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Issue 74 - Grouse season

Whisky Magazine Issue 74
September 2008

 

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Grouse season

Dave looks at the famous bird's new clothes with an eye on past trends

Snow Grouse, eh? To begin with I thought it was a new ad campaign for its more famous cousin: you know, a blank white poster with ‘S'No Grouse' as the tag, but apparently not. This, the latest addition to the Grouse family, comes in a frosted bottle with instructions to serve ‘seriously chilled'. It's a “blended grain”. (Does anyone else think that looks, well, wrong? “Blended with what?” “Grain.” “No, with what?” “More grain.” ‘Oh...”) Anyway, the lovely PR department at Edrington talks about it being for “consumers looking for something new and different.” of how it is “a light, delicate and vanilla sweet whisky [sic] with a uniquely smooth taste,” that it's been “smoothchill filtered” (TM) and has a “sweet gloopy mouth-feel” [sic] and a cool taste sensation when served ‘seriously chilled'.” The words seem to echo another whisky, long forgotten, one I'd shelved in the dustiest corner of the mind, until it seemed to leap into my hand when I was faced recently with the remnants of Michael Jackson's whisky library. If it was hard to believe that it's a year since that great heart stopped, then this sight brought that fact home with depressing finality. Is this collection of halfempty bottles all that's left of my old friend? Can I read them like runes, trying to piece together the man from these liquid fragments, these puddles of spirit?

Then one bottle seems to levitate out of a box filled with nondescript malts: Jackson's Row ...

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