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Famous Grouse Blended Malt Whisky - Review

The Hunter's Companion

by Nancy Huang

The 12 Years Old is the lighter, sweeter whisky of the two

Originally named the “Grouse Brand” in honor of Scotland’s national game bird, the Famous Grouse Malt Whisky was marketed to the many sportsmen who came to the Highlands each year to hunt. Since its beginnings in 1896, the Famous Grouse has grown far beyond its sportsman appeal to become a tried-and-true Scottish favorite—so much so that it boasts the claim “#1 selling Scotch Whisky in Scotland.”

In honor of the Glorious 12th, Scotland’s famous September hunting holiday, the Famous Grouse added two new faces to its scotch line: the 12 Years Old and 18 Years Old Blended Malt Whiskies. The two whiskies are exclusive blends of single malts, including the distinguished Macallan and Highland Park brands.

The 18 Years Old blend has a bit more bite than its 12-year counterpart

The 12 Years Old is the lighter, sweeter whisky of the two, with its bright golden color and subtle aromas. The nose is rather muted, with just slight hints of citrus flavors. On the palate, the whisky’s sweetness is accentuated by soft oak and completed with a light finish. The 18 Years Old blend has a bit more bite than its 12-year counterpart. Deep amber instead of bright gold, this whisky packs pleasant floral and oak aromas, with a sweet hint of jasmine. Its palate is characterized by strong spices with a long finish.

For its price, the Famous Grouse’s blended whiskies are not a bad pick—$35 for the 12 Years Old and $55 for the 18 Years Old—but they certainly are not as sophisticated as Highland Park’s or Macallan’s 18-year-old single malts, which carry more complex flavors and aromas. But save the big names for special occasions; this homey slippers-and-robe scotch is for kicking back after a long day of hunting—or in our case, work.

Price: $35 for the 12 Years Old, $55 for the 18 Years Old
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