By this term is meant the mixing of two or more different whiskies. These may be all pot-still products, but more generally are mixtures of patent. and pot-still spirits. In the first case, the. object of blending is to preserve uniformity of character; in the second, to obtain a milder, more uniform, and also a cheaper product than is furnished by pot-still spirit alone. The pronounced flavour of " self-whiskies " - the unblended products of individual distilleries - suits the taste of comparatively few consumers, whereas the blend appeals to a very much larger number. As practised in Scotland, the blending of pot-still and patent-still whisky is for the purpose of producing two distinct classes of spirits: - (1), mildly flavoured whisky of particular characters and good quality; and (2), a cheap but palatable whisky. As regards the latter, patent-still spirit costs less to manufacture than pot-still spirit, and if mixed with immature pot-still whisky - which is naturally cheaper than the fully matured article - the unpleasant taste is toned down, so that the mixture becomes more palatable. The proportion of pot-still whisky in these cheap blends depends chiefly upon the price: the cheapest may contain as little as 10 per cent., or less.


For trade purposes Scotch whiskies are usually divided into five classes, viz.: (1) Highland malts; (2) Lowland malts; (3) Campbeltowns; (4) Mays, and (5) Grains, the last denoting patent.still whiskies. The first four are all whiskies made from malt only in pot-stills. Occasionally (3) and (4) are classed with (1); and (1) are sometimes subdivided into Speyside and North Country whiskies.

The Highland malt whiskies are mainly produced in the district on the mainland lying north of an imaginary line drawn from Dundee to Greenock, the Lowland malts south of this line. The Campbeltowns are distilled at the southern end of the Kintyre peninsula, and the Islays in the island of that name. The Grains are made in the district between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde. In the curing of the malt more peat is used for the Islays than for any of the other classes, and more for the Highland than for the Lowland Malts. Peat is not employed for curing the malt used in preparing the Grain whiskies. The Islays possess a notable peat flavour; the Highland malts are less strongly peaty; whilst the Lowland malts are less full-fiavoured, and the Campbeltowns not so fine in character.

Irish whiskies are not classified in a similar manner. The "self" whiskies are usually sold under the name of the distiller or distillery, but the greater proportion of bottled whiskies is blended and goes either by the name of the blender or under some fanciful description. The Irish patent.still whiskies, however, as in Scotland, are sold under the name of "grains" in the wholesale trade.