The Many Flavors of Whisky.
Once a whisky has matured, it is blended and diluted for bottling – cask strength whisky can be more than 60 per cent ethanol, and the final bottled spirit is 40 per cent. Each distillery has a master blender – a person able to detect hundreds of flavour compounds by nose alone. This is still a talent no piece of analytical equipment can match. Whisky tasters use ‘flavor wheels’ to assess the complex mixture of compounds that make up each individual whisky.
Single malts are usually blended from several casks – all from the same distillery – to establish just the right flavour. The age on the bottle indicates the youngest whisky in that blend.