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I have always kind of overlooked The Famous Grouse because I always see it in my local 7/11 among the other discount blends. I used to buy the straight forward blended bottling as a mixer. My buddies and I would mix it with coke to do some pre-drinking before we headed out clubbing. Because of this, I suppose I'm a bit biased towards this stuff. Perhaps I owe it to myself to give the brand a second shot.
Nose: Sherry notes. Dried red apples, figs, pears raisins. Sweet cinnamon and very gentle spices. Some serious maritime notes as well. Sea salt, brine, etc. Quite bold and complex.
Palate: Creamy mouthfeel. Quite a dry dram, with a stong melon presence. Some other sherry fruity notes as well. Malty. Salty with hints of pepper. Lovely maritime flavours in here. Is that cognac I smell?
Finish: A very creamy finish with some bite. Starts on peppery spiciness and moves into oak, with malt and dried sherry fruits dancing about. Oddly, I felt like I was drinking cognac at times here. There are some perfumey, delicate, floral notes that are seriously reminiscent of cognac. Very interesting.
This dram is complex and quite lovely. There's quite a bit going on here. It's as though somebody mixed Bunnahabhain 12 with Benriach 12 Sherry Finish, then added added a few drops of cognac in for good measure.
Bunnahabhain 12 for the heavy salty sherry and oak influence, Benriach Sherry Finish for the sweet sherry notes and the peppery blast, and a bit of cognac for some of the floral, perfumey notes that seem to present themselves. For those of you who doubt, pour yourself a dram of any VSOP presentation and drink it beside this. It's subtle, but noticeable. Really weird, but kind of cool.
This whisky seems to have influences from all over the place, but it's not incongruous. The unique medley of disparate notes work well together, making this a complex, affordable, and certainly, interesting experience. Very recommended!