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Dranac Lihp
05-15-2008, 21:18
I read a review recently that gave a glowing account of a cheap blended scotch. It's called McIvor, and I had never heard of it before. The review seemed questionable for the chump change price. I spotted a bottle in a large Billings liquor store, so I grabbed it for $14 and change. All I can say, is that I will never buy JW Red again if I need a cheap scotch for blending. I believe McIvor beats JW Red for drinking straight, but that is my personal opinion.

Colin S. Barclay is the blender and BerNiko LLC of Hollywood, FL is the importer. It's 80 proof and has a medium amber coloration. Less smoky than Teacher's and less peaty than White Horse. It has a bit more Speyside character than either of those two, so it might make a good substitute for Famous Grouse as well as JW Red. It will probably become a standard in my liquor cabinet. Everyday scotch for the price of everyday bourbon....who woulda thunk it?

There is no age statement on the bottle, but a review said it was 5 year old scotch. That is old for a $14 bottle of scotch and significantly above Teacher's which costs a few dollars more and is only 36 months old. However, Teacher's has a 45% malt scotch content which is higher than most far more costly blended scotches.

I will easily choose McIvor over Bowmore Legend single malt that sells for twice as much in my area. This is one of the better reviews: http://www.bevnetwork.com/pdf/Aug07_Whisky.pdf

Phil

Jono
05-15-2008, 21:49
Never had it but here is a nice review with many other Scotch tasting notes:

http://www.habershambeverage.com/scotch.htm

McIvor Blended Scotch
Origin: Scotland

86 Points -Beverage Testing Institute
Gold Medal -San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2007
Silver Medal -International Review of Spirits

"Deep golden amber color. Roasted nut and toffee aromas. A soft delicate entry leads to a round, dryish medium-bodied palate with sweet buttery caramel, delicate spices, dusty minerals, and white pepper flavors. Finishes with some lean mineral and petrol notes with a touch of caramel and dried heather." -Beverage Testing Institute

Teachers, Famous Grouse and White Horse have very good reviews too.

Dranac Lihp
05-16-2008, 09:59
I see that Teacher's, Famous Grouse and White Horse were grouped on the bottom as best buys, so I must have some kind of taste that agrees with the best buy ratings. McIvor is a new blend that has only been around about 3 years, so I suspect it will take time to get the word out. Many of the cheap blends listed were rated far too highly in my opinion. I generally don't get enthused with malty Speyside based blends as they don't have the peat and smoke that makes scotch real scotch in my opinion.

Teacher's is a very notable exception with more smoke than a lot of Islay single malts. Teacher's was also noted as one of the greatest buys in scotch whisky. The malt content is 45% and based on Ardmore, which is the most highly peated Speyside single malt. Glendronach is the second most dominant malt. Teacher's is blended at the Ardmore distillery, and the distillery was built by Teacher's specifically for supplying malt to the Teacher's blends. They no longer have floor maltings at Ardmore, but the rest of the process is "old fashioned" with wooden washbacks and such. 8 stills are running continuously and it has one of the highest output capacities of Scottish malt distillers. This is truly the best value in a Speyside/Highland malt based blended scotch. J&B, Dewar's, Grants', Cutty Sark, etc., seem watered down in comparison due to their lower malt contents. Teacher's is also 86 proof and stands up to being served on the rocks and can tolerate adding some water. Famous Grouse, White Horse and McIvor are better drank neat as they are not as strong. Adjusted for the higher alcohol content, Teacher's comes in at about the McIvor price.

dcb
05-17-2008, 12:14
I've had White Horse but not Teacher's, would you say Teacher's has more peat in the flavor than WH? The peat in WH comes from the Talisker.

Gov
05-17-2008, 12:53
I've had White Horse but not Teacher's, would you say Teacher's has more peat in the flavor than WH? The peat in WH comes from the Talisker.

Yes, Teacher's has a bit more peat and White Horse, a bit more smoke

Dranac Lihp
05-20-2008, 16:45
To me, White Horse has more peat and Teacher's has more smoke. Peat has a "medicinal' nature and taste. Ardmore is the most heavily smoked highland malt, but the water used at Ardmore is not peaty. Ardmore is the major fingerprint malt in Teacher's. Ardmore has an excellent website with an excellent video showing how they make their whisky. Ardmore gets their water from several clean highland springs then pipes it to the distillery. Ardmore was purpose built by William Teacher & Sons to produce huge quantities of malt whisky for their blends and remains one of the biggest distillleries in Scotland.

To me, the peat taste comes mainly from soaking the grain in highly peated water and the smoke taste from drying the malt over peat fire. Both tastes may come from peat, but they are different.

If there is a smokier blended scotch than Teacher's at the same peating level in the under $30 category, I would like to know about it.

dave ziegler
05-21-2008, 08:29
For me the only Scotch I have ever drank in the Blended is and was Inver House the current version from the same place but different owner ship I find to be very nice for the price, I also have a vintage Bottle from Continental which I find to be a bit different and way better in flavor taste but once it is gone will stick with the new stuff. I never really liked getting much into Scotch so different then American Whiskey but I aquired a taste for Inver House Working for Publicker in the Old days and still enjoy it very much in fact with a beer last night I had as shot of Old Forester then a shot of the new Inver House.

Gov
05-21-2008, 17:01
For me the only Scotch I have ever drank in the Blended is and was Inver House the current version from the same place but different owner ship I find to be very nice for the price, I also have a vintage Bottle from Continental which I find to be a bit different and way better in flavor taste but once it is gone will stick with the new stuff. I never really liked getting much into Scotch so different then American Whiskey but I aquired a taste for Inver House Working for Publicker in the Old days and still enjoy it very much in fact with a beer last night I had as shot of Old Forester then a shot of the new Inver House.

Tasting notes for Inver House?

Gov
07-17-2008, 21:06
Finally got around to tasting this whisky (McIvor). The verdict.......for the money, its great! I enjoyed it very much. Glad I purchased a bottle. Thanks for the suggestion!

Gov
07-31-2008, 18:16
After more time with this whisky, I'm getting a good amount of caramel with it. Otherwise, I still like it for a blend. It kinda reminds me a bit of the Grouse.

Martian
08-02-2008, 07:40
The Beverage Testing Institute gives McIvor a 86 score and a Best Buy.
"Deep golden amber color. Roasted nut and toffee aromas. A soft delicate entry leads to a round, dryish medium-bodied palate with sweet buttery caramel, delicate spices, dusty minerals, and white pepper flavors. Finishes with some lean mineral and petrol notes with a touch of caramel and dried heather." (tasted on Jun-22-2006)

Martian
08-02-2008, 07:56
Jim Murray gives Inver House Green Plaid 90 pts.
"Nose: soft strains of Bowmore-style young peat. Taste: remains youthful. and the smoke is still there, but the overall complexity as the crisp grains enter is worth a fanfare. Finish: more kindergarten smoke while the barley remains fresh and mouthwatering. Balance: has kept true to style but is now one of the best young blends around: very old-fashioned and a real cracker."

Gov
08-02-2008, 09:24
Jim Murray gives Inver House Green Plaid 90 pts.
"Nose: soft strains of Bowmore-style young peat. Taste: remains youthful. and the smoke is still there, but the overall complexity as the crisp grains enter is worth a fanfare. Finish: more kindergarten smoke while the barley remains fresh and mouthwatering. Balance: has kept true to style but is now one of the best young blends around: very old-fashioned and a real cracker."

I bought a bottle of this for $5.50 a few months ago. Have not opened it yet, but is sure sounds good!