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Naked Grouse Blended Malt

Naked, Blind, and Confused

3 582

@OdysseusUnboundReview by @OdysseusUnbound

13th Apr 2020

1

  • Nose
    21
  • Taste
    21
  • Finish
    20
  • Balance
    20
  • Overall
    82

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Distribution of ratings for this: user

  • 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.

5 comments

@fiddich1980
fiddich1980 commented

@OdysseusUnbound The interesting facet of blind tasting is that it not only illustrates the shared commonality of taste among a group but, also; the divergence of the group.

My Notes:

Nose: wine cask& 2nd fill sherry influence, mint, eucalyptus, camphor, red berries, slight highland peat, hay

Palate: Oily, ripe plums, stone fruit, peach, soft green pepper. Over all, complex bits of various elements soft spices, red wine

Finish: medium length, winey, chalky ending

It punches above the ABV 43%, well put together heterogeneous blend which allows the taster to focus on how individual aspects of the blends. It is not a rocket ship but, a fully loaded slow train.

about one year ago 4Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@fiddich1980 Absolutely. It's interesting that we seem to share a lot of things in common, but I guess it's the differences that make things interesting. During the video tasting, I believe you mentioned "sour green apples" right away when we discussed the Kilkerran. That note was quite prominent for me as well. And I think we picked out a lot of the same aromas and flavours when we shared a dram of this year's Lot 40 CS together with @Nozinan You seem to have enjoyed this one more than I did, which isn't totally surprising since this one, while not unpleasant, isn't really in my wheelhouse.

about one year ago 3Who liked this?

@fiddich1980
fiddich1980 commented

@OdysseusUnbound Ah Lot 40 CS Third edition, or as I call it "Peking Duck", an unbalanced, discorded mess. Why Livermore would be influenced by taster's at his blending class is beyond me? You'll have to ask @cricklewood about the reference. You'll have a laugh.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

@fiddich1980 To be fair, I didn’t dislike this year’s Lot 40 CS as much as you did, though we seemed to taste a lot of the same notes. As far as Dr Don, what I’ve gathered from following his posts on social media and from interacting with him through private messages is that our palates are incredibly different. He can’t taste coconut, which means that his genetic blind spots are incredibly different from mine. I’ve read his description of the Lanny McDonald Whisky from the NHL Alumni Series. It is one of Dr Don’s favourites, and his tasting notes for it read like a completely different whisky than the bottle I had. I found it awful. I have no reason to doubt Dr Livermore, so I can only ascribe the wide divergence to genetic differences in taste and preferences.

about one year ago 3Who liked this?

@cricklewood
cricklewood commented

I know you didn't dig this one so much but now reading your review I see the nuances you make on it, it's really not that bad of a whisky but it's well said that Arran 10 is within the same price and offers more diversity. I haven't had Arran 10 in a long time (I should rectify that) but remember fondly and it had a slight feisty side that didn't appeal to some but I could see being in your wheelhouse.

I found it well put together, the casks were relatively clean also, there is a slight sulfury tang but nothing that would set of the Panama hat meter.

Now that Lot 40 CS III, there is way too much happening there, I just felt it really unbalanced, way too heavy on the star anise, there is also too much of that green branch/blackcurrant bud note that French oak can contribute. Perhaps his genetic bias doesn't pick up those things as heavily but it just felt messy.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

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