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Scotch Blends

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Quick question.

I've tried a few blends: Dewars, Chivas, the Grouse, Teachers and Johny Walker. So far the only blend that I prefer is Johny Walker black. The rest of them are just to bland.

I was reading the Whisky Bible by Jim Murray and he rates White Horse very very high.

I haven't tried White Horse yet. From what I read it has some Talisker and Lagavulin in it.

The problem I have is that some of the before mentioned blends, especially Teachers has pretty good ratings also.

I really like Johny Walker Black, along with a lot of single malts but of course, my problem is money. I can't afford to buy Johny Walker Black and or 12 year single malts on a regular bases.

So I've been looking at two blends and I was just wondering if anyone could give me their opinion?

White Horse? Does it have a good nose, taste profile and finish and is it like Lagavulin and Talisker?

Famous Grouse Gold Reserve. Is it smoother then the regular Famous Grouse and does it have a better nose and flavor profile? Is it like Highland Park?

Should I try these or should I stick with Johny Walker Black and 12 year single malt scotches?

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  1. I can't speak to Grouse Gold or White Horse, but if you want the smoky taste of Talisker and Lagavulin, you may want to try Black Bottle. It's a nice, smoky blend that includes whiskey from each of the working distilleries on Islay. It goes for around $30-35 for the ten year old version.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sku

      I hear good things about Black Bottle, but unfortunately I am unable to purchase it near where I live. :(

    2. I found another brand I would like to ask about.

      Grants family reserve? Anyone tried it? Is it close to Glenfiddich?

      1. For what it's worth, Famous Grouse is the best-selling whiskey in Scotland, and to my taste, it does the job at a good price. I like the Black Label, too, though it is a little pricey. The Red Label has a similar smoky quality, though not as smooth or flavorful. My father-in-law keeps a bottle of White Horse in his liquor cabinet. It's a bit rough, as is Grant's.

        1. Bailie Nicol Jarvie is another very good Scotch whisky blend. It is produced by Glenmorangie and has a high malt content, roughly 60%. I am not sure if it available yet in the U.S.

          1. Ok, I went out and purchased White Horse and Grant's today. Unfortunately I'm unable to get Grant's sherry and other cask whiskies, but I was able to get the family reserve.

            So far I've tried, Johnney walker red, Dewars White, the Grouse, Teachers, White Horse and now Grant's family reserve.

            I have to admit that after trying all of these neat, they are very very similar. With the exception of The Famous Grouse. It's not as peaty as the rest.

            I have to admit that I am more found of the "peatier" scotches, so the Grouse is out.

            So I have concluded that, to my utter surprise, that White Horse and Grant's is pretty darn good.

            Of course they aren't as smooth as a 12 or 15 year scotch, but drinking them neat isn't bad at all.

            So, I'm sold. White Horse and Grant's as an every day sipp'n scotch for me!

            3 Replies
            1. re: theginguy

              Just wanted to add a quick update.

              I really like The Glenlivet.

              Today I ran across a bottle of Speyburn at the store. I didn't know anything about it. But it's a 10 year old single malt that I bought for $27.00.

              Most other single malts will cost me $40.00 including The Glenlivet.

              Well, I'm sold on Speyburn. It has a very similar taste to The Glenlivet, it has a good nose and it's pretty smooth. The bottle looks nice and it even comes in tin and cardboard sleeve.

              I have come to really appriciate William Grant's as well. I can by it for under twenty dollars. It has a great taste and a pretty good finish. It's pretty similar to Johnny Walker. The only thing it really lacks is a good nose. I really like to nose my whisky. But hey, it's a hell of lot cheaper then Johnny Walker Black.

              So my search for my "everyday" Scotches is coming to an end. Of what is readily available to me at my local liquor store, I think it's going to be Speyburn, The Famous Grouse and William Grant's.

              1. re: theginguy

                Grant's is $10.99 for 1 liter here in CA at Trader Joe's. I just bought a bottle the other day, and I like it. My normal everyday scotch has been either Johnny Walker Black, Johnny Red or Famous Grouse. But at that price, Grant's is moving into the rotation. I'm going back for 4 or 5 more bottles while they have it, as TJ's tends to rotate their stock in and out during the year.

                1. re: ed1066

                  Yeah, my wife and I are good friends with a couple who just moved here to Virginia from California. They were shocked at the liquor prices here. They couldn't believe it.

                  Almost makes us want to move there just for that reason. :)