About American Blended Whiskey

Serve in a Canadian Whisky Glass
Blended American Whiskey is required to contain at least 20% straight whiskey; with the balance being unaged neutral spirit or, in a few cases, high-proof light whiskey. It has a general whiskey flavor profile (most closely resembling Bourbon), but lacks any defining taste characteristic.

Blended whiskies date from the early 19th century when the invention of the column still made possible the production of neutral spirits. Distillers would blend one or more straight whiskies (Bourbon and Rye) with these neutral spirits in varying proportions to create their own branded blend. The taste and quality of these whiskies, then as now, varies according to the ratio of straight whiskey to neutral grain spirit. Early blends were frequently flavored with everything from sherry to plug tobacco. Compared to straight whiskies they were relatively inexpensive and bland in character. Modern blends utilize dozens of different straight whiskies to insure a consistent flavor profile. Blended American whiskies had a great sales boost during and just after World War II when distillers promoted them as a way of stretching their limited supply of straight whiskey. This sales spike did not last, however. Blended whiskies were considered to be too bland by Bourbon and Rye drinkers, and consumers with a taste for lighter spirits soon migrated to Vodka and Gin. Blended whiskies have been leading the pack in declining sales over the past few decades.
Top Picks for American Blended Whiskey
High West
Campfire Whiskey
Pale amber color. Rich, inviting, complex smoky aromas of malted chocolate, roasted nuts, and delicate smoky earth with a silky, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a peppery, distinctive, very long mango chutney, vanilla cream, rich baking spices, and peat and tea finish. A superb delicately smoky whisky that is sure to please and bridges American and Scottish styles beautifully.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
American Whiskey
Light amber. Aromas of buttery cashew brittle and dried fruit pastry with a silky, fruity-yet-dry medium-to-full body and a white chocolate toffee, mint, and pepper spice accented finish. Very fun, flavorful and a sure bet for cocktails.
91 points $23.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
American Whiskey
Bright light gold color. Creamy aromas and flavors of tapioca, pound cake with apricot, nut brittle, and mocha cream with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, amusing, creme brulee, fruit cake, delicate spice, and nuts finish. A creamy and easy-drinking blended whiskey with substance.
90 points $39.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Triple Crown
North American Blended Whiskey
Light amber color. Aromas of maple sugar, nougat and faint cherry cola with a silky, fruity-yet-dry medium body and a long, clean, praline, mineral, and delicate spice finish. A tasty, easy drinking, crowd pleasing whisky.
89 points $17.99 Best Buy
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Great Northern Distilling
Vanguard Whiskey
Golden amber color. Aromas of conditioned suede, fruit pastry, and butter cookie with a lightly tannic, crisp, dryish body and a peppery, brisk dark roasted nuts, vanilla yogurt, bbq woods, and slate finish. A grainy, spicy, earthy whisky for cocktails.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Rogue Spirits
Dead Guy Whiskey
Minutely hazy deep gold color. Bright, fruity, attractive aromas of dried apricot, tapioca, and raisin bran with a soft, bright, fruity light-to-medium body and a warming, engaging, medium-length toasted grain, frosting, and granola finish. A nice, fruity, easy drinking single malt.
88 points $39.95
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Great Lakes Distillery
KinnicKinnic American Blended Whiskey
Medium amber color. Curious, nutty aromas and flavors of fresh peanut butter and jelly sandwich, praline and beer nuts, suede, and dried apricot with a supple, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, interesting, medium-long toasted peach scone, nuts, and pumice finish. An interesting nutty, fruity blend for sipping or creative cocktails.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Chicken Cock
"Bootlegger's Reserve" Whiskey
Gold color. Inviting aromas and flavors of honeyed dried fruits, peach cobbler, roasted nuts, and white chocolate mint with a silky, bright, fruity medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long leather, sandalwood, baking spices, and cream finish. A rock solid blended whisky that will be very versatile.
87 points $37.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Cask Strength American Whiskey
Light gold color. Aromas and flavors of pepper, mocha, cedar incense, and fresh newspaper with a supple, crisp, petillant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a peppery, delightful, long toffee, creme brulee, dried fruits, and white pepper and ink finish. A brawny cask-strength whisky with a warm, creamy underbelly.
87 points $59.99
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
Heritage Distilling Co.
Elk Rider Blended Whiskey
Minutely hazy golden amber color. Husky grainy aromas of rye flour, clay, and oat sacks with a satiny, dry medium-to-full body and a granola, chalk, nut oil, and delicate pepper finish. A nice, dry earthy whisky for sipping or cocktails.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab