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Famous Grouse Smoky Black

(70cl, 40%)

Famous Grouse Smoky Black

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Famous Grouse Smoky Black Bottling Note

A new name and packaging for the excellent 'Black Grouse' blend sees it become Famous Grouse Smoky Black. Although not mentioned by name anymore, the bottle still features a Tetrao tetrix, otherwise known as a blackcock.

Consider this similar product...

Whisky 12 Dram Collection

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose: Medium, quite smoky. Solid peat note, rummy sweetness, touch of dry wood.

Palate: Medium, balanced. Peat smoke, caramel, spice.

Finish: Long, slightly peaty.

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Famous Grouse Smoky Black Reviews



18th October 2020

Excellent taste

Excellent taste

27th July 2020

Value for money

Great for the money! Tabacco than smoke, milky chocolate and citrus with spices.... Not full body but solid finishing

14th March 2020


Upon the first sip I regret buying the bottle. At the price level only the ruby cask is an option.

2nd March 2020

Value for Price

Nice and smooth with balanced smoke. For price point a great value. If you want an everyday sipper with a touch of smoke without having to think about what you are drinking, get the Smoky Grouse.

13th January 2020

Very lnteresting addition to the malt whisky market

Islay? Not as smoky or peaty as some islays yet again very palatable which malt is it challenging

21st November 2019

Great quality, everyday smoky whisky

Great quality, everyday smoky whisky. Well balanced & at a great price.

6th November 2019

Cracking for price

Excellent smoky taste, smooth too

2nd November 2019


Great everyday peated whisky at a good price - would highly recommend

26th October 2019


If you like Scotch with a smoky flavor be sure to try this. It’s very much like Johnny Walker Black Label which I believe is delicious, too. Rates 5 stars.

30th September 2019


I give this whisky 5/10 not to diss on it. It's just very muted. As if it's watered down a bit much. There's an interesting rubber note on the nose but nothing to jump out. Boring but not horrible

29th August 2019

Bad smoke

Quite smokey indeed. Except that smoke is more of the flavor of tobacco than oak, cherry, or hickory. Spend a little extra and go for a better scotch. This is the worst I've had.

2nd August 2019

Can’t understand the low score

Fantastic blend. Isnt smoky like an islay but reminds me of smoky bacon crisps. Gets better as you go through the bottle and it softens. Lovely and underrated

25th June 2019


Lovely drop, unfortunately no longer available in Argentina - pity

21st June 2019


A very nice drink indeed.

7th June 2019


Very smooth, nice smokey middle taste, left mild and comfertable taste, wanted more.

7th April 2019

very good

beyond expectation!

22nd March 2019

Excellent blend, one of the best.

Excellent blended whiskey bought for £16. in Morrisons 08/03/2019, better than some Malts I have drank. Keep it coming.

10th March 2019

Very nice drop

We bought some at a duty free shop never seen it before but my husband absolutely loved it so we are buying some more for Xmas

19th December 2018

Needs to breathe

This is a fantastic whisky but initially a bit grainy. However, I recommend mixing the first quarter of the bottle with Cola, let the whisky breathe for a week and what a change. The grain has softened and the whisky has a lovely earthy smell. Taste wise it reminds me of smoky bacon rather than pure peat and it has a grouse sweet undertone. Take my advice and let it breathe it is a fantastic and unique whisky for it. And it mixes surprisingly well with coke for the first quarter.

15th July 2018

Great yet slightly old fashioned

For me it was very leather. Very dark with a hint of wood and fruits. A tough sell. I like it overall as a Scottish blend. However there are local blends in nc that can do as well as or better

16th June 2018

Probably not again.

I didn't like it. Something overly sweet in there. Johnnie Walker double black at a similar price in in my opinion. ..far far better.

31st May 2018

bLACK Grouse

Sweet nose, dry wood finish that lingers in the back of your throat. A whiff of smoke that doesn't last. Nothing like the old Black Grouse to be honest... But for the price I didn't expect much.

30th May 2018

Bath water

A totally disappointing experience here. Too light overall and the peat was not there. No wonder it was on sale!

15th May 2018

Good, easy, light, faint smoke.

Smells good on opening bottle, tastes good, light mouthfeel, easy drinking, fades quickly. $24 USD on sale for the 750ml.
Some reviewers said artificial sweet and artificial smoke.. I did not get anything artificial.

7th May 2018

Smooth and sweet but hardly any smoke

I like smokey malts and was drawn to the description on the bottle. The taste however was very dissapointing. Although it is smooth with a hint of caramel and molases I thought that the degree of smokiness was so light as to be hardly noticable. I have given the rest of the bottle away.

28th April 2018

Smooth, quite sweet

One thing I appreciate about the standard Grouse is the smoothness and the clear grain note. Smoky Black piles on significant complexity, shrouding the nose in smoke and adding molasses and spice on the palate, with a much longer finish, hinting at iodine and licorice. Smooth, but a bit sweet for me.

12th April 2018

A truly awful disappointment!

No wonder it was on clearance sale! WARNING: steer clear of this smokeless mess!

3rd April 2018

Decent budget peat. There's better.

Purchased on clearance for $14 from a Schnucks supermarket in St. Louis. I guess it isn't selling. Famous Grouse is actually the #1 selling scotch in Scotland, and Black Grouse is its upscale, smokier bottling. It's recently been renamed to "Famous Grouse Smoky Black" likely to cash-in on the current peat craze.

Nose: oranges and vanilla--this is what Famous Grouse famously smells like. Very faint, almost undetectable smokiness, reminiscent of Teacher's Highland Cream.

Palate: Pretty nice, actually. It's still Famous Grouse, which means it's VERY sweet. Famous Grouse is the sweetest scotch on the planet. This is more balanced than the standard bottling, though, with a faint smokiness and slight earthy iodine-taste characteristic of peat. It's very faint, but it helps a lot. If you told me this was Teacher's (the new, sweeter Teacher's), I'd believe it.

Finish: Very pleasant. Better than the taste. The characteristic Grouse burned sugar flavor quickly dissipates, leaving extremely faint flavors of oak, sea salt, and just the tiniest bit of smoke. That also dissipates pretty quickly. It's a short finish.

It's fine. For $14 a bottle, it's a very good deal. There are much better deals for cheap smoke out there, though: Islay Storm at Trader Joe's, Strathbeag peated blended scotch at Total Wine, White Horse scotch wherever you can find it...

24th March 2018

Love it

Amazing... smooth and very tasty

16th March 2018

Loved it

Reminds me off a smoky bacon finish. Is a bit sweet but has a nice balanced smoky taste and is very smooth. I have lots of islay malts and I can say this whisky is tasty indeed

11th March 2018

Disappointing. Thin and too sweet.

I like the standard Grouse so gave this a try being a fan of the Islay single malts. Very smooth but to the point of seeming watered down. Too sweet and with none of the pleasant ‘burn’ that I associate with real whisky. Almost seems low alcohol even compared to standard Grouse. Only paid £15 but you get what you pay for. Will spend my next £15-20 on standard Grouse or JW.

17th January 2018

Meltin Sindy doll of 76

Smells like my Sindy doll being melted by my brothers magnifying glass in the Summer of 76. Taste matches my disappointment then and now. Poor product!

4th December 2017

Absolutely gorgeous

Very smooth whiskey

24th November 2017

Smokey charm and easy sippin'.

My peated Islay single malts are for savoring. This is for drinking. One of my absolutely favorite bottles to share with friends of difference experiences and tastes. Smokey enough to add character, smooth enough to make for easy sippin' by the campfire.

19th November 2017


Read the Reviews I found that this was a nice palatable Whisky worth the price would recommend to anyone.

5th November 2017

Nasty, truly awful

Totally agree with the previous commentator. This is a truly nasty whiskey. The burnt smokiness is totally synthetic, totally nasty and without any merits at all. You are not getting an "Islay" on the cheap here, it is the worst whisky I have tasted in a long time. It was a gift and I feel the purchaser was duped by a marketing exercise created in lab rather than a distiller.

15th October 2017

Truly awful!!!

For me this is by far the worst whisky I've tasted in some years. Very unpleasant on the nose - like burnt clutch/burning rubber. Taste not much better. No smoke or peat to speak of. Very artificial. Can't think of anything good to say. Yes it's cheap but Aldi single malt Islay whisky is cheaper and far superior if you're after peat and smoke on a budget.

23rd August 2017

No smoke, but good

Very good for such a cheap whisky.
Nothing smokey about it though so if you expect that you will be disappointed.
It's kind of sweet, in some way reminds me of highland park 12. But don't expect it to be as good. It's just a nice weekday and mixing whisky.

31st July 2017


Trovo che il the famous grouse smoky black, è un ottimo whisky blended torbato, (questo serve per avvicinarsi ad un più complesso whisky di malto torbato). Sapore giusto ben dosato anche di fumosita', che ultima al palato arriva con molta delicatezza, il caramello lascia spazio a sufficenza per gustare questo ottimo blended....prezzo ottimo.

11th June 2017

Nothing "smoky" about it

I didn't expect anything like Johnny Walker's "Double Black", but there'e really nothing "smoky" about this blend. Very disappointing to say the least. Too artificial/fake. One of the reviewers described it perfectly " train soot blended with a cheap grain". Spend 5 extra bucks for any other blend, it'll probably be well worth it.

28th May 2017

Pretty good blend

I've tried a few blends recently just to prove to myself that malt is really worth the money. There's no doubt you can taste this is a blend - no masking that sweet graininess - but the presence of higher quality peated malts makes this much more enjoyable than standard Grouse or Grants. The smokiness is on the subtle side but for the price range I'd say not bad.

4th May 2017

I think it's great!

Wow. Looking at all the negative reviews of this blend here makes me question my own taste, but I happen to think it's great! I love the peaty malts, with my favorites being Laphroaig, Bowmore, and Highland Park. So I know a good "smoky" malt when I taste it. In my opinion, for the money this can't be beat. I love the regular Famous Grouse, too.

3rd May 2017

dirty smoke

like train soot blended with a cheap grain. ill try it as cocktail 'smoker' but definitely inferior to black grouse.

1st May 2017

Not great. Pay more, get Much better.

A very heavy nose of school plimsolls. A pleasent enough taste, but very inferior to Black grouse.

12th April 2017

I used to love her. Not just rebranded. Different recipe. Awful now.

I loved this when I was The Black Grouse. But, they have actually changed the recipe now and it tastes awful.
I occasionally find a few bottles of Black Grouse in Co-Op stores and grab them!

11th April 2017


Fair enough taste as value. Worth of taste and price.

7th March 2017

not good

Very poor, I would never dream of adding any thing to any whisky. However it's now full of Irn Bru, it's the only way it's remotely drinkable, it's like a fake watery cap'n morgan, the diet version, with chemical sweetness. Do yourself a favour and buy any other whisky

18th February 2017

Affordable Peat

Has the typical short comings of a blend. A bit too sweet, but complex enough to merit a second look. The Famous Grouse Smoky black is far superior to standard blend. However the sweetness will definitely dissatisfy those who regularly enjoy heavily peated single malts such as Laphroaig or Ardbeg. Worth a look if you are on a budget, not nearly as bad as some other reviews state.

29th January 2017

Don't bother

Like Ardbeg's ghost drowning in watered-down rum. 1.5 stars because it was only £16 in Sainsbury's.

26th January 2017


Smells like rubber band, tastes like you'll never have a whisky again.

25th January 2017

Budget Peat

Not terrible. The Black Grouse was better, although I was only able to sample one bottle of The Black G.; the Smoky Black is OK when Laphroaig or Ardbeg or Lagavulin is out of the budget, if a peated malt is what you need.
Not as bad as some critics call it here.

14th January 2017

Okay. Good for mixing.

Wouldn't recommend drinking it on its own, however, it's an inexpensive way to add a bit of "smoke" to a cocktail.

7th January 2017


Brill, Peaty, Malty, Smooth just as it says on the bottle.
Value for money , Very Moorish .

1st December 2016

burnt sugar

Is this even whiskey? will not finish bottle

14th November 2016

Don't bother....

Expected somepeat smoke or charred notes in the blend -instead found a lightweight cheap tasting "not wanting to offend anyone" synethetic dram. Can't recommend it, won't be drinking the rest of the bottle extreme let down.... Sorry folks that how it was!

12th November 2016

Very disappointed in smoke range

I tried this for 20GBP but it tests very cheap, no any smoke flavor, rather you feel like something plastic is burning near to you. Bitter in test no any smoothness. I tried Laphroaig, one of the best Isle malt whiskey. Never buy Famous Grouse Smoky Black even if available at 10GBP/70cl. If you want to harm your test then you can go for it.

31st October 2016

Recipe change for the worse!

For a cheap blend, Black Grouse was pretty good. Unfortunately this bears no resemblance to the former recipe. I always worry when an affordable blend starts referring to 'rare' ingredients like Glenturret, as it sounds like they are trying to cover something up. I admit that I was tasting a variety of whiskeys alongside this, including some very ballsy bourbons, but despite this I would still describe this as characterless. The current price is £20 - you can get something like Buffalo Trace or Bulleit for the same, and it has far more character.

23rd October 2016

Grouse fan gone

I have always been a fan of Famous Grouse. The 18 is a bargain and a very good whiskey. I am a peat fan so the Black Grouse was my "go to" whiskey - I loved it - until recently. The latest release of Black Grouse has a column still base and the complexity is gone.
This latest "swill" called "Smokey Black" is horrible. The nose is like opening a bottle of Liquid Smoke and the taste is similar to dumping an ounce of Liquid Smoke in a bottle of cheap vodka! I'm afraid of what may have been done to the 18. Strike Famous Grouse off my list. I am sad to see it go but it's had a good run.

28th September 2016

Nice weekday nip

Fair to say it's not an Ardbeg nor nowhere near it, but it has a twang that's fairly enjoyable

29th August 2016

Makes me miss the Black Grouse

Drinkable but would look for something else in the locker before doing so. Smooth but not enough Peat. Was looking forward to this but now looking forward to something else.
Glad it only came in 750.

20th June 2016

Very forgettable

Workman like cheap blend. Not awful but nothing here to go back for. Tried this as was £20 in Sainsburys for a little extra go for JW black by far the best every day blend out there

3rd April 2016

Good for the price

Bought on offer for £16. Think full price was about £20 so clearly wasn't expecting it to be up to the standard of an Islay single malt. Doesn't have a huge amount of depth but a little smoke. Nowhere near as smokey as my favourites but for a reasonably priced blend it does the job. Probably rather spend a little more and get a discounted bottle of laphroig to be honest, but if you're on a budget I would not think you'd be too disappointed.

25th March 2016


As a lover of peaty whisky, particularly Laphroaig, I thought this blend would do the business. However, it didn't, and on tasting, the smokiness was beyond acrid...imagine being stood next to a bonfire with plastic being burnt. Too often these specialist blends just don't live up to their hype. Next time I'm gonna do what I normally do..that is buy the Asda Islay malt for the bargain price of £20. A steal.

9th March 2016

Smooth and Smokey

For a cheaper whisky, this is quite good (to my taste). No bitter aftertaste like some of the more expensive whiskies have. I can recommend this.

1st January 2016


Not particularly smokey and has what I call a "cheap blended whiskey taste", not very technical I know. Drink this if you like Bells or other cheap blends; don't drink this if you like Caol Ila, Ardbeg, Talisker, Lagavulin etc (which I do). Not great!

26th December 2015

Drinkable but Disappointing

I bought this as my daily tipple so I could save the Lagavulin and Caol Ila for special occasions but wish I had opted for a J Walker Black Label instead. This smells sweet and tastes like spiced rum. Very smooth but lacks depth and finish.

19th December 2015


Almost too Smokey, tried this as I saw it was blended with glenturret . Horrible almost artificial Smokey flavour not like single malts though I bought it for 15 quid so can't complain

11th December 2015

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