Scotch: The old faithfuls
Remember blended scotch? asked Eric Asimov in The New York Times. Sales are way down in recent decades, but blends still far outsell more celebrated single malts, so our tasting panel recently gave 20 blends a spin. In a quality blend, malt whisky is complemented by the addition of grain whisky. Though blends are far less distinctive—and well-regarded Pinch wasn’t in our test group—“we all found a lot to like.”
Buchanan’s Master ($48/750ml). Our favorite blend “epitomizes the category”: It’s “smoky but not too smoky,” rich and creamy, and offers lingering malt flavors.
Teacher’s Highland Cream ($24/liter). The runner-up is a great value, delivering “assertive flavors of peat and malt,” plus a pleasant smokiness.
Johnnie Walker Black Label ($55/liter). This smooth, everpopular 12-year blend offers complex flavors of smoke, flowers, and chocolate.