Our Four Fundamentals

The Fundamentals

Each year 43 million bottles of The Famous Grouse are enjoyed in no less than 94 global markets. But what is it that makes Grouse so popular? Well, we’ve distilled the essence of our Famous blend in to four fundamentals: Foundation, Finest, Flavour and Fusion.

“Profits there must be, but the interests of customers and not profits are the first consideration....”

Matthew Gloag, ‘Notes on Whisky’, 1909


Guiding principles from a heritage of quality

Scotland’s favourite whisky was created in 1896 by Matthew Gloag, whose signature is still printed on every bottle of The Famous Grouse sold today.Matthew was born to the trade – his grandfather, also called Matthew, founded the family wine and spirit business in Perth in 1835, and his uncle William started blending whisky in 1860.

Over the years, generations of the Gloag family have worked with expert blenders, stillmen, coopers, merchants and retailers to make our whisky Famous. Our home is now the Glenturret distillery in Crieff – the oldest working distillery in Scotland – and we still adhere to Matthew Gloag’s guiding principles of quality and integrity in everything we do.

“It is... Of paramount importance that only the very best materials that can be procured should be used in the manufacture of whisky.”

William Gloag, 1868


Everything that goes into our whisky is of the very best quality

Our whisky is more than the sum of its parts. But each of those parts has to be the best. Grain, water, seasoned casks and skilled hands – they’re all vital ingredients in our blend. Every batch of barley, maize and green malt that goes into The Famous Grouse is carefully selected from trusted sources. We’ve been working for generations with many of our suppliers – farmers, maltsters, merchants and others – and we share a commitment to absolute quality.

As for the casks that contribute so much to the finished character of our whisky, we go to extraordinary lengths to make sure we get what we want. In fact we go to the forest for much of our wood, controlling the process from the planting of saplings right through milling, making the casks and seasoning. That’s how we can be sure of the quality of our wood, just as with every other ingredient we use to make our whisky.

“When the whisky has been sufficiently matured in sherry casks - which are of un-purchasable benefit to it- there can be no more wholesome spirit ...”

William Gloag, 1868


Three kinds of cask add character to our maturing whisky

Good flavour? All in good time. It’s the magic of the cask that lends The Famous Grouse its unique flavour. The European oak we use in our sherry casks and the American oak in our bourbon ones make sure each dram is full of flavour. Each has its own qualities, and each adds its own subtle shades of character to the whiskies that go into The Famous Grouse. By choosing one over another, we can add a little sweetness, a rich, toasty undertone, or a bright fruity note.

Our cask policy is key and one of the ways that we get consistent quality with every drop. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

“It has the lightness and delicacy of well-bred whisky...it does not vary in quality....it is a blend of all that is best.”

Matthew Gloag, 1909


The art of blending

Creating a great blended whisky – and Scotland’s favourite – isn’t magic. It is, however, an intricate process that sees the finest whiskies brought together again and again to recreate our unique blend.

Successfully blending whiskies together doesn’t happen overnight. In fact it can take months. Each element of the whisky has to gradually get to know the other until they can live happily ever after. This process is known as ‘marrying’ and means we can avoid any harsh filtration. The result is a whisky that’s as clear and bright as the others, but which retains some of the mysterious notes and smooth round flavour that filtration can take away.

It’s a fusion of elements and of skills – the arts of the blender, the cooper and the stillman, the malt with the grain, the time, temperature and timber in the maturation and marrying process.

The result is famous. It’s The Famous Grouse.

Our Famous Whiskies

The Famous Range