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Famous Grouse vs Jameson: Head to Head!

The best-selling whisky in Scotland vs the best-selling whiskey in Ireland. Famous Grouse vs Jameson head to head in an in-depth comparison.

Famous Grouse

  • Nose: Apple, caramel, barley
  • Palate: Caramel, citrus, honey, smoke
  • Finish: Malt, citrus
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Cocktails
  • Similar to: Dewar’s


Nose is faint, with subtle notes of apple, caramel and barley.

On the palate, the Famous Grouse provides caramel sweetness up-front, with notes of honey and sherry, followed by a hint of orange.

It has a mineral note and a tiny tad of smoke bringing balance to the sweetness.

The finish is short-lived, leaving a malty aftertaste behind, with a bit of oak spice, orange and caramel.

Is it good?

Nothing spectacular or remarkable, yet nothing bad about it. Just a serviceable whisky that drinks nicely with a dash of water as the Scots been drinking whisky for the ages.

This a budget Scotch whisky making an easy everyday drinker with no challenging notes. Now you know why is it so popular in Scotland.

The Famous Grouse has been the best-selling whisky in Scotland since 1980. It is superior to most Scotch blends in this price range.

A simple whisky yet smooth that lacks the overpowering bitterness that is found in other budget blends.

This whisky is widely improved when adding a splash of water.

Just a few drops of water break the whisky allowing rich floral notes to emerge whilst tuning-down alcoholic notes.

If you are curious about what the Scots drink give it a shot.

Famous Grouse facts:

  • The Grouse is a blend of malt and grain whiskies aged for just 6 months in seasoned sherry and bourbon casks.
  • The Famous Grouse belongs to the Royal Family of Scotch whisky as it is owned by the Edrington Group.
  • This conglomerate owns some of the best Scotch brands such as Macallan, Highland Park, Glenrothes and the Naked Malt.


  • Nose: Floral, marmalade, caramel
  • Palate: Ripe fruit, vanilla
  • Finish: Medium, caramel, spice
  • Alcohol content: 80 proof (40% ABV)
  • How to drink: Cocktails
  • Similar to: Jameson Black Barrel


Nose is floral with sweet notes of orange marmalade and caramel with a bit of alcohol coming behind but nothing too severe.

On the palate the Jameson shows a good body, is sweet and fruity, with a high vanilla note. There is a pesky metallic note coming late to the party, not something terrible but weird.

The finish has a medium length, mostly sweet with a dash of black pepper on the tail.

Is it good?

Jameson is OK, a smooth and versatile whiskey that mixes nicely in any cocktail with no bad bite, well rounded and gets better when adding a splash of water, ginger ale or ice.

A few drops of water are enough to tune down alcoholic, peppery notes and that annoying metallic note.

Jameson is the best-selling Irish whiskey across the globe for two solid reasons:

It is smooth and affordable offering good value for the money; solid option for casual drinking or something not too pricey.

Jameson facts:

  • Jameson is a blend of malted and unmalted barley aged for at least 4 years in ex-bourbon casks from Kentucky and ex-sherry casks from Spain.
  • This whisky is triple-distilled which is the norm in the Irish whiskey industry. Most spirits in are double-distilled but the Irish add a distillation as they like smooth liquors.
  • Jameson is owned by a French conglomerate named Pernod Ricard who also owns an extensive portfolio of liquors that includes Chivas Regal and Glenlivet.

Famous Grouse vs Jameson: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Famous Grouse$24

Famous Grouse vs Jameson: Which is better?

The Famous Grouse is a nicer sipper than Jameson

WhiskeyFamous GrouseJameson
  • The Famous Grouse is better than Jameson.
  • The Grouse makes a better sipper as its sweeter with a pleasing citrus note.
  • You can enjoy straight or rocks whilst the Jameson serves primarily as a mixer to make cocktails.
  • The price also give the edge to the Famous Grouse; hard to find a better whisky at this price point.

The Famous Grouse is also a good mixer. You can use the Grouse to make a Famous Sunrise, which is pretty much a Tequila Sunrise with Scotch or the always good old Hot Toddy.

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