Ballantine’s is part of a long tradition of grocery stores-cum-whisky bottlers in Scotland, buying barrels from the distiller and bottling the whisky for their customers. These independent bottlers served an important function in the Scotch market by buying and storing barrels when demand was low. Some of the bigger grocers amassed large stores of aging whisky, creating a diverse palate from which to blend (and hiding a few gems in the bowels of their storehouses). Bottlers like Ballantine’s, specialized in blending; others, in releasing rare casks of single malts from various distilleries. Ballantine’s 17 Year is a blended Scotch comprised of malt and grain whiskies from various distilleries. Each is aged for at least 17 years, before the whiskies are blended together and bottled at 43% ABV.