, chilled, or cocktail drinker and pick your favourite design from our broad range of whisky glassware. Why not tag us on social media with your favourite glass?

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Diageo Special Releases 2020

The Diageo annual collection explores unusual age points, experimental maturation techniques

Created by Diageo master blender Dr. Craig Wilson, the whiskies tend to be experiments in flavor, bringing out unusual profiles that are not often associated with the distillery the whiskies are sourced from.

This year, we welcome to the line-up the first ever release finished in pot-still Caribbean rum casks. Like the 2019 releases the “Rare by Nature” theme highlights the extraordinary nature that surrounds each distillery.

Below are 4 of these special releases, comprising of 8 in total.

Sign up for the stock-alerts for when these rare whiskies arrive into stock:

The Mortlach 21 Year Old 2020 Special Release

The Talisker 8 Year Old 2020 Special Release

The Cardhu 11 Year Old 2020 Special Release

The Singleton of Dufftown 17 Year Old 2020 Special Release

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A moments release from Port Ellen – a 40 year old ‘9 Rogue Casks’.

Port Ellen 40 Year Old 9 Rogue Casks Whisky
Port Ellen 40 Year Old 9 Rogue Casks

What do we know about this iconic distillery? Port Ellen hugs the coastline on the revered isle of Islay off the west coast of Scotland, this distillery has achieved legendary status amongst connoisseurs in the know with whiskies that are among the most sought after, with the magic and mystique growing with age since the distillery’s closure in 1983. Plans are now in place and work has started on rebuilding a brand new distillery to re-open in 2021.

The stocks from Port Ellen before closure in 1983 are limited in quantity and highly revered by the whisky experts as they improve with age. Special releases of these stocks offer a unique opportunity to own a part of Port Ellen’s history. There are only 1380 bottles available of the 9 Rogue Casks release which makes it both the oldest and the most limited public release from the distillery.

Here at House of Malt towers, we do love a good Port Ellen, and being the oldest ever release from this iconic distillery we are very excited to try this one, aged whisky being ‘better’ is something that is not always the case – however Port Ellen ages incredibly well, and we think that this will be the best Port Ellen yet. Not a cheap bottle by any stretch, but enthusiasts and collectors will be fighting for this one.

House of Malt are taking pre-orders on this special release now, link below:

Tasting notes from Port Ellen are:

Nose: Delicate, grassy/herbal, burnt tangerine skin, very mild smoke at cask strength, opens up a little with the addition of water, crème caramel/roasted coffee, red fruit compote, ripe peach skin.

Palate: Much more pronounced bonfire smoke, pipe tobacco, leather, wood spice.

Finish: Long, wispy smoke finish.