NAS Blend, 40% ABV, £25 for 70cl
What they say:
The Naked Grouse is a premium, blended whisky from The Famous Grouse. Its name reflects our passion to create a simple, great tasting whisky without any frills or dressing. The Naked Grouse contains two of the world’s most renowned malts, Highland Park and The Macallan, which are slow matured in first fill sherry casks. The perfect gift for those who enjoy the mix of sweet and spice. The Naked Grouse can be served straight, or why not try it as a substitute for The Famous Grouse in one of our whisky cocktails, to create a slightly richer and more luxurious mixture.
Appearance: Deep russet, clear and bright
Aroma: Black cherries, cocoa powder and oak wood
Taste: Sweet, resinous, dried fruits. Spicy cinnamon sticks and nutmeg
Finish: Dark chocolate with lingering spiciness. Medium sweet
What I say:
I received this as a Christmas present from Paula not long after it was launched. I think at first she was really attracted to the bottle – which is beautiful, and also the statement of some of the malts from which it is made. Both Highland Park and The Macallan have been favourites of mine for some time, particularly in their heavily-sherried expressions.
Deep orange bronze
Floral violets, spey-like, slight cereal malt and dunnage warehouse smell
Buttery and oily in the mouth this is slightly warming with honey-sweet and beeswax elements, sweet fruit pastries are called to mind before slight leather/sherry influences develop.
This has an oily mouth-coating finish which is very smooth and delicate and gently fruity, red berries perhaps? Medium length finish overall
Would I buy it again:
It is fair to say that I am not a big fan of blended whisky, though most of my experience is from the cheaper end of the market. If I was to buy a bottle of blend this would be a likely contender, though for the same price you could buy all-malt blends like Monkey Shoulder. I guess the Naked Grouse does have some luxurious sherried malt qualities floating around in it. At the end of the day I would probably spend my money on a warts and all single malt just because I celebrate the character and individuality of them which is so often lost in blends, leading me to think of them quite often as bland scotch whisky. This is not entirely fair as many blends do have delicious flavours in them, but often they are lost or gone from the palate before you can quite put your finger on them…