Sometimes when history repeats itself, it’s all good. At Scotchwhisky.com, Iain Russell cites the global thirst for Monkey Shoulder as proof of the revival in blended malts. Made by combining single malts from different distilleries, they were a thing in Scotland way back when, Russell says, favored by wealthy whiskey drinkers who liked to fashion a cask of their perfect dram.
But with the rise of the continuous still in the 1800s, merchants began churning out cheaper product by blending neutral grain spirit with single malt. Following the First World War, Russell recounts, those combos shoved single and blended malts to the sidelines.
The latter didn’t start making a comeback until the 1980s, and it took another few decades for William Grant & Sons to seal the deal as Monkey Shoulder outsold Johnnie Walker. Maybe it’s time for Johnnie to lose the top hat and cane…