Single malt whisky - tasting notes

11 Jun 2014

The Black Grouse Alpha Edition

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: * Blends

There are all kinds of special variations on the blended whisky The Famous Grouse. Some are limited, some are parts of the core range. There’s The Snow Grouse (blended grain designed to be drunk chilled), The Black Grouse (a slightly smokier version), The Naked Grouse (sherried deluxe version), The Famous Vanilla, etc.

The Black Grouse ‘Alpha Edition’ is intended to be an even richer, smokier version of the already smoky The Black Grouse. It still contains the original base malts (Glenturret, Macallan, Highland Park) but it revolves more around peated Islay whiskies as well. Originally a travel retail exclusive, it’s now widely available.

 

The Black Grouse - Alpha EditionThe Black Grouse ‘Alpha Edition’
(40%, OB 2013)

Nose: surprisingly smooth – even a little bland for a blend that is intended to be smoky. Sweet honey and toffee up front. Popcorn. Plenty of orange peel. Hints of sweet oak. Some toasted notes in the background. Mouth: fruity sweetness, with almonds and caramel. The more grassy notes, and a grainy harsh note which evolves towards liquorice and peat. Aniseed as well. Finish: medium long, with dark chocolate, charry dryness and some peat smoke.

I suppose some blend drinkers may think this is the real Islay style, but it isn’t. It stays too much on the docile side to be exciting. Add in some bitterness and grainy harshness and you’ve got something I don’t really appreciate. Around € 35.

Score: 72/100

The Black Grouse Alpha Edition 1.5 Ruben Luyten 2014-06-11

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  • Roberto Sikora: This is really a great, great bottling. One of my favourite Littlemills so far... :-) Thank you, Ruben for this review!
  • george: i see you have tried st magdalene and say it is harder to find i am a collector of st magdalene and i have 40 bottles i am selling these date from 196
  • sjoerd972: I wish the guys at Bushmills would demand the labels to say "Northern Ireland" so we didn't have to speculate on the booze's origins.

Coming up

  • Bowmore Devil's Casks - Batch 2
  • Tomatin 1988 (Malts of Scotland)
  • Aberfeldy 12 Year Old
  • Blair Athol 2002 (Hepburn's Choice)
  • Fettercairn Fior
  • Bowmore Laimrig 15yo
  • Ben Nevis 2002 (Port cask #334)

1600 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.