In December NCABC put The Black Grouse on sale so of course I had to give it a whirl. A good friend had mentioned this was their house Scotch so I figured it must be good and shelled out the $25 for it. I knew it would be smoky, but when I opened it the character seemed forced and artificial. I liked the base flavor, but the smoke was not my cup of tea. Over the next few days I kept pouring and on the second night it did not seem as offensive so I decided to keep on trucking. On the third time I poured a glass the smoke character seemed in line. I don’t know if that is a case of the headspace in the bottle allowing the phenols to flash away with alcohol or if my palate just needed a different experience. Apparently now they are calling this The Famous Grouse Smoky Black which may explain why the spirit was on sale to eliminate the stock at the warehouse. I would not turn down a glass of Black Grouse/Smoky Black, but I’m not sure I love it enough to grab another bottle unless it is was a bargain.