Whisky snobs look away now: Black Grouse

Black Grouse

I may like malt whisky, but I can’t always afford it, particularly some of the ‘gourmet’ bottlings that distilleries are keen on tempting us all with.

Consequently, I’ve dabbled with a few blends and now have a couple of favourites. If you can get it, I can heartily recommend Bailie Nicol Jarvie.

More readily available is Black Grouse, a variant of Famous Grouse, which combines Islay Malts with the usual blend.

The bottle promises that characteristic Islay smokiness and, while present on the nose and hefty for a blend, it’s subdued. Certainly not one for the salivating smoke and peat heads out there. Continue reading

The Singleton of Dufftown

Thought I’d give my unrefined palette a work out with something a bit more straightforward this week.

Hailing from the malt epicentre that is Speyside , the Singleton of Dufftown has always raised an eyebow while perusing the spirit shelves of supermarkets, not least due to its distinctive, hipflask bottle. Connoisseurs sniff at it, dubbing a ‘designer whisky’… all brand and no trousers. Continue reading

More festive malty goodness: Caol Ila

Caol Ila selection box reviewI’ve been very well served so far this festive season with the excellent Jura Prophecy – it serves me now as I write this.

I did receive another rather special whisky, though ( from someone rather special, God bless ‘em). This time, it’s an Islay malt, the rather milder Caol Ila in a selection box: the standard 12 year old, the richer 18 year and the potentially explosive cask strength. Continue reading