Famous Grouse Mellow Gold
£25.75 from Master of Malt
Here’s a snippet of the PR release:
Gordon Motion, Master Blender described his new premium blend:
“In Mellow Gold we’ve carefully selected a particular combination of casks to create a rich and smooth whisky. As with all Famous Grouse expressions, we’ve used sherry and bourbon-seasoned casks – but for Mellow Gold we’ve used more first fill casks imparting a richer, sweeter flavour.
“The effect is added complexity with vanilla notes and subtly-sweet spice to create a gentle, velvety dram. Mellow Gold is a delicious achievement – and a subtle, smooth indulgence to be savoured.”
“On the nose, The Famous Grouse Mellow Gold has scents of orange peel and vanilla, perfumed with a hint of lychee. On tasting sweeter notes come to the fore, combining the delicious flavour of spiced crème brûlée with heady cedar notes, followed by a twist of lemon peel and lingering spiciness to finish.”
Here’s my thoughts.
That higher level of first fill and sherry casks are evident on the nose, with much more of a sherry profile coming forward on first pour. Lots of vanilla, raisin, clove and cinnamon. Alongside a dominance of creamy corn and custard. There is a slight twang of bitter orange with time in the glass.
Medium sweet immediately on the palate, then turning slightly wood sour, with some prickly heat. After the heat subsides, we get creamy vanilla, some charred oak, burnt caramel, and some mild orange rind. A little chilli pepper, cardamom and oak spices come along for the ride as well.
Medium length finish. Bittersweet. Some dry treacle, toasted caramel, charred oak. A little bitter orange citrus. Leaves a touch too much in the way of bitter tannins to the side.
Personally this would be better adding lemonade to rather than water, but I do the water thing with every dram for reference. So. A few drops. The nose is diminished, now more pure ethanol coming through and the pleasures from the first fill casks has been reduced significantly. The palate is all about the grain. Lots of creamy corn and vanilla, slightly alcohol, again vastly destroyed by water. Do not water this one at all. Lemonade, or the mixer of choice is the best option here.
This is a whisky aimed at the masses, for consumption with mixers, and as that goes it does a great job. Personally I cannot recommend this as a sipping whisky, but I think that comes as no surprise. However, as a whisky in a long drink for warmer summer nights this performs very very well.
Big thanks to Famous Grouse for the review sample.