Review: Famous Grouse

Famous Grouse

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 Gross Grouse.

  • Nose:

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.

  • Taste:

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.

  • Water:

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.

  • Finish:

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.

Review: Famous Grouse

Review: Famous Grouse


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!

Famous Grouse
Quality: Ugh
Price: Cheap!
See my rating guide here

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