Last night (Tuesday December 3), I attended a tasting of Balblair vintages. We tasted five whiskies, 2003, 1997, 1990, 1983 and 1969, prefaced by a glass of Balblair’s base spirit.
The Snow Grouse, which is intended to be served direct from the freezer, has already launched to the Nordics, Holland, India and European travel retail markets.
Distributed by Maxxium UK, the expression has been matured in oak casks and is chill-filtered to create a “light, delicate and vanilla sweet whisky” with a “smooth taste”.
To support the UK Launch, Maxxium is is running an ‘instant win’ promotion with 24,000 bottles to be given away.
According to the brand, when the bottle is frozen, its thermochromic neck collar can change colour to reveal prizes that include an ‘artic adventure’ in Finland and The Snow Grouse ‘beanie’ hats.
The 40% abv blend, which is priced at £17.99, is available in the UK in selected on-trade outlets and is stocked at The Whisky Shop, Tesco and Asda in the off-trade.
The Naked Grouse joins The Snow Grouse, the Black Grouse – launched in 2008 – and the original blend, The Famous Grouse.
The 40% abv blend of Highland Park and The Macallan malt whisky, which retails at £27.69, has also launched to Russia.
According to the brand, the whisky is “slow matured” in first-fill sweet sherry casks to produce “smoothness of flavour”.
It can be served neat, on the rocks or mixed in cocktails such as ‘The Naked Old Fashioned’ (50ml of The Naked Grouse poured over ice with two dashes of bitters and 10ml sugar syrup).
The blend is available in ‘high-end’ bars in the on-trade, at www.masterofmalt.com and in Tesco and Asda.
Peter Sandstrom, UK marketing director for Maxxium – distributor of both expressions - said: “Maxxium is committed to leading the way in blended scotch by bringing exciting and innovative whiskies to market which challenge the norm and will reinvigorate the category.”