View Full Version : American (Blended) Whiskey
One type of U.S. whiskey rarely discussed here is American Whiskey by which I mean U.S. blended whiskey such as Seagram Seven Crown, Kessler's, Barton's, and there are many others.
Will anyone admit to drinking blended whiskey? I do. While I can't get in Canada any American blends, I always buy a different one when in the States to see what it is like.
I find there is a range of quality. I like all the ones mentioned and find Barton's examples (there are at least two) particularly good.
For those who drink it, how do you take it? Neat, in a cocktail?
We are plumbing the lower shelf (in comparison to bourbon) but there are some good blends out there and I'd be interested in people's reaction pro and con but either way, state why you like or don't like blends, and how you drink them.
I should answer my own question, which is that I like a good blend because it offers a taste similar to bourbon but in a milder way. Sometimes I want a milder taste when sampling whiskey. In those moods, I might go for a Canadian whisky, or an American blended one.
I find Kentucky Gentleman, the blended version (since it comes in a bourbon iteration too) particularly good. It is I believe 51% bourbon. Some American whiskeys are that high in bourbon or other straight whiskey. Most will contain between 20 and 30% straight whiskey (the rest may be neutral spirits, green whiskey, aged whiskey, flavoring and so forth).
It is easy to make one's own blended whiskey (e.g., 1 part any bourbon, 2 parts vodka, dash flavoring of some kind, say Southern Comfort) but I like trying the proprietary flavors offered by the distillers.
I will bring a "Philadelphia" brand blend made by Continental Distilling along to the Gazebo. This was made by Publicker and highly touted by our Dave Ziegler. This is a 1.75 tax stamped bottle from back in the day. Have a taste and you can be the judge.
Thanks Joe, I look forward to it.
I'll seek out when in Kentucky that weekend some good local blends and we'll do a compare - be a nice denouement for the Sunday night.
Back in my college days I used to drink Seagram's 7 quite a bit before discovering the merits of DN 1843 bourbon. I tried to drink it straight at that time but just couldn't. It just didn't taste right but I don't remember exactly why (it was 30 years ago you know). So it got mixed with 7up, Sprite, or Coke. The DN 1843 and WT101 I could drink straight. The only other blended whiskeys I consumed with any regularity were Crown Royal, Canadian Club and Canadian Mist. All were dunked in the same manner as the 7. Of course the Crownie was for special occasions though.
When I received my monthly influx of money for school, it was a couple of cases of beer (which never saw the Monday after the first weekend I had it, BTW) and a 1.75 of Kessler's. Seldomly, did I drink it straight. A shot now and then to jump start the buzz, but mostly mixed with 7-UP or mixed into whiskey sours. I remember a powdered sour mix I used to use, that I thought was quite good. Lord knows what I would think of it today.:puke: In the first decade (Oh God, how depressing that sounds) after college, I upgraded (if you want to call it that) to Seagram's 7 or VO. Not much in the blended category since, though I probably have something buried in the back of the bar.
I've heard that Kentucky Gentleman is a good blend. The Beverage Testing Institute tasting gave it 88 pts. It's the only American blend on their recommended list. Here's their description:
Medium Amber color. Perfumed and fruity with clean roasted nut and caramel, and dried cherry flavors with a smooth finish. Nice oaky flavor evidences solid aging. Well done.
If you're curious about American blended whiskey, make your own. Take one part bourbon and add two parts vodka. Voila! That's American blended whiskey.
Having grown up in KY, blends have never really been part of my repetior. I've had a few, ET most notably as my uncle drinks it, but at the lowest end of the bourbon shelf the bottles only cost cents more than the lowest end of the blend shelf.
ET is not a bourbon, nor is it a blend. It is straight bourbon in virtually every respect. It is, in effect, 80% bourbon and 20% bourbon mash whiskey aged in used barrels. A typical blend is 35% straight bourbon and 65% GNS, although the GNS may have spent a few months in used barrels.
As Joe has said Philadelphia Blended was my Flavorite blend drank alot of it and my Old Hickory then and HH makes a decent remake of Phila now but cheaper in quality not as good as Ours was my opinion! I also admit I liked Schenly Reserve blended back then when I did not have our brand it was a nice smooth Blended. I still have about 2 shots in an old bottle I found in a closet in one of my storage rooms! Had some shots when I was sick last Jan whiskey and beer kept me going then and I could drink beer when food would not go down. Another good blended Continental made was Hallers SRS it was totally Different from Haller reserve which HH still makes also but not the same I do have a bottle of that and it is good when you want something mild use it when my throat bothers me wissh it in my mouth better then any Mouthwash made and alot safer. How did you like the Phila blended to those who tried it? I'm sure there were far to many and not enough time. You should have one of these get togethers in Pa near the Phila area some time. I know they have some kind of Whiskey thing in Phila but just out of Phila would be Ideal. Easy travel up to the Royersford Limerick area from Phila
Old Hickory America's Most Magnificent Bourbon
One of my first drinks to order, after stepping beyond a sloe gin fizz, was a 7&7....a reliable and more masculine order...well, at least in comparison. Then Screw Drivers ...wow...that is a manly name! No more White Russians..heee heee.
These days, I don't buy American blended as I don't drink too many cocktails at home....but...I do understand Gillman's point about a nice easy pour...the idea of using my less liked bourbons to experiment with is an interesting idea...as suggested, mix it with a cheaper vodka.
See the Kessler thread....how does it compare to KY Gentleman?
Another one I sort of Liked when I was young was Calvert Blended it was a very Smooth drink and When I could not get our brands I would have it or the Schennly!
Old Hickory America's Most Magnificent Bourbon
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