I don't have a lot of experience with Scotches yet, but am finding some of the less expensive ones are pretty tasty. I tried the Grant's again and like it and then when I was on a trip down to Dallas, stopped in the store and bought this ultra cheap Highland Mist which is a Barton's product. It was pretty good too! Now I am back home with the Cluny and it definitely has a totally different taste than the Highland Mist. Its a lot heavier. The Highland Mist is made of Islay and Speyside whiskies.
I found that other forum but unfortunately I have not found any Scotch forums that are anywhere near as good as the Bourbon forum here.
Just recieved my new copy of JM's Whisky Bible and he seems to like Cluny. Clearly you're not the only one who thinks highly of it although I wouldn't call it a well-known blend!
"Cluny (85) n20 t21 f22 b22. I adore this kind of slightly rough-edged blend: every time you take a mouthfull something slightly different happens. If I were to find fault, a touch too much caramel is evident at the very death" (p220).
As a brief aside, if you're looking for cheap blended whisky that tastes good, JM's Whisky Bible might be of assistance as it reviews cheap blends and expensive malts alike. Also reviews whiskies from all countries. Only issue I have with it is that I can't get into the scoring of whiskies, as I have problems quantifying something that is about craft, quality and expression. Artistic terms would serve me better...
I just came across this v interesting thread, on my favorite bourbon forum (the only one, actually), no less. Cluny is indeed a fine scotch, incredible for the money. Of course it is not high-end, whatever that means to each whisk(e)y-lover. I was loath to drink something so cheap, but I did blind (joke potential here) tastings of several cheapies, and Cluny and Old Smuggler won hands-down. Most were awful in their roughness (MacGregor et al). Scoresby and Vat 69 Gold were good too, but not as good as Cluny and Smuggler. They even beat Ballantine's, often on sale around Boston.
For a real treat (a kind of cocktail), add a drop or three of an acceptable bourbon to your Cluny (I use the slightly mentholated JB white): just wonderful, more like a scotch finished in bourbon casks. And of course to any bland scotch you also can add a drop of some Isla that is hard to take straight (I use McClelland generic Isla, distilled by Morrison). This takes it more toward the peaty direction of Grant's, Teacher's, JW Red, and so on.
Switching gears slightly, I just discovered a single-malt that might appeal to the most serious bourbonites here: Dalmore Cigar. Despite the silly name, this is a sensationally tasty drink, and strongly chocolaty/vanilla-y/citrusy, in the direction of the greater bourbons, I think.