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Distribution of ratings for this:
Nose, Taste, Finish and Balance are graded out of 2.5 each:
Nose: As the bottle label does it's best to explain, this is meant to be a marriage of peated malt with the Famous Grouse blend, so naturally I was expecting a strong statement of smoke and peat. Not so. The smoke and peat is definitely there, however it is more than accommodating to the brown sugar accompanying it. A compelling balance. 2.0
Taste: Incredibly smooth and light, once again not forcing the issue with the peat and the smoke. The brown sugar on the nose has become dark chocolate on the tongue, and it mingles beautifully with the spice. Makes me think of a bar of dark chocolate with chilli that someone once gave me. I wasn't a fan of it at the time, but on tasting this I may have to try that chocolate again. Intriguing stuff. 2.0
Finish: A very gradual fade down of the cocoa, and a fade up of the spice and oak. So subtle and unexpectedly elegant. 2.0
Balance: I must confess, I do often judge a book by it's cover, and I've never been a fan of the labelling on The Famous Grouse, and if anything it looks even worse in this black edition. Never though have I tasted anything that so belies its cheap appearance (and pricing for that matter). It's like fine poetry wrapped in an airport-read paperback cover. However it may appear on the outside, there's truly great stuff inside that bottle. 2.0.