Famous Grouse 15 Years Review

“Blame It On The Casks”

Country: Scotland
Brand: The Famous Grouse
Type: Blended Malt Whisky
Age: 15 Years
ABV: 43%
Sample provided by Jan from the Netherlands. Thanks a lot!

Colour: Deep Gold (Artificially Coloured) 

Nose: I would think that the Malts used in this Blend matured in a mix of Re-Fill Ex-Sherry (Oloroso) and Ex-Bourbon Casks. There is some Sulphur around but not enough to disturb me. I find Sweet Barley, Malt, Buttered Toast, Dried Fruit, Nuts, Plum Jam, slightly Sour Apples, Peach, light Honey, Caramel, Refill Oak, Milk Chocolate, light Vanilla, Espresso and a sprinkle of Salt and Cinnamon. I believe that Glenrothes lies at the heart of this Blend. The Macallan is there for sure but it's much harder to detect any significant influence from Highland Park. The Alcohol is not fully integrated. Although not bad, the Nose of this 15 Year old Grouse does not quite convince me.

Taste: The Delivery is a bit Light. I find Malt, Breakfast Cereals, Syrup, slightly Sour Apples, Vanilla, Peach Jam, Caramel, Cocoa Powder, Raisins, Salted Butter, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Alcohol and traces of Salt and Dirt Road.    

Finish: Middle-Long, Bitter-Sweet, Woody and Spicy with Sweet Barley, Vanilla, Bourbon, Dirty Earth, Dried Fruits, Refill Oak, Pepper, Nutmeg, Cinnamon and Menthol. Hints of Aniseed and Licorice. The Alcohol remains very present.  

The Famous Grouse 15 Years does not improve with added Water. 

Rating: 81.5  

Nose: 21 - Taste: 20 - Finish: 20 - Overall: 20.5

General Remarks: The Famous Grouse 15 Years Blended Malt was a limited edition at first, mainly for the Asian Travel Retail market. Today you can buy bottles in other continents as well but the number is dwindling as the Edrington Group discontinued the Famous Grouse Expressions with Age-Statement. It is said to contain Malt Whisky from Glenrothes, Macallan and Highland Park, all distilleries that belong to the Edrington Group. The price varies a lot depending on where you live but it's usually in the range of 50 to 100 US Dollars. (December 2015). It is Chill-Filtered but not at very low temperatures.

Drinking Experience Neat: Okay/Good 

Conclusion: I'm not quite convinced by this Famous Grouse Experience. It does not seem to offer a lot in terms of interesting Aromas and Flavours for a 15 Year old Blended Malt. I gather that most of the Casks used weren't very active ones. The Nose is okay and the Sherry influence is there. On the Palate and in the Finish I miss elegance and depth. The Alcohol remains strong throughout the Nosing and Tasting. I can see why this Vatted Blend was discontinued. It's too expensive as an everyday Blend for most people and for a special occasion lots of people would prefer to buy a Single Malt. I kinda liked the Silver Grouse 12 Years limited edition and I expected a more mature version of this expression when I opened my 15 Years Sample. But to be honest, that not quite the case. I blame it on the casks!

Jan van den Ende                                                              December 17, 2015

Macallan in the Scottish Sunshine

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