While single malts get the majority of media attention when it comes to the world of whisky, there’s a renewed interest in some of the world’s best-loved blends, as savvy drinkers begin to pay attention to just how much work and effort goes into what we may perceive as otherwise simpler whiskies.
In a move designed to better communicate the quality of great blended whisky, and the processes that go into each bottle, Grant’s has rebranded its signature blend as Grant’s Triple Wood. The name is derived from Grant’s already celebrated ageing process, which sees the use of virgin oak, American oak, and refill Bourbon casks, which guarantees a smooth and mellow flavour. The new product retains its iconic ergonomic “tround” (a somewhat questionable portmanteau of “triangular” and “round”) bottle, and gets a fresh label.
“Australians love Scotch but there’s a bias in wanting to dazzle your friends with single malt expertise”, says Brand Manager of Whisky at William Grant & Sons, Justin Strzadala.
“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.”
Blended whiskies, while often containing an element of grain in order to balance the flavour and see demanding market volumes can be met, involve a great deal of effort on the part of the blender, in order to guarantee consistency across large quantities. While often the preferred style of whisky for mixing, both in mixed drinks and cocktails, most seasoned drinkers would proffer that single malts enjoy a more robust market share, despite the little-known fact that the market is, indeed, dominated by blended whiskies, with a ninety per cent slice of the pie.
Grant’s has been using the same priocess for its blended whisky for one-hundred-and-thirty years.
“The Triple Wood process is at the very heart of what we create here at Grant’s”, says Brian Kinsman, Master Blender and Malt Master at William Grant & Sons.
“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.”