What was once merely a humble grocery store in the heart of Edinburgh, is one of the largest and most successful Scotch whisky houses on the planet. Such is the story of Ballantine’s, behemoths that are enriching the Scotch whisky industry with their impeccable product.
Spanning nearly two centuries, the Ballantine’s brand remains well-known and popular over the world, not many Ballantine’s lovers are aware of the brand’s rich history and record-breaking statistics.
These amazing details about the Ballantine’s Scotch whisky brand will not only astound you, but will make you fall in love with it all over again. We have handpicked the most interesting and fascinating bits to help you expand your knowledge of one of Scotland’s most iconic houses of whisky. Read further to find out our list of facts about Ballantine’s blended Scotch whisky!
The Ballantine’s house of Blended Scotch whisky was established as a small grocery store in Edinburgh in 1827 by George Ballantine Senior. He moved his business to Glasgow in 1865 to concentrate on the booming spirits trade and was joined by his sons to help out in the business.
It has been over 190 years since the Ballantine’s brand was established by George Ballantine Senior.
Ballantine’s is the second highest selling Scotch whisky brand worldwide, and the highest selling Scotch whisky in Europe. The brand claimed this position in 1986 and hasn’t relinquished the top spot as Europe’s bestselling Scotch whisky to this day.
Ballantine’s Finest, the standard, no-age-statement blend from the brand is created with a recipe that has remained unchanged since 1910. This was the time when George Ballantine’s sons, George II, Archibald and Daniel, and grandson, George III developed the perfect recipe.
200,000 bottles of the Ballantine’s Finest blend are sold worldwide each day, making it one of the world’s most popular and highest selling Scotch whisky expressions ever.
Ballantine’s sold over 7.4 Million 9-litre-cases of their product in 2018, improving from 6.9 Million cases in 2017. It is one of the fastest growing Scotch whisky brands worldwide.
Queen Victoria granted the Royal Warrant to the Ballantine’s brand in 1895, which made them eligible to supply goods directly to the Royal palaces and mansions.
The Grant of Heraldic Arms was received by the Ballantine’s brand in 1938, listing them as an incorporation noble on the Noblesse of Scotland.
Throughout their history, Ballantine’s has only had five Master Blenders, and the current one is Sandy Hyslop, who took charge in the position in 1983.
Sandy Hyslop, the current Master Blender at the house of Ballantine’s.
Sandy Hyslop is said to examine, nose and observe over 250 samples of Ballantine’s stock every day! That is a different kind of dedication to the art of blending whisky.
The second Master Blender in the history of Ballantine’s, George Robertson, guided the company after the First World War and 13 years of Prohibition. He created the world’s very first and the most rewarded 17 Year Old Scotch blend to date, the Ballantine’s 17 Year Old.
The iconic Ballantine’s Finest bottle was designed to be easily concealed in briefcases and suitcases for smuggling during Prohibition. It has stayed the same ever since!
Jim Murray, author of the annually published ‘Whisky Bible’ awarded a string of titles to the Ballantine’s 17 Year Old for the 8th edition of his book. Murray awarded the following titles to the Ballantine’s 17; ‘Scotch whisky of the year’, ‘Scotch blend of the year’ and Best blended Scotch 13-18 Years’. Ballantine’s 17 Year Old scored a whopping 97.5 points out of 100!
Jim Murray, whisky expert and author of Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.
During the same year, Jim Murray also awarded the title of ‘Best Blended Scotch – Standard’ to the Ballantine’s Finest after it achieved an incredible 96 points out of 100.
Renowned for their blended Scotch whiskies, not many people know about the excellent single malt selection from Ballantine’s. The company released three 15 Year Old single malt expressions from Miltonduff, Glenburgie and Glentauchers in 2017 to critical acclaim.