Rob Roy Whisky Cocktail - Chivas Regal

Rob Roy Vs Manhattan
What’s the difference?

Rob Roy Whisky Cocktail - Chivas Regal



Enter any bar around the world and you’ll be served these iconic drinks in mostly the same way: they’re both short, strong, and usually accompanied by a cherry garnish for that subtly sweet touch. So, Rob Roy Vs. Manhattan, what’s the difference? 

With a similar ingredient line-up, the Manhattan and the Rob Roy have similar flavour profiles. Sweet and slightly bitter, their key difference lies in the type of whisky used in each. To grant you that ultimate whisky connoisseur status, we’ve rounded up the key differences between these signature cocktail-menu staples. 


The type of whisky

While their profiles are similar, the Rob Roy and the Manhattan cocktail feature slightly different ingredients. The clue is in the type of whisky: traditionally, the Rob Roy cocktail is usually made with Scotch, while a Manhattan cocktail features a rye cask whisky

The choice of whisky ultimately impacts the flavour profile of the final drink. A rye whisky  will have a slightly spicy and robust flavour, making it a great match for the sweetness of the vermouth and the bitterness of the Angostura Bitters. Try Chivas Extra 13 Rye Cask – which is selectively matured in rye casks* – in our signature Manhattan cocktail recipe. On the other hand, Scotch has a smokier and more complex flavour, which can provide a more nuanced taste. Mix up a Rob Roy with Chivas 18 to bring in complex notes of dried fruits, toffee and chocolate.

What’s a Manhattan

The Manhattan cocktail is a signature classic that dates as far back as the 1800s. This signature blend has been savoured for over two centuries by those who enjoy a short and strong cocktail. One popular story is that it was first made at the Manhattan Club in New York City for a banquet hosted by Winston Churchill’s mother, Lady Randolph Churchill. Another story attributes its creation to a bartender named Black at a bar on Broadway. Regardless of its exact origin, the Manhattan has become a beloved classic cocktail and a staple of many cocktail menus.

Manhattan cocktail recipe

50 ml Chivas Extra 13 Rye Cask
25 ml Sweet Vermouth
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Cherry, to garnish

Add all ingredients to a rocks glass and stir with ice. Add more ice so it’s tight and compact. Garnish with cherry and serve.

Learn about the key differences between a Manhattan vs. Old Fashioned

What’s a Rob Roy

The Rob Roy cocktail, on the other hand, is named after the Scottish folk hero and was created in honour of the premiere of the operetta “Rob Roy” in New York City in 1894. It is essentially a Scotch version of the Manhattan, believed to have been created by a bartender at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

Rob Roy cocktail recipe

50 ml Chivas 12
25 ml Sweet Vermouth
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Cherry & Orange Zest, to garnish

Stir all ingredients together with ice in a mixing vessel. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a cherry and orange zest and serve.

Extra Manhattan Whisky Cocktail Tile 2
Chivas Extra Manhattan
Rob Roy Whisky Cocktail - Chivas Regal
Rob Roy Cocktail

From the Golden Age to the Prohibition Era, learn more about the history of the cocktail.

Despite their key similarities, both the Manhattan cocktail and the Rob Roy are true classics that have stood the rest of time. Check out the recipes to add a Chivas twist to yours!