This one has been on my list for a while. You may already be familiar with the Famous Grouse blend which I think is a decent and balanced whisky for the price. The Naked Grouse can be seen as an upgrade to the standard Famous Grouse in that it does not contain grain, which is often regarded a whisky filler. I believe it comprises of malts from Glenturret, Highland Park and Macallan at least – which on paper appear as a great mix. The other thing about the Naked Grouse is that is has been matured in first fill ex-oloroso sherry casks but they do not state how long for. There is a fine line between sherry and too much sherry influence, we all have a line but there are some that enjoy extremely sherried malts.
Whisky: The Naked Grouse Blended Malt Scotch Whisky, 40%
Nose: Potpourri, syrup, gentle smoke, marzipan, butterscotch, heather and honey
Taste: Malt, wine, earth, honey, marzipan, roasted nuts, black tea, toast, tannins
Finish: Tea, tannins and dry
Summary: I was looking forward to trying this one but I am left feeling a bit disappointing. I am not embarrassed to admit that I think the Famous Grouse is a good blend for the price so I was expecting to like this one. I got it for £18 on offer but it normally retails at £22 which is not a huge jump from other offerings. However, this one crossed that fine line quite easily when it comes to sherry maturation. I enjoy sherry bombs but I have to be in the mood for them. The Glenfarclas 105 is an awesome sherry bomb. The Naked Grouse goes too far and is laced with too much sugary syrupy sweetness on the nose and taste. The whiffs of heather and smoke, which I suspect comes from Highland Park saves it from being another Whyte and Mackay experience for me. I can see the potential with it and wish they toned down the sherry a notch. At £18 this is not a bad malt but I would only recommend to you if you have a sweet tooth.
Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,
1 – not to my preference
2 – tastes fine but does not excite me
3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally
4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf
5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf
Image source: www.thewhiskyexchange.com