The Black Grouse Scotch is part of the extensive Famous Grouse whiskey lineup. Introduced in 2008, The Black Grouse is a blend of the entry level, white labeled Famous Grouse -– which is the best-selling blended whiskey in Scotland — with Islay malt whiskeys. The result is a peatier, smokier version of the original.
Behind a light top note of alcohol, The Black Grouse has a very aromatic nose that balances between sweet and smoky as the grain whiskeys merge with the Islay malts. Initial flavors of vanilla, brown sugar and oak move toward smoke and spice. The smoke is definitely there, but quite mild compared to Islay-produced whiskeys, and the smoke influence doesn’t overpower the lighter grain notes. The whiskey remains light on the palate and finishes warm and dry with a slight, lingering sweetness.
The Black Grouse is a nice blend; the smoke doesn’t kill the bright, easy-drinking notes of The Famous Grouse, and the addition of peated malts improves on the original with an enhanced malt body.
Overall, The Black Grouse is very drinkable, and clocking in at less than $30, it’s a great value. Give this a go before venturing into the seriously smoky Islay single malts.
– 40% Alcohol by Volume