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