Around Christmas the Whiskykoning in Den Bosch hosts a Bokito tasting with that year’s highlights according to him and his ‘tasting panel’. The tasting panel is him.
He picks from that year’s releases and sets them aside for that tasting. Since he can only accomodate about 10 people at a tasting, he does the tasting three times. Two of which are after Christmas and last Friday was the third one.
He started off with this Naked Grouse, last year’s special edition from Famous Grouse. A whisky that feels ‘engineered’ to fit modern palates. Ralfy talks about that as well in his video review of it.
It’s fruity with lots of sherry influence. Strangely enough I had very strong port wine feelings with this (more on this below). There’s quite a bit of wood influence, but more in a juicy, sappy way than it being dry or bitter. Vanilla custard too, with nuts. Rather sweet too.
The palate is really gentle (no surprise at 40%) with sherry influence and lots of tropical fruits. Juicy, but not very special. Some vanilla custard and caramel too.
The finish does the same trick as the palate without adding anything. It doesn’t last long either.
It’s a nice blend, but there’s not much too it. Another dimension from the regular Famous Grouse with a good bit of sherry casks in it I think, probably refill and such. I can’t imagine The Edrington Group wasting their prime casks on blends when there is shitloads of cash to be made of it in Single Malts.
On the port wine: When I was in Porto a couple of years ago I went to do the tour at Taylor’s and they told me they mostly use new casks. They sell a lot of their used casks to Famous Grouse. It wouldn’t surprise me if there are some port casks in here too.
Anyway, a nice warm up, but not a whisky that will change the world. With it tasting ‘engineered’ it does fit another category of drinkers so from that point of view it’s a rather good move…
Naked Grouse, 40%, OB, available at most shops for about € 30. Also at De Whiskykoning of course.