The newest offering from The Famous Grouse stable is on sale. Look out for the bottle that looks remarkably different from the parent product: it’s the Snow Grouse.
The Snow Grouse is the latest from the Matthew Gloag and Son distillery, which is now owned by the Edrington Group. It is an evolution of The Famous Grouse that was sparked by a new trend in whisky drinking in Europe, especially Scandinavia.
A few bars in Finland are said to have begun the trend of serving frozen whisky, thanks to a Finnish entrepreneur who designed a whisky freezer for bars. The machine served whisky that was chilled to a mind-numbing 18 below zero. Whisky at such temperatures becomes like jelly, and its taste characteristics change dramatically.
The catch? This freezer was so bulky it could never fit in your home. Thus was born the idea of a whisky that could be frozen in your home and served. The Snow Grouse is a blend made from grain spirit and matured in oak casks before being gently chill-filtered. It is light, with a vanilla-sweet flavour, and tasters have said it has a “sweet gloopy mouth-feel” and “has a cool taste sensation when served seriously chilled”.
At room temperature, it is a balanced, easy drinking Scotch whisky. Snow Grouse is currently available only duty-free in Europe, and the makers plan to launch it formally after assessing the response to it over a year. It is priced around 20 euros.
Good ol’ grouse
If you are not for trying out the frozen whisky, you can opt for the tried and trusted The Famous Grouse. The malt whiskies used in it include The Glenrothes, Highland Park Single Malt and Macallan Single Malt.
The name of the whisky and the emblem comes from the Scottish national bird, which is the grouse. It is a whisky whose taste has been known to appeal to a broad range of consumers, especially first-timers and non-whisky drinkers. But it also finds a special place in any bar.
The Famous Grouse is one of the few brands that have been awarded the Royal Warrant from the Queen of England. The Royal Warrant, which is issued for a period of 10 years, was first awarded to The Famous Grouse in 1984. This award entitles the brand to carry the Royal Emblem on its label and become part of the Queen’s Royal Bar. It is available at retail stores in India but prices vary by state.
An eclectic blend
The Black Grouse is an extension of The Famous Grouse. It is a rich and flavoursome smoky whisky that marries The Famous Grouse with the peatiness of an Islay Malt. The tasting notes include a nose of peaty smoke, raw sugar with traces of malt and oak.
The taste is smoky-sweet with hints of cocoa and spice and the finish is aromatic with an oaky note. What is special is that a part of the proceeds from sales of The Black Grouse go into conservation efforts of the real grouse.