Black Grouse Distinctive Bartenders Tour at Harvard & Stone

Lindsay Nader at Harvard & Stone

In terms of Scotch, I tend to stick to brands like Famous Grouse because of taste and affordability. But sometimes you want something a bit more, something a bit more distinctive. Enter the Black Grouse, Famous’ smokier sultry cousin. I first had a sip at the LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade event. And then again at Speed Rack. To introduce the public to Black Grouse, three bartenders in Los Angeles showcased their Black Grouse cocktails at Harvard and Stone a couple of weeks ago. Lindsay Nader of Harvard and Stone, Jason Bran of the Roger Room and Joe Brooke of Next Door Lounge each presented two cocktails and then we picked our favorites.

Black Grouse

We had some appetizers from Made by Meg and an opening Black Grouse cocktail. The event was MC’d by comedian Barunde Thurston.

Lindsay Nader- Sean Connery at the Beach

Lindsay Nader- The Aspiring Gentleman

Lindsay gave us two cocktails; Sean Connery at the Beach (Black Grouse, lime, coconut syrup, Passao passionfruit liqueur) and The Aspiring Gentleman (Black Grouse infused with cardamon and sarsaparilla, Cocchi Americano, Gran Classico bitter, cava).

The Sean Connery at the Beach won. While both my BFF and I enjoy Scotch and I particularly prefer bitter over sweet cocktails, the Aspiring Gentleman was overwhelmingly in the “cough syrup” vein. It was definitely not for us though I did see some enjoy it.

Jason Bran

Jason showcased two Black Grouse cocktails; Black Celebration (Black Grouse, Amaro Nonino, Fernet Branca, Regan’s orange bitters) and Smoked Cherry Sour (Black Grouse, lemon, Marasca cherry syrup, egg white, Fee Brothers Aztec chocolate bitters, cracked clove).

Jason Bran- Black Celebration

Jason Bran - Smoked Cherry Sour

Of these two, my preference was for the Black Celebration. It is a typical Minty drink. I like brown, bitter, stirred whiskey (or in this case, whisky) drinks. However, the more I tasted the Smoked Cherry Sour, the more I realized how unique it was. This cocktail won.

Joe Brooke

Joe also highlighted two Black Grouse cocktails; Scot’s Pear (Black Grouse, pear juice, lemon, ginger syrup, tawny port, simple) and Como Whisky Para Chocolate (Black Grouse, Solerno Blood Orange liqueur, Marie Brizard Creme de Cacao, celery bitters). The Scot’s Pear is already on the menu at Next Door Lounge.

Joe Brooke- Como Whisky Para Chocolate (photo by Aaron Fallon)

Joe Brooke- Scot's Pear (photo by Jamie Falkowski)

** two photos used with permission from the Black Grouse

I had to leave before the tasting of Joe’s drinks but my friend reports she loved both and can see why Joe is one of LA’s best bartenders.

The Black Grouse

The Famous Grouse

For more highlights from the event, check out Tasteologie.

Follow the Grouse on Twitter for more #distinctive bartender tour events in Chicago, Miami and New York.

Harvard & Stone

5221 Hollywood Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90027-4908 – (323) 466-6063