The Famous Grouse is probably one of Scotland’s most famous blended whiskies. In this article, we will be reviewing The Famous Grouse in detail as we explore the following topics:
Overview Of The Famous Grouse
- Distillery: Various [Blend]
- Expression: The Famous Grouse
- Region: Various [Blend]
- Age: NAS
- Casking: Ex-Bourbon, American Oak
- Cask Strength: 40% ABV
- Chill-Filtered: Uncertain
- Pricing: $30 / 75 cl [Buy Now]
- Parent: The Edrington Group
First released by Matthew Gloag & Son in 1896, it is owned and produced by The Edrington Group and is the highest-selling whisky brand in Scotland since 1980.
The Famous Grouse includes distillates from Highland Park and The Macallan.
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The Famous Grouse’s Robe
- Hue: Sauternes
- Transparency: Clear
- Body: Mild-Bodied
Here we have a nice, Sauternes dark aged white wine robe. It’s not too dark nor too intimidating. Indeed, it’s quite clear. The legs are not as thin as you’d expect but they’re quite fast as well.
In terms of viscometric whirls, I added a drop of water into it and was surprised to see some cloudiness. Although I expected it to be chilled filtered, this indicates that it isn’t the case!
The Famous Grouse’s Nose
- Notes: Speculoos, Apple, Brine, Oranges
- Nosefeel: Peppery
I find that The Famous Grouse isn’t overbearing in terms of intensity. I wouldn’t quite call it flat as there is some intricacy in there, as well. In terms of the diversity of notes, there is a nice selection.
In terms of nose feel, it’s quite peppery overall. The aromas I experienced were mostly Speculoos biscuits. There’s a touch of brine too, which adds a slight seabreeze character in there. There’s also some fruitiness and caramelized citrus, which I would associate with oranges.
The Famous Gouse’s Palate & Mouthfeel
- Primary Tastes: Sweet
- Mouthfeel: Prickly
- Opening: Digestive Biscuit, Brine, Salted Caramel
- Heart: Speculoos Biscuit, Stewed Tea, Peardrops
- Finish: Short [Butterscotch, Sherry, Saltanas]
There’s no harshness to The Famous Grouse, which I found most surprising. The primary flavours are very sweet, and the mouthfeel is a little bit prickly. A little bit peppery, as well.
In the opening, we have digestive biscuits, which relates back to the Speculoos which I referred to earlier. Meanwhile, we get some brine and a little bit of salted caramel.
Once we’re into the heart, and you swirl around the palate, you may notice the Speculoos biscuit return. Indeed, the opening’s digestive biscuit becomes a little bit more caramelized, a little bit spicier with a hint of cinnamon.
Similarly, there’s a note of stewed tea like Ceylon or an Oolong, which adds a sensation of thick tar. Additionally, a hint of pear drops is present, which creates a solvent fruitiness.
I think flat would be a harsh term for the finish but it isn’t bursting with flavour either. Its aromas released some butterscotch, which offers a boozy creaminess. There was a distinctive note of sherry as well as sultanas, which refers again to the boozy fruitiness from earlier.
Best Pairings With The Famous Grouse
Overall, I would suggest mince pies with The Famous Grouse given its fruitiness. However, this tends to be reserved for during the festive season as it’s rare throughout the rest of the year. Otherwise, dark chocolate would be a nice option as well as smoked trout.
Rather than smoked salmon, which is much richer and quite bold in flavour, smoked trout is a little bit gentler, quite affordable, and would be a good pairing option.
As for cigars, I would believe that a medium-bodied blend with a Habano wrapper like the San Cristobal Quintessence would be ideal. Nevertheless, you could instead opt for a mild Connecticut-wrapper cigar like the JC Newman Brick House too.
Overall Experience & Value For Money
Being a cheap blended scotch, The Famous Grouse is delivered in just a bottle with no external packaging. Meanwhile, it features a classic label with its recognisable and proud grouse often seen in the advertisements. As you’d expect, there’s no cork and the bottle features a screw cap.
As for the occasion, it’s not a drink that you’re going to take out on a special occasion, is it?
Instead, it’s likely going to be something that you drink with friends or at home. You can also use it for cocktails too. In any case, it’s going to be something in your cupboard.
The Famous Grouse scored 61 out of 100, which sounds terrible. However, we use a full 100 point scale system. For us, 61% equates to a very low four-star rating. It’s the lowest possible four-star rating, but it is still a four-star rating nevertheless.
Given the experience, and given everything I described above, I feel that this is a fair reflection of its price point and the overall experience that The Famous Grouse has to offer.
"The Famous Grouse may not be winning any awards. However, it doesn't need to with its crowd-pleasing and inoffensive palate."
Once you’ve finished reading our review, feel free to peruse our wide range of whisky content such as the following resources: