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Issue 114 - ?Ramsay's handiwork

Whisky Magazine Issue 114
September 2013

 

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?Ramsay's handiwork

?Grouse shows its older colours

?Stocks of very old whisky are so rare these days that it's not often I am lucky enough to be invited along to the launch of a 40 year-old dram. Happy was I then to get the nod one balmy July lunchtime to attend the grand unveiling of the oldest ever Famous Grouse whisky at London's small, but wonderfully well-stocked Soho Whisky Club. Master blender Gordon Motion was on hand to give us fortunate guests a tasting of what was actually the handiwork of his predecessor John Ramsay: The Famous Grouse 40 Years Old. As befits a whisky with a hefty £2,000 price tag The Famous Grouse 40 Years Old is packaged in a 70cl crystal decanter engraved with a Red Grouse designed by Scottish textile firm Timorous Beasties. Topped with a Scottish silver stopper the whisky sits handsomely in a luxury wooden gift box. As for the whisky itself it's a blended 47.3% abv malt drawn from just four clearly exceptional ex-sherry refill casks. The finished whisky is a joy to taste: rich, sweet full-bodied and long-lasting on the palate, but not overly woody despite have slept so long in the cask. There were lots of dark chocolate orange and rich stewed fruit notes, which culminated in a lingering, almost chewy finish. The initial idea for The Famous Grouse 40 Years Old came as a suggestion from Schiphol Airport Retail, the duty-free operator of Amsterdam airport. The new whisky will be an exclusive for them from mid-August until the end of September when around 40 decanters will then be distributed ...

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