Edrington sold their Black Bottle to Burn Stewart in 2003. They created the Black Grouse as a replacement and went a step further in 2012 with this Black Grouse Alpha Edition. It contains even more peaty whisky than the Black Grouse.
While the peat is unmistakable and brings with it a hint of smoke – like a campfire that has just been doused – the emphasis of this nose is mostly on the dark and sweet notes. Candied oranges, Turkish Delight, candied sugar and origin chocolate. But it has to be said: it works. This is a fine nose!
It is soft and oily, rich in earthy notes, sweet peat smoke (much more than on the nose), salted caramel and vanilla. The candied oranges return, along with some bitter chocolate. Bright citrus notes appear midpalate, as if some drops of lemon juice were just dropped in the mix. The development of smoke is more than just pleasant.
The long, drying finish begins sweet and then becomes sooty. I love it.
This is rather wonderful for only 35 to 40 EUR. Oh, and if you are wondering what the title of this note means? It’s the scientific name for the Black Grouse and not some computer game.