Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Whiskey Wednesday: Fowl of Renown - The Famous Grouse

For the second in our three part series on blended Scotch, we turn to the Famous Grouse. Johnnie Walker may be the world's best selling Scotch, but the best selling Scotch in Scotland is Famous Grouse, and that's gotta' count for something.

Famous Grouse is owned by The Edrington Group. While their distillery profile is quite modest compared to Diageo's massive collection, they do own two of the most wildly popular single malts around: The Macallan and Highland Park. Of course, blends aren't just comprised of malts owned by the blending company; they buy other malts for blending as well, but Macallan and Highland Park give them a good start.

I sat down with the standard issue Famous Grouse which runs about $20 per bottle (duck not included).


You can immediately taste that Grouse has no small amount of Highland Park in it. It's hard to mistake the complex flavor of malt and straw with a touch of smoke. In Grouse, there is a lighter, less rugged touch to it than you would get with straight HP, which gives it a good balance. Of the basic-level blends I've had, I definitely think Grouse is the best. It's not afraid to give you strong Scotch flavor, even if it is less bold than a single malt. And for the price, it's hard to beat. Hmm, an affordable, flavorful blend that outsells every other whiskey in Scotland, seems that those Scots know their stuff.

Next Wednesday: Back in Black

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