Whisky 101

What's the difference between single malt & blended whisky?


Single Malt vs Blended Scotch. Whisky guru, Ervin Trykowski is here to break down the differences between the two.


Let’s start with exactly what they are.

Single malts are a product of one distillery, one place neatly packaged in liquid form.

Blends are a combination of different single malts and grain whiskies from the four corners of Scotland and are often combinations of 30+ distilleries. 

The grain element in blends helps to soften the edges.

They are by their very definition blended to be more rounded. The peaks of flavour are balanced by other distilleries and whisky styles contained within the blend. This can often lead to blends being described as smooth, and it can sometimes be harder to pick out individual flavour notes because they are polished, and the flavours are very well integrated. 

Single malts, in contrast, have huge spikes of flavour.

They are a product of a place, of its people and of history. Each distillery sticks to the style that has been made there for generations. Their points jump out at you, and a great single malt, even after 25 years in oak, can still be identified as the whisky of that town. 

The most important misconception is that you need to treat single and blended whiskies differently.

Blends like Johnnie Walker Black Label are as exceptional sipped neat as they are in a cocktail. And Talisker makes an amazing Piña Colada. More and more single malts are being used by the world’s best bars due to their punchy flavour. 

Single malt cocktail:

Talisker Colada

A fresh take on the classic Piña Colada which usually calls for rum but with Talisker. It's super tasty and perfect for a warm summer days.



50ml Talisker

Pineapple juice 

30ml coconut cream 

15ml sea buckthorn juice 

Cubed ice



Shake the drink with cubed ice and serve in a small coupe. Garnish with pineapple – or a small boat sail! 




Johnnie & Ginger

Blended cocktail:

Johnnie Walker Ginger highball

Prepare for a love affair between fire and spice in a ginger ale cocktail.



50ml Johnnie Walker

150ml ginger ale

Ice cubes 



Fresh ginger, star anise or a lemon wheel



Pour your Johnnie Walker in a highball glass over ice. Spice things up with 150ml ginger ale and stir to mix. Finish with fresh ginger and star anise or a lemon wheel. 




Ervin Trykowski

“Ultimately, whisky is whisky. So, whether you love to indulge in earthy flavours (single malts) or if you prefer your drinks a little less intense (blended malt), no matter what variety you are drinking, sip your drink your way and enjoy.”