A blended scotch whiskey (or blended whisky) is the product of blending different types of whiskeys and sometimes also neutral grain spirits, colorings, and flavorings. It is generally the product of mixing one or more higher-quality straight or single malt whiskey with less expensive spirits and other ingredients. This typically allows for a lower priced finished product, although expensive “premium” varieties also exist.
Some examples of blended whiskey include Canadian Mist, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Seagram’s Seven, Kessler Whiskey, the premium Japanese brand Hibiki, and the various Scotch whisky blends sold under the Johnnie Walker brand.
Higher proof spirits with less time aging are usually much less expensive to produce than straight whiskeys or single malt whiskeys and are often the primary spirits in blends, along with more premium whiskies and other ingredients added for flavoring.
Most cocktails and mixed drinks that contain whiskey are made using economically priced blended whiskeys rather than higher priced whiskeys, primarily because the presence of the other ingredients makes the subtleties of the taste of the whiskey less critical to the overall taste of the drink. However, drink establishments often upsell the use of a premium top-shelf liquor in mixed drinks for better taste (and higher revenues).