1 1/2 oz Caol Ila 12 Year Scotch
1 1/2 oz Cinzano Sweet Vermouth
1 dash Fee's Orange Bitters
1 dash Peychaud's Bitters
Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Twist a lemon rind over the top, rim the edge with the oils, and discard.
On Sunday night, Andrea and I went to Rendezvous to visit Scott Holliday. When I asked if Scott had any ideas for my first cocktail, he said that he was curious to try out a Scotch variant of the Hearst, for the gin version has been one of his favorites lately. The Scotch that Scott selected was a 12 year old Caol Ila, one that reviewer Michael Jackson described as juniper on the nose with a bit of spice on the finish. With a description like that it is no wonder the whiskey choice worked rather well as a gin alternative.
The lemon oil in the drink served as a nice lead in to a smooth first sip. The smokiness of the Scotch came on after the first few minutes but was not overwhelming, and this was followed by the next wave of flavor dominance which was the sweetness. The sweet vermouth yielded just the right amount of sugar content to the drink to make it a pleasure to drink. The large share of vermouth makes the drink different than the often drier Rob Roy (although I have seen some recipes that are 2 to 1), although I found a few on CocktailDB that are equal parts. Scott could not come up with the proper Scottish dignitary to rename the drink, so I will just keep the drink named after the newspaper mogul until otherwise alerted. Feel free to suggest away if anything comes to mind...