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Art of blends

May 20, 2014

Reading about the history of Black Dog Scotch whisky led me to the making of whisky and subsequently to the information about how the making of its latest blend TGR is different from the making of any other whisky.

Before going further into the making of Black Dog TGR, let us understand the basics of Scotch whisky. Only a whisky distilled in Scotland qualifies to be called a Scotch. Scotland has many distilleries and many families in Scotland have been involved in whisky-making for generations.

Whisky was originally made of malted barley. Later on, with commercialisation entering, distilleries started  using malted grain too to make whisky.

Whisky can be categorised into five types:

1. Single Malt whisky – is the whisky that is made of only malted barley and is from a single distillery.
2. Single Grain whisky – is the whisky that is made of single grain like wheat, maize, or rye and is from a single distillery.
3. Blended Malt whisky – is a blend of single malt whisky from different distilleries.
4. Blended Grain whisky – is a blend of single grain whisky from different distilleries.
5. Blended whisky – is a blend of malt whisky and grain whisky of one or more distilleries.

Each whisky is distinctive based on the process of ageing and duration of maturation, and casks used for storing the whisky. A blended whisky is thus dependent on the age of the whiskies used for the blend and the exact proportions of each whisky used in the blend. This is not as simple as it sounds. Creation of blended whisky is an art to create a whisky of perfect colour, aroma, taste and finish.

Normal maturation process for a blend is easily understood by the following picture:

Normal maturation process

However, Black Dog Triple Gold Reserve is the only blend that is produced involving a triple maturation process.

The triple maturation process which involves Grain whiskies and Malt whiskies separately matured in American Bourbon Casks and then blended together and matured again in Oloroso Sherry Butts for an extra longer period of time to give the blend a distinctive flavour and a delicate finish.

Triple Mature Process

One of the meanings of ‘art’ is given as ‘a skill at doing a specified thing, typically one acquired through practice’ in the web dictionary. Going by this definition, Mr Richard Paterson, the Master Blender, of the brand Black Dog and its variant Black Dog Triple Gold Reserve is an artist creating pieces of art.


Sangita Passey
20 May 2014



Black Dog Easy Evenings | Black Dog Scotch | Ginger Claps

Disclaimer: The content of this post is meant only for people above the age of 25

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