Gordon Motion has a great name. He also has a great job, as Master Blender of the Famous Grouse blended Scotch whisky. The Grouse has a leg up on much of its competition, simply because the two backbone spirits in the blend are the Macallan and Highland Park. That is what they call a pedigree.
At a blending event in London last year, as part of unveiling a fabulous piece of public art commissioned by the Famous Grouse, Mr. Motion held a blending seminar. Invited guests were provided various elementals, such as smoke, grains, citrus, vanilla, and spice, all in small bottles. They could be used to instruct the olfactory sense as to what the Grouse’s actual blended components are. Small groups of tasters were then invited to create their own blend, trying to come as close to the actual Grouse as possible. They had six unidentified single malts with which to work. Fascinating.
A similar event, Blend Something Famous, was held recently in Vancouver. Brand Ambassador Dan Volway led the way. The Blackbird Public House & Oyster Bar was a perfect venue, and the entire evening was long on conviviality, but also on learning all about how delicate and complex is the art of blending whisky. Mr. Volway pronounced it a “fine evening all around”. And there was not a single guest who disagreed.