Great Scot!

A bonny, bonny blend for your bar

Single malts have all the cult appeal, but serious bartenders know that for mixing, nothing beats a great blend.

Now, thanks to John Glaser of Compass Box, the world of blended Scotch just got a lot more interesting.

His newest all-blended Scotch line is dubbed Great King Street, and aims to elevate the humble fusion of malt and grain to the same lofty perch occupied by the company's superlative vatted malts (Spice Tree, Flaming Heart) and its renowned 100 percent grain whisky, Hedonism.

For Artist's Blend ($22 for 375 ml), the line's first release, he starts with superior Lowland grain whisky that's been aged in first-fill barrels for a ripe, toasty sweetness. Then he throws in an uncommonly generous proportion of Speyside and Northern Highland malts for fruitiness, power and the faintest whisper of smoke. The result, bottled without chill filtration and at a slightly higher proof than most blends, is a rich and satisfying dram of deep complexity but also breezy finesse.

Plus, Artist's Blend stands up to almost any treatment you can imagine: neat, in a highball topped with soda, or in an ambitious cocktail like the Great King (see the recipe) from Ward III in New York.