Let’s talk about… blended Irish whiskey
According to the Irish Whiskey Technical File, the term blended Irish whiskey simply refers to a whiskey made from a mixture - literally, a blend - of two or more different types of whiskey. That covers any combination of:
Pot still Irish whiskey
Malt Irish whiskey
Grain Irish whiskey
So, if you mix two or more different types of whiskey (which have been produced in accordance with the other regulations of Irish whiskey) and do not cut it below the 40% ABV threshold, your blend shall warrant the title of "blended Irish whiskey".
Combinations of blended Irish whiskey
Now that we know blended Irish whiskey is simply a combination of two or more categories of Irish whiskey, we can think more about the several possible combinations of blends that exist:
Malt & grain blends
The world’s most common type of blended whiskey sees malt whiskeys mixed with grain whiskeys. Examples of this style within Irish whiskey include Bushmills Original, Teeling Small Batch, Kilbeggan Original and Clonakilty Single Batch Double Oak (winner of the World’s Best Blended Irish Whiskey 2020 at the World Whiskies Awards).
Pot still & grain blends
The most common type of blended whiskey in the Irish whiskey market, thanks to category leader Jameson. Jameson is a blend of single pot still whiskey and single grain whiskeys, all produced at their New Middleton Distillery. (There is no requirement, however, for blended whiskeys to be produced in the same facility.) While there are a number of pot still & grain blended Jameson whiskey expressions, there are very few on the market at the moment in Ireland outside of the Jameson family. The only other pot still & grain blend on the Irish whiskey market currently is the Powers Original expression (which is also produced at the New Middleton Distillery).
Malt & pot still blends
With no grain whiskey added to the blend, this style is interesting and can produce some incredibly varied flavour profiles. However, there are very few examples of malt and pot still blends in existence. In fact, the only two examples come from the same company: Walsh Whiskey. They showcase this unique style with their Writers’ Tears Copper Pot and Irishman Founders Reserve expressions.
Malt, pot still & grain blends (triple blends)
As you may have guessed, this type of blend sees all three of the main categories of Irish whiskey blended in one bottle. Very few examples of this style exist in Irish whiskey currently. In fact, only two triple blend brands available at this time: Tullamore D.E.W Original and Paddy Irish Whiskey.