The Black Grouse

A Very Tantalising Bird

Reviewed by
Connosr member:



16th Jun 2010

Reviewer rating:


About this score:

The average score for this whisky is 78.

Tasting Notes by OJK

Nose, Taste, Finish and Balance are graded out of 2.5 each:

Nose: As the bottle label does it's best to explain, this is meant to be a marriage of peated malt with the Famous Grouse blend, so naturally I was expecting a strong statement of smoke and peat. Not so. The smoke and peat is definitely there, however it is more than accommodating to the brown sugar accompanying it. A compelling balance. 2.0

Taste: Incredibly smooth and light, once again not forcing the issue with the peat and the smoke. The brown sugar on the nose has become dark chocolate on the tongue, and it mingles beautifully with the spice. Makes me think of a bar of dark chocolate with chilli that someone once gave me. I wasn't a fan of it at the time, but on tasting this I may have to try that chocolate again. Intriguing stuff. 2.0

Finish: A very gradual fade down of the cocoa, and a fade up of the spice and oak. So subtle and unexpectedly elegant. 2.0

Balance: I must confess, I do often judge a book by it's cover, and I've never been a fan of the labelling on The Famous Grouse, and if anything it looks even worse in this black edition. Never though have I tasted anything that so belies its cheap appearance (and pricing for that matter). It's like fine poetry wrapped in an airport-read paperback cover. However it may appear on the outside, there's truly great stuff inside that bottle. 2.0.

Whisky details


Famous Grouse





Pale Gold



LeFrog wrote:

A well balanced review @OJK, burning the midnight oil penning whisky tasting notes? :)

I'm also sipping a blend tonight, BNJ, and its not a bad whisky at all. Have you tried the Snow Grouse by the way?

16 June 2010 01:15

OJK wrote:

Indeed, what better way to spend an evening! BNJ is also one of my favourite blends, coincidentally I was pretty close to choosing it over the Black Grouse for drinking this evening, but after the Blanton's I had before I felt like a bit of bit of peat to finish the night off! Haven't tried the Snow Grouse no, would you recommend it?

16 June 2010 01:22

markjedi1 wrote:

@OJK, your line 'It's like fine poetry wrapped in an airport-read paperback cover' is pure poetry in its own right. Thank you!

16 June 2010 09:26

LeFrog wrote:

@OJK I haven't tried Snow Goose yet but I've heard some good things about it.

16 June 2010 14:41

OJK wrote:

@markjedi1 thank you very much! it seemed the only description i could come up with that summarised it!

16 June 2010 18:42

galg wrote:

when it comes to blends with the peaty edge, it's a nice one. i do think you can get REAL peaty single malts for a bit more, but hey, they will be much better.

13 July 2010 12:56

Carl wrote:

Got a bottle tonight. I was looking for the Johnnie Walker Green, but the liquor store didn't have it. I had read many good reviews on the Black Grouse,so decided to try it. When I opened the bottle, I detected quite a bit of peat/smoke,but not a lot when I first tasted it. I was very impressed by how smooth it is! I actually found it quite tame, as far as taste, but a very easy and pleasant whisky to drink. Funnily enough, it reminded my very much of Bushmill's Black Bush, I think mainly because of the smoothness. Not a rough edge to be found. This is often a good thing in my books. Tonight, though, I am more in the mood for smoke and peat, so I am advancing to my Lagavulin 1994 Distillers Edition, then Laphroaig 10 year, and I will finally open a Laphroaig Quarter Cask. I was hoping to find the Black Grouse smokier and peatier. However, what I found was different to what I expected, and definitely not a disappointment. Still cannot get over the smoothness! Even smoother to my taste than the Lagavulin Distillers Edition I am presently drinking! This definitely has a luxury feel to it. Cheers, Carl

19 February 2011 03:36

Eirikur wrote:

I never looked at this review before but always thought I had to try out this bottle .. I have this habit of knowing tasting everything that goes through this place .. just cause the shop has it here in Iceland. I go through bottles fast, I know it .. anyways .. This one had been sitting on the shelves for over a year and I said to myself, its now or never before its a goner frea the shelves. At this point of time .. I only have The Black Grouse and Dimple to taste of teh blends. Got both and this bottle of TFG is a total surprise. I have always been a fan of Black bottle and go through 1 bottle a month on average. This Blend .. This bottle of The Black Grouse is just wonderful. Hands down, this is leap miles ahead of JWB label. Congratulations blenders at the Grouse. This is truly a surprise, wich I regret not having had before .. (Because The Famouse Grouse Original i dont drink).

P.S. This bottle is going to be in my cabinet at all times.

15 May 2012 22:03

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