In the good old days of film, we worried about "grain"; film grain! We demand "fine grain" film, we processed our black and white film in fine grain developer to achieve finer grain!
Came digital and instead of grain, we are face with "noise"; digital noise or image noise.
Unlike film grain which can usually make your picture look sharper and create more impact in black and white photos, digital noise make picture look awful!
When I was working with the papers, Kodak Tri-X was my "standard" all round B&W film. I shot all type of subjects with just one film type and often exposed at ISO 400 to 1,600 without worrying about graininess of my images!