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Blended Whisky Bringing Back the Highball?

Hibikithumb A few weeks ago I wrote about mizuwari, the whisky highball ritual sometimes performed in Japan. 

One thing I didn't emphasize was that most of the time these highballs are usually made with blended whisky, not single-malts. 

Now another company has announced the release of blended whisky made for the same purpose. Compass Box Whisky is launching a new range of blends called Great King Street. The first bottling, The Artist's Blend, will start hitting the US market in September. They're emphasizing this whisky's use in the highball. 

750 label size wrapped (1) Compass Box founder/blender John Glaser said in a press release, “As well as being delicious neat, Great King Street is equally enjoyable drunk with ice, as a refreshing Highball with soda water and ice, or in cocktails. One of the wonderful things about a whisky highball is that it slips down as easily as beer.  This gives us whisky lovers a refreshing whisky-based drink for all sorts of different occasions—at the bar with friends after work, on a warm day, parties, receptions, even with food (particularly Asian food). We believe it is time for a renaissance of the Highball.”

Mad Men + Mizuwari + Great King Street. Does three make a trend? 

And do we think that blended whiskies make better highballs, or are they just less expensive so we don't feel bad about watering them down? 


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Single malts make acceptable highballs, but to get the right flavor you have to use so little whiskey that it's hardly a proper drink. Blend in some grain whiskey, though, and you've got the right flavor and the right alcohol content in one delicious glass.

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