Scary Good Grouse
In the world of wine, blends can be beautiful. However, in the world of whisk(e)y, blends can often be bland. Of course, the whole point of blended whisky – and if we’re talking scotch we mean a whiskey fashioned via the blending of fairly neutral grain whiskey with more robust single malt – is to achieve a consistent style that will appeal to the average palate.We at Tidings would like to think the palates of our writers and readers are somewhat above average. So we were pretty pleased when a bottle of The Black Grouse Blended Scotch Whisky (from the people who bring you The Famous Grouse) alighted on our doorstep. Crafted using a higher percentage of smoky peated malt than most other blended numbers, this is a serious whisky with a distinctively smoky yet complex and rounded character. Peat smoke, spice, molasses, cocoa and oak are woven together seamlessly into a smooth, rich, layered dram that should appeal to those typically attracted to single malts.
British Whisky guru Jim Murray gives this whisky 94 points (practically the highest score he has awarded to any blended whisky) calling it “a real treasure.”
While you could use it as a base for cocktails like The Haunted Grouse (see recipe below), The Black Grouse is complex enough to be savoured neat on a cold, dark (and perhaps even scary) fall evening.
The Haunted Grouse
2 oz Black Grouse
1 oz Coconut Rum
3 oz passion fruit juice
Shake with ice and pour over fresh iced martini glass
This cocktail will be featured at The Fox, 35 Bay Street, Toronto, until Friday, November 4th.