Famous Grouse – The Naked Grouse
~£25.00 from supermarkets and general availability
Having a bit of a Grouse session. Next up is the Naked Grouse. Famed for having more malt than the normal blends and sporting a slighter higher price tag around the mid £20s.
When I first opened this bottle I felt a little underwhelmed, so I have left it for a few weeks after having a few large drams from it. It has made all the difference. Never judge a book by its cover, or even first couple of chapters!
This is a more sherry concentrated blend. With sherry aromas up front, a decent slab of Christmas cake, fully loaded with alcohol and spiced fruit. Cinnamon and clove spices, sweet, plump raisin, some light cherry and vanilla. There is a noticeable grain presence, but this is more backgrounded thanks to the malt, though I still get some creamy vanilla, buttery popcorn effect hanging in there. There is a slight cardboard effect which goes away with time in the glass. With that additional time we get more honey coming forward.
Sweet and slightly dry arrival, of honey and syrups. With fruit coming into the development, spice ridden and quite warming. Sherry influence is very prominent, but still quite light and not too overpowering. Ripe cherry juices amongst some sweet ginger and other Christmas spices. The mouth feel is quite light, although there is a richness which is moreish and very enjoyable. Some vanilla cream backs up the experience.
Ginger and pepper accompany a short-medium length fruity finish. A touch of wood char and some vanilla custard creams.
Does not need it. Added a drop anyway. The drop of water has extinguished the spice notes. More oak and fruit is front and center now, less complex. The palate is even weaker in the mouthfeel. The flavours weakened by the dilution. Nothing really added and more taken away. The finish however, seems fruitier and slightly longer. There’s definitely an effect a small drop makes to this dram and it’s worth the experimentation, but for me, personally, no water to be added in this one.
A very lovely blended experience. Giving slightly more malt than you would normally get from a blend and that added experience is worth the extra few quid. In a day and age when the prices malts is going from strength to strength it is nice to know there is something out there at a good price which is still a good experience. A great warm up dram for a tasting, or to sip away an enjoyable night. This is my personal favourite of the Grouse blends I have experienced so far.
This one is from my own collection.