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Whisky Guide

FAQs

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ORIGINS

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WHERE DOES THE NAME BALLANTINE’S COME FROM?

Our name (pronounced Ball-an-tyne) comes from our founder, George Ballantine, and his sons, George, Archibald and Daniel Ballantine. Not to forget his grandson, George Ballantine. Find out more about the history of Ballantine’s on Our Story.

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WHERE IS BALLANTINE’S PRODUCED?

We’re Scotch through and through. That means every drop of Ballantine’s is produced right here, in Scotland. It is expertly blended and bottled in Dumbarton and uses a unique selection of single malt and grain whiskies from the 4 whisky regions of Scotland; Speyside, Islay, Highland and Lowland.

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WHO OWNS BALLANTINE’S WHISKY?

Ballantine’s is a brand of blended scotch whisky produced by the Chivas Brothers subsidiary of Pernod Ricard in Dumbarton, Scotland.

OUR BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY

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What kind of whisky is Ballantines?

Ballantine’s is both a whisky and a scotch. Our extensive range of blended scotch is produced from a complex blend of single malts and grain whiskies from Scotland’s most renowned whisky regions: Speyside, the Highlands, Islay and the Lowlands.

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Is Ballantine’s whisky smooth?

Each of our whisky blends are very smooth and easy on the palette. Especially Ballantine’s Barrel Smooth, our smoothest whisky yet.

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What does Ballantine’s scotch whisky taste like?

Each of our scotch whisky blends have a slightly different flavour profile. But at the heart is a balance of subtle, sweet vanilla and honeyed spice. There’s also notes of red apple, creamy oak and floral freshness.

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Which blends are Ballantine’s rare and limited editions?

Every year we partner with a creative to design a limited edition bottle of Ballantine’s Finest. Recent limited editions include the True Music Icons series featuring AC/DC and Queen, Ballantine’s X J. Demsky and Ballantine’s X Shawna X. Discover our full range of limited edition whiskies.

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Where can I buy Ballantine’s whisky online?

Ballantine’s whisky is available to buy from a number of online retailers including all major supermarkets, The Master of Malt and The Whisky Exchange. Head to our whisky range to find distributers for each blend.

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Where can I buy Ballantine’s whisky near me?

Ballantine’s whisky is available to buy in most major supermarket chains. Check out your local store or shop online to purchase your favourite blend.

DIET

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IS BALLANTINE’S SCOTCH WHISKY SUITABLE FOR VEGAN/VEGETARIAN DIETS?

By nature, whisky is a naturally animal-free process, crafted with pure raw materials: water, barley and yeast. While we do not hold any specific vegan certification, we can confirm that our whiskies are suitable for vegan and vegetarian consumption. 

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IS BALLANTINE’S GLUTEN FREE?

Yes, it is gluten-free. Although alcohol is made using cereals, gluten protein does not pass distillation and cannot be found in the finished product. However, we would always advise that individuals check with their physician / doctor that it is safe for them to consume alcoholic beverages as in some cases, alcohol may increase sensitivity to allergens.

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What is the alcohol percentage of Ballantine’s whisky?

All Ballantine’s whisky blends are 40% ABV, excluding Ballantine’s Light, our bespoke spirit drink. Bottled at 20% ABV, it’s half the strength of Ballantine’s Finest, yet full of flavour.

WAYS TO DRINK

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HOW IS IT BEST TO DRINK BALLANTINE’S?

Ballantine’s Master Blender, Sandy Hyslop, says that the best way to enjoy Ballantine’s is exactly the way you like it. Whether it’s neat, with ice, with water or even in a cocktail. Check out our Drinks page for some mixing ideas, and if you find a mixer that doesn’t go, let us know!

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HOW MUCH WHISKY SHOULD I POUR?

As our founder George says, Ballantine’s is best enjoyed how you like. But if you fancy yourself a mixing maestro a good rule of thumb is that 25ml is the standard single measure in the UK. Some cocktails need a larger measure when the recipe calls for it and if you want more of a sessionable-sipper we have recipes with 15ml measures on our Drinks page too.

As long as you enjoy Ballantine’s responsibly, there’s really no wrong way to drink Ballantine’s.

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AREN’T SINGLE MALTS BETTER THAN BLENDS?

Blending adds a level of complexity, depth and balance that is not always achievable with single malt and grain whiskies. Our Master Blender carefully chooses single malt and grain whiskies and brings them together to craft the ultimate balanced blend.

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Can you use Ballantine’s whisky in cooking?

Drink it, cook with it. There’s more than one way to enjoy Ballantine’s whisky. Our scotch is so good in the kitchen we’ve got recipes to prove it.

AGE

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WHAT DOES THE AGE MARKING ON SCOTCH MEAN?

As a blended Scotch, each bottle of Ballantine’s has a great line-up of malts in each sip. The age statement on our bottles indicates the youngest whisky in the bottle, representing the minimum length of time a whisky has been aged in the cask. The golden rule of crafting Scotch whisky is that it must be matured in the cask for a minimum of three years, but most premium whiskies like Ballantine’s are matured for much longer.

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HOW LONG WILL AN OPENED BOTTLE OF WHISKY STAY GOOD?

We’ve always thought whisky was best enjoyed for yourself, not your shelf. But if you happen to have an opened bottle of Scotch whisky, make sure to store it in a cool place out of direct sunlight, and it’ll stay good. If you’ve had it for years, the taste may alter slightly but there shouldn’t be a noticeable deterioration in flavour.

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IS THERE ANY EXPIRY DATE FOR WHISKY?

Unlike some alcohol, whisky doesn’t mature in the bottle, giving it a pretty much unlimited shelf life.

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HOW OLD ARE THE WHISKIES IN THE BALLANTINE’S RANGE?

Some of our whiskies don’t display an age statement, such as Ballantine’s Finest, Ballantine’s Brasil and Barrel Smooth which are aged from 3 years, with most of the whiskies in there being much older. But the Ballantine’s blended scotch portfolio also features premium quality blended whiskies aged from over 12 years and up to 40 years, as indicated clearly on the bottle. If you’re interested in how age affects whisky, see How Whisky is made.

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What is Ballantine’s oldest bottle of whisky?

Our oldest whisky blend is Ballantine’s 40 Year Old Masterclass Edition. Rich, deep and packed with flavour, this is a whisky for indulgent occasions.

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