Famous Grouse is a household name and they market it as the “Famous” scotch whisky. The information about how it is made is pretty vague and I suspect that not much care is taken in the actual manufacturing process, but that is to be expected because it is available in massive amounts and, in order to create the sheer volume required, the time taken to make the whisky is going to be kept to a minimum.
Famous Grouse Whisky at a Glance
- Type: Blended Scotch Whisky – 40% Vol
- Colour: Pale golden/light colour
- Flavour: Dry, mostly savoury with a sweet edge. Smooth with faint spice notes and a hint of rubber. Coriander notes. Reminiscent of a samosa.
Easily drinkable whisky that is surprisingly simple considering it is a blended whisky. Smells much deeper than it tastes, and the whisky is actually quite light. No woody notes at all and the only hint that it has been in casks is the resin/rubber flavour that underpins the brighter notes.
Famous Grouse Full Review
Moving on from Jameson whiskey to Famous Grouse, I move from one country to another. Unfortunately, I find myself in familiar territory. A whisky that is reasonably drinkable but lacks much in the way of character and has a poor manufacturing process.
It took me a while to even find out how long the blended whisky is kept in the cask as the Famous Grouse page doesn’t tell you. Which is never a good sign when you are looking for a well-crafted and thoughtful maturing process.
It turns out that the whisky is left to mature in oak barrels for up to 6 months. Being that it is a scotch whisky, the other whiskies blended into it must have been aged in barrels beforehand for a minimum of three years. Given the basic flavour and lack of complexity, I would say they haven’t been aged a day longer than the three years required and I am fairly sure they haven’t been aged in peated or if they have, then something has gone wrong with the process as they have no smoke notes in the whisky.
Famous Grouse Whisky Flavour and Aroma
Let me tell you something, Famous Grouse smells divine, I mean it smells absolutely amazing and has a rich Christmas cake, fruity and full-bodied aroma that is deep enough to fall into and drown. It is one good smelling blend!
Flavour wise it is a bit bland. But it is a lot more drinkable than the Jameson whiskey I reviewed first. This is in part because the alcohol doesn’t quite hit you in the way you would expect it to with a whisky and also because it is very smooth. It tastes diluted when neat, which is not very reassuring.
Jameson make a big fuss about how smooth their whiskey is, but Famous Grouse goes down easier. It is drier than Jameson though and has a very savoury samosa like taste, which is only just topped off with a wisp of sweetness.
Famous Grouse Conclusion
I would actually recommend this over Jameson as the gateway whisky. It is just as cheap, has a bit more drinkability and I am fairly confident I will have no problem polishing off this bottle.
That being said, it is not a high-quality product. I feel a little let down as I did with Jameson and I can’t help but feel that Famous Grouse is catering to the alcoholics of the world who want to drink whisky but don’t want to pay a penny more than they need to. Famous Grouse is unmistakably a whisky, but it is also quite boring.
There is no excitement or complexity in the flavours, and I am still yearning for a good whisky drink to get stuck into. I do have a bottle of Famous Grouse Smoky Black which will get a review soon, already the name suggests this might be a better drink in my quest for the perfect whisky!
All images belong to The Famous Grouse.