We’ve reviewed a lot of good whiskey, but we’ve yet to really see a whiskey as unpretentious, and as unlike the brand’s usual offerings, as Naked Grouse. Created by the makers of The Famous Grouse, maker of classic Scotch whiskey, Naked Grouse is what the distillery calls “whiskey at its most uncomplicated,” and uses “first fill” sherry casks in which to age the whiskey. This slightly-unusual (though not unheard of) aging vessel imparts a much sweeter, fruitier flavor to their spirits – and one that gives the drink it’s slightly cheeky personality. (Don’t believe us? See the website.)
Naked Grouse is based on more traditional malt whiskeys from Macallan and Highland Park, where The Famous Grouse is located. The result is a smooth, easy drink, with notes of cocoa, butter, an oak finish, and even some toffee. It comes in at a traditional 80 proof.
According to the creators, Naked Grouse was envisioned because of the currently-rising popularity of single malt whiskeys. Everybody wants to order them and they’re in high demand, and so the distillery felt they ought to create a unique version that stood out from the competition. The distillery also makes it clear that Naked Grouse is, despite sharing the distinctive bird on the bottle with the flagship drink, not entirely a part of their portfolio; the drinks will remain separate.
Naked Grouse goes well in a variety of mixed drinks; the brand considers their signature serve to be mixed with a cherry cola and lime. You can grab a bottle for a very reasonable under-30, and it’s got a cool glass rendition of the Grouse on the front.