The Black Grouse is a member of the Famous Grouse family, but is peaty and in my opinion much more complex and enjoyable than its sibling the Famous Grouse. Ever since I had it at first, it has become a favourite blended scotch to enjoy.
Nose: peat, heather, and honey all come out immediately. There’s some dried apricot in the mix as well, along with some a bit of earthiness in a bit of the form of old, mossy, roots. There is also vanilla in the mix and I get a bit of interesting spice as well – spicy coriander, interestingly enough. I find that the vanilla, honey and some oak come out more and more as it sits. The smoke has the profile of burning leaves. Nicely crafted together, and very enjoyable. 26.5/30 (88%)
Taste: sweet malt comes in at first before the peaty earthiness picks up along with some apricots, and slightly bitter smoke and vanilla builds up…and then dies out to some more sweet earthiness, raisins, and a bit of spice – that spicy corriander and black pepper. It is quite sweet throughout, much like The Famous Grouse. I find some of the smoke a touch too bitter for my liking. It is, however, a very interesting progression of flavour. As I get more accustomed to it, I find I notice quite a bit of apple coming through. It’s quite complex. 25/30 (83%)
Finish: the smoke sits in the mouth for some time, and doesn’t have a lot of depth but does carry a slight bit of pear with it. There is a touch of spice, honey, and heather that remain as well, but it is quite light. Eventually the finish opens up to a bit of a vegetal note – green bell peppers I would think, as well as some nice apple. Still reasonably sweet. 16.5/20 (83%)
Conclusion: Quite well put together, but I did hope for a bit more depth in some of the flavours. There is a touch of bitterness which gets carried throughout which I don’t love – it is close to what I want but not quite. However, I have to say, overall it’s quite a wonderful blend! 17/20 (85%)
Overall Score: 85/100