- Brand: Naked Grouse
- ABV: 40%
This was the first mystery sample of three I tasted. The samples were generously provided by @cricklewood . What's interesting is that I had no idea I was tasting a blended malt, so my guesses were all single malts. This was tasted from a Highland Whisky glass.
Tasting notes (neat and blind)
- Nose: quite fruity (strawberries, raspberries), whipped cream, vanilla, a touch of caramel, some chocolate popping up after time in the glass along side something herbal, rosemary or thyme maybe.
- Palate: light to medium bodied, oak and caramel at first, then chocolate and hazelnuts (Ferrero Rocher?), perhaps a faint hint of smoke.
- Finish: short to medium length, milk chocolate and hazelnuts, oak, a lingering "grapey" note.
- Thoughts: this is probably 40%-43% abv. It's pleasant enough, but a bit disjointed between the aromas and the flavours. I expected more fruitiness on the palate.
- Neat score: 82/100
Tasting notes (with water, blind)
- Nose: even fruitier, a touch of smoke now, the sweetness is less caramel and more floral, like honey
- Palate: much too light with water, it becomes a tad bitter, the nuttiness becomes more oaky
- Finish: flat with a generic oakiness lingering.
- Score with water: 79/100
As I said, I thought this was a single malt. My best guess was Glenrothes. I also thought it might be a Glenmorangie Lasanta or a Macallan. Given that Naked Grouse is an Edrington-produced blended malt, I guess there's a good chance that there is some Glenrothes and Macallan in here.
- Would I accept a glass if someone offered me one? Absolutely. It's nice and simple when sipped neat.
- Would I order this in a bar or pub? I think so. Social environments aren't conducive to careful nosing and tasting anyway, so this whisky would do just fine.
- Would I buy a bottle? It depends on the price. This one is no longer listed at the LCBO, but when it did it sold for about $50. Arran 10 Year Old is about $55 and has a more balanced and interesting flavour profile to my palate. I think Naked Grouse would be a fine bottle to keep around for casual sipping.
I'm glad I got to participate in this tasting and in the video meeting that followed. Thanks again to @cricklewood for his generosity.