Tag Archives: Ptarmigan

The Famous Grouse, Smoky Black, Blend, 40%

Grouse come in a variety of species – just like their whisky counterparts.

Red & Black Grouse with a Teacher inbetween c/othewhiskeynut

The Red – or Famous Grouse – is the most common & biggest selling of the Matthew Gloag dynasty of blended Scotch.

Ptarmigan – or Snow Grouse – are quite a scarce bird to encounter – just like blended grain whisky.

Snow Grouse c/othewhiskeynut

Black Grouse are a bit more easy to find – & the species proudly adorns the bottle of Smoky Black Grouse Whisky.

Smoky Black c/othewhiskeynut

Promising a heavier & peatier experience – Smoky Grouse delivers.

The smoke is rather subdued & very well balanced – it won’t blow you away – making for a very easy drinker with a touch of character.

Peated Glenturret c/othewhiskeynut

While the Red Grouse is easily found in Ireland – Snow & Black Grouse are rarely encountered. Brexit is also causing problems with whisky imports/exports & could lead to higher prices.

It looks like the expansion of Grouse in Ireland could hit a rocky patch.

Sláinte

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The Snow Grouse, Blended Grain, 40%

As it’s St Andrew’s Day – a Scotch review is in order.

The UK is on the cusp of change. Brexit raises the possibility of a split with Europe – a big chunk of the whisky market – and Independence for Scotland.

Changes are also occurring in the whisky world. New brands, new countries and new styles are pressurising the pole position enjoyed by Scotch.

That position was achieved back in  the early 1900’s by the adoption of new technology allowing a new style of whisky to rise to the fore – blended whisky.

One brand that has had immense success with that style is Famous Grouse.

The Snow Grouse is one of their newer releases.

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Seriously chilled Snow Grouse c/othewhiskeynut

A blended grain – rarely encountered – much like the proud bird on the attractive label – a Ptarmigan.

This species of Grouse inhabits the higher & often snow covered ground of the Scottish Mountains.

The clever marketing suggests ‘freezing’ the whisky – much like the birds habitat – which goes against the – ahem – grain of allowing the whisky to sit at room temperature to enjoy the aromas.

So I did.

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Deep frozen. c/othewhiskeynut

Bad move.

The nose was decidedly silent – apart from a healthy dose of added caramel.

Ice cool on the palate – unnaturally sweet – oily & viscous on the mouth.

No warmth here for me.

I enjoy the marketing and the added theatrics of freezing – but the overall experience just leaves me cold.

Any soft or delicate notes exhibited by the grain have been frozen out & drowned by added caramel.

At room temperature it was far more palatable.

Slàinte

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