What if I told you there is a blend – a blend containing the finest nectar from select grain distilleries and malts from the likes of The Macallan and Highland Park? A blend whose proportions are a closely guarded secret, with a hundred year heritage and steeped in Scottish culture? How about lovingly presented at a world-class 43% ABV (territory varying) with a per-bottle cost of less than the price of an Uber into town?
Ladies and gentlemen, dream no longer – that blend is upon us. Let me introduce you to Famous
Water. It smells like slightly brackish tap water. With a little bit of grain whisky if you close your eyes and breathe deeply and use your imagination. Unfathomably weak.
And from weak, to ludicrously hot. A boiling hot bowl of stodgy cornflakes. With dodgy milk. And golden syrup. There’s clearly some kind of malt in there – and my brain is even saying the word “sherry” for some reason. But honestly, it’s a mess. And a chore. An unpleasant chore for which there is no reward. Or end.
Just hot and flat and utterly dull. Not “terrible” – just miserable.
Clearly the Famous Grouse is not a water bird.
For mixing, as with most budget blends, it makes an “alright” highball – albeit one that tastes a little like Kellogg’s Frosties. But there are tastier mixing blends for (often) less money, making this almost impossible to justify. If nothing else is around, then sure – smash this in a highball, quite possibly the only way to enjoy it. Or decide to go sober and live a more contemplative life.
Insultingly short, and grassy. To be fair there’s something quite nice and citrusy and sherried for the fleeting moments you get to notice it. And it’s gone.
Famous Grouse. Eish. Truly unremarkable stuff, bordering on unpleasant.
High points: Better than Bell’s.
Low points: Worse than Red Label.
So why not 1 out of 10? Or 0? Well those honours are reserved for whiskies from China, Canada and Belgium. Even Bell’s is better than those. But more on them later 🙂
Now before I get accused of being an elitist snob, I consider J&B to be a very drinkable, enjoyable blend that can be sipped neat… and it costs less than a bottle of Famous Grouse. Famous Grouse is just shockingly boring, flat, lifeless and joyless, regardless of price. Go team J&B!