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This is W&M's answer to the already swamped market of standard blended Whisky under 8 year old. This is often the one you see in pubs, bars and clubs and is often the one that can be found in supermarkets around the UK. I paid £13 at Sainsbury's as it was on offer and i would advise you to pay no more than £15 for the 70cl bottle. Which is comparable price wise to Famous Grouse.
The colour is traditional for a blended Whisky and although the bottle does not state it has Caramel E150 colouring in it i would guess that it has, simply as the colour is so dark for such a young Whisky (between 4-8 years in this blend). However, do not let the fact they have added caramel colouring put you off!
NOSE: Toffee and a hint of vanilla although i would advise you add a drop of water to this from the off as it immediately brings out additional aromas including Raisins and of course a deep scent of Sherry from the casks. I would add that even before you add water this Whisky is quite smooth on the nose and at no point is overpowering!
PALATE: Sweet, smooth with hints of toffee, mellow dries fruits and lots of spice with black pepper playing a big role. With the addition of water it's much more smoother in the mouth and many of the flavors are easier to detect with the alcoholic bite being reduced to a balanced level. I cannot stress how much of an improvement this Whisky is when a little water is added and it tastes significantly better than the bottle of Famous Grouse i had over the past two weeks.
FINISH: The many flavors from this young blend linger in the mouth longer than virtually any of it's competitors. The sweetness at the end is most enjoyable with almost a tea taste around the sides of your tongue. There is very little burn from this Whisky although there is some on the tip of the tongue and at the back but it's dramatically less than what you expect from such a young blend. This does warm you as it goes down yet doesn't burn which again is something i welcome.
VERDICT: Now i don't pretend to call myself a Whisky expert yet but i do trust my taste-buds and nose and this Whisky has lots to offer for it's age and price. In summary, the nose drastically opens up when water is added and in the mouth it is significantly smoother. Considering it's age and price and the fact that this is a mass-market blended Whisky i have to say it impressed me more than Famous Grouse... not only did i smell more aromas and a deep Sherry input, the taste was far more pleasant and the long finish gives excellent value for money
Don't expect anything spectacular but for a basic blend this is very impressive in my book and has taken up residence as our go to blended Whisky - something i would be happy to drink whenever and whatever the circumstances. It also works very well as a mixer or over ice but personally i would stick to drinking with a drop of cool still water.
Recommended as an everyday Whisky around the house. It's better than you think!!