Wednesday 23 May 2012

What To Do With My Blended Scotch?

Please forgive my lack of writing recently, it's been busy times!

I thought I'd do a quick post on my thoughts of this bottle of blended Scotch sitting next to me. I bought some Famous Grouse on a whim as I'd never really tried mixing with it before. I've never had a blended Scotch I've enjoyed sipping, for the record. I bought it about 6 months ago and it's still three quarters full, so the verdict is that I still don't like the taste of it and I don't even like mixing with it.
I feel bad going on another shopping trip (at least until I'm in Seattle) without first getting through some of these bottles I have sitting around, so I decided to try a couple new things to make it more palatable for myself.

Here's something I came up with tonight and it's not half-bad. It's very possible that you won't like it if you actually enjoy the flavour of Famous Grouse as is, not give it a try anyway. I messed around with a blended Scotch Old-Fashioned, trying first Angostura (which I didn't like), then Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas bitters (which works quite well, but wasn't my thing), and finally Peychaud's. I find the latter works very nicely with Scotch, and I thought I'd play with flavours a little more and throw some Benedictine in there, which we know works in the Bobby Burns. I didn't want to overdo the Benedictine, and found it a little harsh in the end, so added a dash of simple syrup to balance. Done.

Try it out if you're like me and don't like the bottle of blended Scotch you have at home, but love bitters, Benedictine, and Old-Fashioned's. I don't think it's deserving of a name (plus I suck at naming drinks), so I'll leave that to your imaginations.

1.5 oz Famous Grouse
2-3 dashes of Peychaud's bitters
Dash of Benedictine (my "dash" ended up being a barspoon, which should be about 1/8oz, though I bet this would work great with even a 1/4oz)
Dash of simple syrup (again, about a barspoon)

Build Old-Fashioned-style as you see fit. I'm a little lazy at home, so I'll often throw everything in there with an ice cube, stir for a bit, then add another ice cube or two. A more proper way to do it is to start with everything but the Scotch and just one ice cube and stir for a little while. Add a little Scotch, stir some more, add an ice cube, add the rest of the Scotch, stir, add an ice cube, then finish with a final dash of bitters to really liven it up. Keeping your glass chilled beforehand makes a difference in taste and how long the drink stays cold.



  1. Hey Rhett - thanks for the interesting post, I tend to find that as with cognac/brandy, the anise notes of Peychaud's work rather well with blended scotch also so can imagine this working nicely. Tho I haven't mixed up much with typical blended scotch outside of the Blood & Sand or similar spins, I have actually grown somewhat fond of using a related bottle - Black Grouse. A bit of peat/smoke plays well with a number of other somewhat unexpected ingredients, can shoot you a few I came up with if you're interested as they might even work with a swap of Famous Grouse.

  2. Cheers!
    I do enjoy a good Blood & Sand, but have no Cheery Heering at home. This experiment is quite jilted because I am limited to only what I have in my own bar without having to buy anything new :)
    I find Black Grouse much more interesting, though I still don't enjoy a blend that much. (I do enjoy a good single malt, though.)
    It's only an extra $5 as well, and it's worth the difference. Unfortunately I have only Famous at home and as you can see am struggling to find a use for it.

    Please feel free to send my recipes, I always enjoy reading and trying new ones, and if it's anything particularly delicious I might just have to share it on the site too!

  3. Here's a bit of a tweak on the Jack Rose, absent Black Grouse, perhaps you could mess with a substitute ratio of Famous Grouse and something like Ardbeg 10yr (1.5/0.5 oz?) -
    I also messed around some with the Blood & Sand, so absent the Cherry Heering, if you've got an apple brandy, give the Sandstorm a shot -