‘Tis the season for fireplaces and scotch, two of life’s pleasures that marry remarkably well. A quick, very basic run-through of differences between single malt and blended whisky: Single malts are made from malted barley in pot stills at a single distillery. Blends are made from multiple single malts as well as wheat and/or corn whiskys, distilled in column stills, which can produce more volume, more quickly, than pot stills.
Here is a selection from among the many scotches available in Ohio.
Dewar’s 12-Year Blended Scotch Whisky
A very drinkable scotch with a long history, this has an appealing, nutty, caramel aroma with a note of smoke and orange peel. Smooth and spicy, its flavor is reminiscent of dried fruit.
80 proof; $27.99
Pig’s Nose Blended Scotch Whisky
Marketed as “soft and smooth as a pig’s nose,” this opens with a whiff of vanilla and spun sugar and follows through with toasty walnut notes and a spicy cinnamon finish.
80 proof; $31
The Feathery Blended Malt Scotch Whisky
The name is a nod to the “feathery,” a type of highly regarded, hand-crafted golf balls that managed to cram a “Top Hat Full” of chicken feathers into a single ball. We’re not sure if this is an analogy to this whisky’s richness, but it is indeed packed with flavor, bold but smooth with robust depth and notes of caramelized apple, espresso bean and orange.
80 proof; $62
Glengoyne 10-Year Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky
No peat is used in the barley drying process at this Glasgow distillery, allowing the natural mellowness and sweetness of the malt and sherry casks to shine through. There’s a delicate hint of smoke and apple in the aroma, followed by toasty toffee and cherry flavor with a hint of filbert.
86 proof; $42.99
Glenfiddich 12-Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky
From one of the world’s top-selling producers of single malts, this elegant whisky appeals with aromas of florals and apricot, smooth texture and dried fig and date on the palate.
80 proof; $41.99
Glenfiddich 14-Year Bourbon Barrel Reserve Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Rich and lush, from its buttered toffee and maraschino aroma to its sweet, warming notes of fruit and spice.
86 proof; $50.29
Glenfiddich Single Malt Scotch Whisky India Pale Ale Cask
India Pale Ale barrels lend a delicate aroma of hops with notes of walnut and caramel. The gentle hoppiness does not overpower this whisky’s fruity, floral character, but does impart a zesty bite to the finish.
86 proof; $64.25
Prices may vary.