About American Blended Whiskey

About American Blended Whiskey
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

Basil Hayden’s Two By Two Rye Whiskey
89 points
$44.99
Golden amber color. Spicy aromas of frosted spice cake, dates, cherry cobbler, and walnut-honey brioche with a silky, crisp, fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, appealing, medium-length vanilla custard, gingerbread, chocolate biscotti, and peanut brittle finish. A rock-solid go-to rye to make your cocktails shine.
Awards: 2018 Best American Blended Whiskey
89 points $44.99
Henderson American Whiskey
88 points
$11.99
Best Buy
Golden amber color. Aromas of moist banana muffins, vanilla candied walnut, and buckwheat pancake with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a peppery, medium-length caramel sauce, steamed milk, and black licorice finish. A solid blended whiskey with lots of soft fruit notes; youthful.
Awards: 2018 Best Buy Bar - Best Value American Blended Whiskey
88 points $11.99 Best Buy
Eleven Jones American Blended Whiskey
87 points
$12.99
Best Buy
Amber color. Grainy aromas of oatmeal with brown sugar, buttered corn on the cob, cream, roasted plantain, and dill with a round, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, breezy almond nougat, black licorice, molasses cookie, and Irish soda bread finish. A rock-solid American Blended Whiskey.
87 points $12.99 Best Buy
Great Lakes Distillery KinnicKinnic American Blended Whiskey
87 points
$35
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 finish displaying notes of toasted peach scone, nuts, and pumice finish. An interesting nutty, fruity blend for sipping or creative cocktails.
Awards: 2017 Best American Blended Whiskey
Triple Crown North American Blended Whiskey
85 points
$17.99
Golden amber color. Aromas and flavors of brandied cherry, dried orange peel, baking spices, fresh herbs, and vanilla soft serve with a satiny, crisp, dryish light-to-medium body and a peppery, breezy finish. An easy drinking blended whiskey that will certainly ring familiar for bourbon drinkers.
85 points $17.99
Burnside West End Blended American Whiskey
85 points
$26.95
Light gold color. Aromas of kettle corn and caramel sauce with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity light body and a smooth, relaxed chocolate covered redskin peanuts finish. An easy-drinking blended whiskey that hits all the notes.
85 points $26.95
Speckled Tail American Whiskey
85 points
$16.99
Golden amber color. Aromas of vanilla, orange sherbet, peach-pecan pie, rainbow snocone, and candy corn and wheat grass with a satiny, fruity light-to-medium body and a warming, intriguing, snappy dill, tart nectarine, and rose perfume finish. A pleasant blended whiskey with wide appeal.
85 points $16.99
Title 21 American Whiskey
85 points
$24.99
Light gold color. Aromas and flavors of corn pudding, buttered grits, and toasted marshmallow with a glycerous, soft, dry-yet-fruity light body and a tingling, rapid finish evoking notes of ginseng gum finish. A light and mild American Whiskey.
85 points $24.99
C&O Tradesman Whiskey
85 points
$50
Brilliant golden amber color. Aromas and flavors of exotic tropical fruits, lemon-peach yogurt, green peppercorns, sage, and parsley, and hint of floral talc and caulk with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a peppery, delightful, medium-long finish that shows suggestions of toffee, latte, toasted fruit cake, and spicy incense finish. A distinctive tropical citrus character keeps this rambunctious whisky interesting.
Bendt No. 5 American Blended Whiskey
84 points
$24.99
Golden amber color. Aromas and flavors of corn muffins, peaches in syrup, caramel apple, mulling spices, and gentian herb with a slightly chewy, crisp, bitter light body and a warming, breezy finish with shades of toasty pie crusts and over-steeped black tea finish. A fruity and toasty blended whiskey with a somewhat bitter finish; a solid choice for citrusy cocktails.
84 points $24.99