It seems like this has been discontinued in most of the world. Apparently that’s not the case here. Our bottle looks different than other 18 year Grouse bottles, and it’s still widely available in stores. We might be dealing with yet another “only in Taiwan” situation. We do get lucky, it seems. This is a lovely 18 year old blended malt at 43%.
Nose: Rich and fruity. Sour apples, apple vinegar, orange rind, wood, tree bark, caramel, Asian plums, cinnamon, allspice, anise, and brown sugar. The apple vinegar, Asian plum, and orange rind give this some sourness. Cool.
Palate: Rich, thick, and mouth-coating. Caramel, apples, apricots, cherries, banana bread, figs, raisins, sour dough bread, faint smoke, nutmeg, and unsweetened orange juice.
Finish: Medium in length, with a strong carry-through from the palate. Caramel, heather, gentle peat, banana bread, orange juice, dark chocolate, hazelnut coffee, butter, nutmeg, sour dough bread, Grand Marnier, and charcoal. A metallic note lingers.
Thoughts: I’m surprised by how good this is. Rich, textured, layered, and satisfying. Usually blended malts don’t have this much personality. There are some delicious sour notes of apples, sour dough bread, and orange juice that offset the sweetness. The banana bread and nutmeg flavours are also delightful. I do wish there was more clarity to the notes in the finish, and I don’t love the lingering metallic flavour, but these are minor quibbles. This is an excellent whisky. Better than its 15 year old brother. Better than even Walker Green, I’d say. Hell, this beats a lot single malts in its price range. Grab it if you can.