Review: The Famous Grouse Blended Scotch Whisky / by Jason Hambrey

Scottish Malt and Grain Whiskies
Distiller Multiple (Scotland)

The “Grouse Blend” was originally produced by Matthew Gloag, a grocer and wine merchant in Perth, Scotland. The blend was created in 1897, slightly after the big explosion of blends in Scottish whisky history. The blend became so popular that shortly it was renamed “The Famous Grouse”. Originally, it was likely supplied to sportsman who came to Glasgow to hunt. Now, it is the biggest selling blend in UK. It is produced by the same company that owns Macallan and Highland Park – who are big users of sherry casks, which does show up in this blend.

Review (2014)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2013

Nose: Lots of malty fruit, caramel is present, along with more malty notes and slightly sour notes reminiscent of irish pot still whisky. It’s also quite creamy and buttery, which I mainly noticed it while tasting alongside some others. I get aromas of tea as well (black pekoe) , a touch of cucumber, honey, light heather, orange, and some medicinal smells reminiscent of some peat, although I don’t smell much peat here.

Taste: Quite sweet, malty, and smooth with a surprising bit of prickly heat on my first sip. Malt seems to play center stage here, however – the backdrop is not so bad– some dried fruits (apricot and lots of raisin), slight spice, toffee, and a touch of salt. The sweetness carries on throughout the taste. The raisins seem to build and build. Peat comes in at the end (not smoke, but peat) and adds some earthiness and moss. Quite light – there’s some slight heat but not really much in the way of spices attached to it other than a touch of black pepper at the end. Additionally, the buttery-ness from the nose is here.

Finish: Malty, light, and sweet with a touch of dry-ness and slight fruitiness as well. The malt remains but isn’t that present, and there’s just a touch of spice and vanilla.

Has some good uses...I infused orange peel into this which mixes quite well.

Value: Low, even at a relatively low price. you can do better at bottom shelf prices, especially in North American whiskies.