A rather interesting package came in the post yesterday.
Now, we've seen several new expressions from The Famous Grouse in recent years - from the rather deliciously smoky Black Grouse, to the silky smooth grain whisky, the Snow Grouse and more recently the unbelievably popular Naked Grouse, which also won a prestigious world whiskies design award for the really rather beautiful bottle.
This, however, is the first time that another avian has been brought into the flock (sorry).
The Famous Goose is a blended whisky, much like the grouse, incorporating deliciously well aged malts from such venerable distilleries as The McGonagall, and even the rarely-heard-of Highland Snark.
I've been told that I am in fact one of only 6 people worldwide (and the only retailer in the world) to receive an advance sample of this superb-looking whisky, the others being The Whisky Guy, Edinburgh Whisky blog, The Whisky boys, whisky for everyone, and whisky critic.
Needless to say I felt compelled to crack this little birdie open and have a taste (in spite of the previous night's repeated double-checking of the beer taps at a local watering hole for Mike's leaving drinks).
Nose: Delicately floral, a touch of malty caramel, and toffee apple. Just the merest hint of bullshit on the tail-end.
Palate: More apple, immediately followed by a whack of vanilla spice. Not an overly complex undertaking but clearly quite effective nonetheless.
Finish: A resurgence of that rich spiciness, and a reminder that all joking aside, this really is quite a good whisky, and one that at such a competitive price, we are all very lucky to have in our lives.
Overall: Here's a goose story for you: When our commercial director, Tom's sister got married, me and Justin and Tom were invited to the reception. A few famous grouses after the speeches it seemed like a great idea to use the canoe that we'd found during an earlier recce of the grounds for 'hi-jinks'.
We carried it the quarter mile or so from its resting place to the outside of the reception venue, which was by a big lake. We promptly stripped down to our undercrackers and attempted to put the canoe into the lake (well, why wouldn't we?). Tom was forming the vanguard, and was repelled rather vociferously by a fully grown, very angry goose who had presumably been bribed by the venue staff to stop any kind of mischief.
Anyway - the sight of Tom, dressed only in his smalls, grabbing a goose by the neck to stop it from 'killing' him is one I'll never forget. Needless to say we prevailed - there was a swimming pool round the side of the venue, so we simply got in the canoe and went in that instead. If memory serves, the long-suffering venue staff had to 'poke' us out of the canoe with a pool cleaning net. I've got a photo of it somewhere if anyone's bothered enough.
So - erm - famous goose then. Yep. That's definitely a thing.