The Black Grouse Review
Distillery: Famous Grouse
Expression: Black Grouse
Category: Blended Scotch
Region: Perth, Scotland
Twas a rainy, mild-typhoon August day in Taiwan when I decided to give the Black Grouse a whirl.
After weeks of dancing with flavorful Irish whiskeys and sweet bourbons I started jonesin’ for something a bit different.
But for the sake of Whisky Jerk readers and to satisfy my own sneaking curiosity I settled on The Black Grouse: a peaty version of the Famous Grouse.
Truth be told, I had recently sampled the original Grouse and while it was fine (in an entry-level-blend kinda way) I wasn’t particularly impressed.
However I would soon discover that the Black Grouse is a different beast entirely.
It was developed back in 2007 to satisfy the peaty taste buds of the Swedish market and soon after launched worldwide.
The nose of the Black Grouse offers a hint of the bonfire to come with a delightful sultana sweetness interlude.
On the palate it gets a bit spicy with some milk chocolate and a clean sheet of vanilla icing to sweeten the pot.
The finish is long and contains a nice bit of peatiness …. but it’s not a full on assault.
It’s like a contained, surgical peat bombing campaign on the outskirts of your tongue.
While it’s not as nearly as raging, powerful or complex as an Islay single malt by any stretch, this is a fantastic peaty-teaser blend that you can pick up at one helluva low price.
For bartenders, if you’re looking to experiment with some smoky cocktail ideas consider making The Black Grouse your go-to bottle for the early stages of you drink’s evolution.
Then upgrade to an Islay big dog if required.
In some cases, it might not be necessary.
Black Grouse Tasting Notes
Color: Dark Gold
Nose: Peat, Sultanas, and Dried Apricot.
Palate: Light peat, milk chocolate, with a sugary sheet of vanilla cake icing leading the way.
Finish: Long and peaty but contained. Well orchestrated to remain smooth.