Snow Grouse

Rating:
★★★★☆
Score:
82/100 
ABV:
40% 
Region:
Scotland 
Body:
Light-medium 
Intensity:
Light-medium 
Texture:
Medium (chilled)
Balance:
Excellent  
Best served:
Chilled and neat
Theme(s):
Vodka, creamy, crisp, apple, grain whisky  
In a nutshell:
The Snow Gouse is an example of excellent grain whisky that expresses a youthful and smooth vodka-like character without alcoholic harshness but with the obvious benefits of aging in oak barrels that adds depth and spiciness to an otherwise crisp and creamy whisky with an apple foundation at its core whether served chilled or at room temperature 

Likes:
Crisp, smooth, pleasant alcohol, complex 
Dislikes:
Light bodied such that it lacks some substance as the youthfulness tends to dominate a little 
Price:
£20

The Snow Grouse is a blended grain whisky that can be served at room temperature or chilled from the freezer. This means that it does not contain malt whisky, but grain whisky. No problems there, because grain whisky can be just as good as malt whisky. The Snow Gouse is an example of excellent grain whisky that expresses a youthful and smooth vodka-like character without alcoholic harshness but with the obvious benefits of aging in oak barrels that adds depth and spiciness to an otherwise crisp and creamy whisky with an apple foundation at its core whether served chilled or at room temperature.

Youthful whiskies can sometimes be quite impressive, and the Snow Grouse is one such example because it offers a lovely creaminess akin to a high quality vodka, but without the noticeable stench (ie: bad smell) of new spirit and this indicates exceptional distilling! White spirit such as vodka can be a pleasure to drink, because high quality vodka should be creamy and luscious without harshness and without the stench of alcohol or that unpleasant doughy new spirit smell. Snow Grouse is an example of a pleasant vodka-like whisky, because in addition to good oak influence it has that luscious creaminess and softness that is characteristic of young grain spirits that have been distilled with tender love and care. There is no alcohol smell despite its youthful demeanor, and this is impressive.

I tasted this whisky at room temperature and from the freezer (seriously chilled). The Famous Grouse recommends serving this whisky chilled, but I think it should be savoured both at room temperature and chilled. At room temperature the whisky is more fragrant on the nose whereas chilled the nose is more subdued but the taste is sweeter and more interesting.

Nose 

Room temperature: Youthful and piercing in the glass, this whisky offers thin gusts of pear and alcohol with flints of grain. The alcohol is not harsh but pleasant, almost like a high quality vodka. It has a creaminess and softness that brings dried apple, custard apple and vanilla custard with crumbled short bread and chocolate rum cake layered with blackberries and some very mild licorice. Noticeable tart berry theme at room temperature.

Seriously chilled: Fresh, light and crisp with a more luscious aroma, this whisky releases thickened custard layered over fresh apple and pear as the grain and alcohol mellow to deliver more noticeable oak in the form of vanilla and some shavings of dark chocolate wafers mixed with a good quality vodka. This whisky has a vodka themed foundation, but with the benefit of being aged in oak! I have no issues drinking this whisky chilled, because that is common among vodka drinkers; and in fact letting it warm in the palm of your hand allows the whisky to release even more character.

Taste 

Room temperature: Sharp lashes of bitter alcohol and wet tea leaves whip the tongue, as the sweetness of custard apple shines.

Seriously chilled: Smooth, like a honeyed liqueur, if offers a beautiful SNAP of flavour with a bitter-sweet theme. Sweet honeyed apple rests over buckwheat pancakes alongside bitter surges of subtle and mellow alcohol which delivers a creamy texture that recedes to bitter damp green tea leaves.

Finish

Room temperature: Lingering softness with creamy alcohol very much finishing a high quality vodka theme, but with the snaps of grain and lovely oak influence.

Seriously chilled: Better, with a crisp finish, that bitter green tea lingers but sees smooth waves of sweet honeyed apple and some creamy custard.

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