The concept of whiskey blending is straightforward—it’s the art of combining two or more whiskeys. However, the result of this simple-sounding process is a drinking experience that’s complex, unique, and nuanced. This is why at Daviess County Bourbon, we craft our products based on the time-trusted practice of whiskey blending.
Once you understand the basics of whiskey blending, it’s surprisingly easy to hone your home-blending skills and create a whiskey that’s perfect for your personal palate.
Whiskey Blending Basics
Whiskey blending is by no means a new craft, as the process has been around since the 1800s. Historically used for scotch, bourbon blending has become increasingly popular for both distillers and enthusiasts alike in the last decade.
The reason for this shift is all about taste—whiskey blending allows for a more balanced flavor profile that can’t be achieved with a single mash bill alone. At Daviess County Bourbon, we combine our wheated mash bill with our ryed mash bill and then finish the blend to create our unique variants.
Successful whiskey blending is achieved by combining whiskeys that balance and accentuate each other’s flavors. For example, a sweet, creamy bourbon with strong notes of vanilla can be enhanced by adding a punchy, spice-forward rye. It’s both an art and a science, and Master Blenders rely on technique as well as creativity.
How to do Whiskey Blending at Home
Blending your own whiskey is easier than you might imagine. It doesn’t require expensive equipment, and the end result is not only delicious, but it’s also a great way to expand your palate and dive deeper into this exciting realm. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
- Measuring glass
- Pen and paper
- At least two whiskeys
Once you have your supplies, here’s what you’ll do:
Step 1: Choose a Flavor Profile
The first step is essentially designing the blueprint for your blend. Conceptualizing what you want your final creation to taste like will help guide the entire whiskey blending experience. Although the process is fluid and flexible, it’s helpful to have a plan in mind before you begin selecting whiskeys. Thinking about your favorite food and beverage flavors is a great place to start.
Step 2: Select a Base Whiskey
Once you know what direction you want your whiskey to go in flavor-wise, it’s time to pick a base whiskey. This whiskey will act as the foundation for your blend, so it’s important to select one you enjoy but that you also want to accentuate with additional flavor notes.
Step 3: Measure & Pour
Measuring your ingredients is essential for consistency, especially if you want to replicate your blend, so don’t be tempted to free-pour. Grab your measuring cup and pour one to four ounces of your base whiskey into a clean glass.
Step 4: Add Another Whiskey
This is the most important—and fun—part of the process. Your second whiskey should add flavors that compliment your base without overpowering it. Be sure to measure your second whiskey as well. You can add as much or as little as you’d like, but keep in mind that it’s better to start with less and gradually increase the amount.
Step 5: Stir, Taste, Adjust
You might need to add more of your second whiskey, or you can even add a third whiskey for additional complexity. Stir your blend, then sniff it to appreciate the aromas. Taste it, and take note of the overall experience.
Step 6: Enjoy! (or Store)
Once you’ve adjusted your blend to your liking, it’s time to enjoy it (this might actually be the most fun part of the process). If you don’t want to drink it right away, you can store it in a glass or stainless steel container with a tight-fitting lid.
Start Blending with Daviess County Bourbon
Being able to craft your own signature blend is an exciting prospect if you’re a whiskey lover. We’ve perfected our signature style of whiskey blending, and our goal is to help teach you how to experience and enjoy your own custom creation.
If you want to learn more about the craft of whiskey blending, as well as learn some useful tips and tricks, check out our Whiskey Blending 101 Guide, and start blending with Daviess County Bourbon.