Review: Cadenhead’s Glen Grant 21 year old 1993

It’s a fair criticism that we don’t appreciate Glen Grant fully. This lovely distillery has been in operation since 1840 and while most of its output is destined towards blends it has enjoyed popularity in other European countries outside of the UK. Only in recent years have we seen new ranges and editions from Glen Grant, with several being distillery exclusives and a growing confidence.
When I visited the distillery a couple of years ago now, the visitor facilities had just been revamped to form an impressive spectacle. The distillery is also able to bottle its whisky onsite and under the ownership of the Campari Group seems intent on grabbing back a piece of the spotlight. The tour was solid and the grounds extremely well kept, allowing visitors to the distillery a refreshing country walk.
Amidst the whisky circles I find myself in now and again, Glen Grant whiskies are discussed, particularly aged examples in very positive terminology. It’s through the independent bottlers such as Cadenhead’s that this reputation continues to grow. The core official range consists of the NAS Major’s Reserve, the 10 and 16 year olds in the UK; others tend to be special releases. Maybe it’s the image and presentation of the Glen Grant’s that makes it so easy to skip past them at retail. The clean cut image and visual appearance echo a traditional whisky bottle and hint at a bygone era. That’s far from a negative in my book and when I heard on the grapevine that Cadenhead’s were bottling a lovely bourbon hogshead, the deal was sealed.
Distillery: Glen Grant
Distilled: 1993
Bottled: 2014 (21 year old)
Edition of: 132 bottles
Strength: 49.4% ABV
Price: around £57

Colour: gavi

Nose: a really fresh, sweet and summery feel. Huge dollops of sherbet, vanilla, a sliced Pink Lady apple, a dash of grapefruit and the rush of freshly washed white grapes popping in your mouth.  

Taste: well this is a first for me as we have a stealth dram here! On the palate that refined summery freshness continues from the nose (apples, white grapes, grapefruit), but never really elevates above consciousness. Instead its the finish where everything builds to a crescendo and goes on, and on. Tremendous longevity on the finish!

A thumbs up from me with this restrained Glen Grant just hitting the mark as one to relax and enjoy without too much effort required. I have a spare bottle so maybe one for next summer?

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