This is an abbreviated version of my most recent blog post
Bottom shelf blends don't generally garner much attention in the blogosphere. We're passionate about our favourite single malts, peat levels, cask selection and so on. We may be doing the casual drinker a disservice though, since blended scotch whisky accounts for approximately 85 to 90 percent of all scotch whisky sales worldwide.
However, I'm nothing if not selfless, so I've decided to swallow my pride (and a lot of whisky) in order to help my ten or so readers make more informed choices, regardless of how much they're spending.
- Nose (undiluted): barley, red grapes, honey, light brown sugar
- Palate (undiluted): medium-light body, malt, tea-biscuit-ish, honey, faint red grape notes
- Finish: medium length, honey, a very faint hints of smoke and milk chocolate
Adding water did not change much about this whisky. The sweetness is cut a bit, and the milk chocolate notes become a bit more apparent, but this isn't any kind of flavour bomb. I wouldn't recommend adding water to this whisky. The Famous Grouse is light enough to mix in a highball, or a Rob Roy, but it doesn't make you sit up and pay attention the way some of the better blends, like Compass Box, do.
The Famous Grouse won't change your life, but it is a solid introduction to scotch whisky. The single malt component is present, but it certainly doesn't dominate the blend. There is nothing unpleasant in the Grouse, but it didn't blow me away either. Much like Grant's, it did improve a bit after being opened for a month or so.
@Victor I've had some good blends (Cutty Sark Prohibition comes to mind). I smelled some Dimple that leaked on my hand in a patient's home once. I really liked JW Green.
I'll try anything and enjoy it as long as it's good.
But this one just doesn't sound like one of them.
And think of all the unworthy single malts...
I want a date with this Tina L.W. if you've got her number
For many blends the proportion of malt is too low or the grain components are not old enough to contribute enough personality. The ABV on many is too low as well, Cutty Sark Prohibition was a good example at 50% those first batches we're really punchy and bold which could smooth over the imperfections or limitations..subsequent batches I tried we're a little too sweet and sharp, my palate probably changed too.
but as @Nozinan said there's also many unworthy single malts...lack of defining character that's the one that gets me.