A black grouse in the foreground calling, with a view of abernethy behind

The Famous Grouse and the RSPB

Perfect drinking partners since 2008.

A grouse hidden amongst the underbrush

The Story So Far…

In 2008 the Famous Grouse launched a new whisky, The Black Grouse (now known as The Famous Grouse Smoky Black) and an exciting new partnership was formed with the RSPB. The launch offered a perfect opportunity to work together to help save one of the UK’s most threatened species – the black grouse.


With funds from the sale of the whisky going directly to essential black grouse conservation work, this trailblazing relationship was an enormous success. Raising in excess of £650,000, this remarkable partnership has directly helped our work with black grouse on seven reserves: Abernethy, Crannach, Corrimony, Inversnaid and Wood of Cree in Scotland, Lake Vyrnwy in Wales and Geltsdale in England. This includes the improvement of more than 85,000 acres of land for black grouse and the planting of 185,000 trees. As a result of this improved black grouse habitat, RSPB Geltsdale recorded the RSPB’s largest single lek (mating ritual) in 2015, made up of 28 males!

Male black grouse jousting on lek site

Raise a glass

The Famous Grouse and the RSPB formed a unique partnership to raise funds for essential black grouse conservation work. The whisky first went on sale in Sainsbury's in June 2008, and can now be found throughout the UK. Funds from the sale of the whisky goes on to support a range of habitats that support black grouse in the UK.

The partnership was one of the first of its kind in the industry and has been an enormous success. The whisky and its benefits to black grouse conservation have been a real hit with the RSPB’s staff and million-strong membership – raise a glass to two truly perfect drinking partners!

A view with a lake and heather in the foreground and trees in the distance

A New Chapter For Nature…

In a new partnership for 2021, The Famous Grouse is supporting The RSPB in an ambitious project to restore 300ha of land at RSPB Abernethy in an effort to protect an area of Scotland that is home to all of our resident grouse species.

Over three years, the project will focus on three key areas of habitat restoration: woodland expansion, peatland restoration and biodiversity on the forest floor as part of the 100% for Nature project. This work funded by the Famous Grouse will increase and improve the habitats available for the 5000 species resident in RSPB Abernethy, including all of Scotland’s grouse species – black grouse, red grouse, capercaillie and ptarmigan.

"Project Abernethy marks the proud continuation of The Famous Grouse’s sustainable efforts with regards to the conservation of our surrounding environment, in partnership with our friends at RSPB Scotland. This project and the stretching goals we’ve set for ourselves to restore the natural landscape of the Abernethy region will have a tremendously positive effect on the land all the species who call it home. to We are hopeful that by promoting healthy woodland expansion and restoring Scotland’s damaged peatland through this initiative that we will be able to protect what we call Grouse Country, the home of Scotch."

Joakim Leijon, Global Head of Marketing, The Famous Grouse
Moorland and birch woodland at Corrimony RSPB reserve, Scotland | The RSPB

100% for Nature

How we’re working to transform reserves in Scotland