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Whisky Review: The Black Grouse

Posted by Arctic Wolf on October 7, 2010

The Black Grouse Blended Scotch Whisky is relatively new whisky from the makers of The Famous Grouse.  The company has a history in Scotland reaching back in time to 1896 when Wine Merchants, Matthew Gloag and Son, first blended what they called their ‘Grouse’ Whisky.  Over the next century The Famous Grouse would become one of the most popular brands of whisky in Scotland.

The Black Grouse is an offshoot of its popular cousin, The Famous Grouse, which is a blended whisky containing premium Single malts such as The Macallan and Highland Park. These single malts (as well as others in the blend) are married with a selection of fine grain whiskies in fully seasoned oak casks.  The Black Grouse begins where The Famous Grouse ends, and is the result of a further blending of the Famous Grouse Whisky with Islay Malt Whiskies.  The resulting whisky has a peated flavour profile with a reportedly dark smoky character.

As a side note, The Black Grouse, Tetrao tetrix, is a rare relative of Scotland’s national game bird, the Red Grouse.  When the new blend was launched, The Famous Grouse made a commitment to preserve this rare game bird by donating 50 pence from each bottle sold to the conservation efforts of The Black Grouse habitat.

This information is expanded upon on The Black Grouse Website.

Here is an excerpt from my review:

“…The initial impression in my mouth is of beguiling sweetness coupled with a ribbon of soft smoke and organic peat.  As I noted earlier, the peat and smoke are gentle rather than forceful. The sweetness manifests itself as a honeyed caramel.  The smoke shows evidence of a sherry influence with dried fruit (raisins and prunes) and soft pops of cherries.  The peat seems organic coming across as soft and chewy with a distinctive boggy taste…”

You may read the full review here:

Whisky Review: The Black Grouse

As well  two of my three suggested cocktails for this whisky have been placed in my recipe section, The Rusty Nail and The Black Cove.

Enjoy the review everyone!


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