July 16, 2010 (BONUS REVIEW) — House of Stuart Blended Scotch
Okay campers, this one doesn’t count for my daily update, but I really had to let people know about it. Like, really really.
Through all the drinks I’ve made, all the liquors I’ve tried, all the beer and wine I’ve sipped, I will forever be a scotch drinker. Now, there’s no doubt that single-malt scotches truly are the most delicious versions out there. I mean, for pure, balls-to-the-wall awesomeness, a 15 year old single malt is the one you want to go for. Now, you’re looking at a $75 to $100 bottle of scotch mind you.
Unfairly maligned, in my opinion, are the blended scotches. They’re cheaper, because they’ve been brought together from different batches, with different years. Some come from the various regions of Scotland as well, which means you’re going to have more variation from bottle to bottle as opposed to a single malt.
They also tend to have a stronger burn on the end of them. The gold standard for blended scotches is, of course, my good man Johnnie Walker. Now, I am a massive Johnnie Walker fan. Since I can’t afford single malts on a regular basis, I will usually pick up a Johnnie Walker Black Label for general sipping purposes. I’ve also heard great things about Famous Grouse. Even then, those guys are going to run you in the $35 to $40 range. Not exactly cheap.
But there are times — especially with this blog — when I need to stock up on other ingredients. I don’t even have the ducats for a bottle of my man Johnnie. With this conundrum in mind, I sat (okay, stood. Sitting is a pretty homeless thing to do in a liquor store) in my usual local liquor store staring at the scotches, debating how I was going to stock the liquor cabinet.
And then, like a shining beacon of light, the manager swung by me and offered up some advice. Some scotch snobs had recommended a little bottle called The House of Stuart. It was a bended whiskey. It was $10. I raised my eyebrows. Ten? For scotch. That couldn’t be right. It had to be some kind of trick. Or rot gut stuff that was going to completely eat away at my stomach lining slowly but surely.
Despite my raised eyebrows and reluctance, I was reassured several times. At least one of the scotch snobs who frequented the store (who I happened to be friends with) was actually a big fan. Now, I wasn’t supposed to expect this to be on the same level as a single malt. Of course not. But, I was assured that for a $10 scotch, it was actually quite amazing.
Still wary, I ponied up and bought it. So, tonight, I busted it out. And it was…
Delicious. Again, you have to have lowered expectations. If this were a $50 scotch, I’d say it’s mediocre. But, for a $10 scotch? It’s flipping phenomenal. It doesn’t have strong of a burn on the end, and there’s a great smokey flavor. I am way floored. I mean really. Seriously? Ten? Dollars? And it’s this good. Thank you, Comanche Beverage Outlet. Thank you.