It’s not often I have the opportunity to write about Glen
Grant. This isn’t through choice as the distillery is capable of some stunning
whiskies and auction bargains if you know where to look. In today’s climate it
is fairly unassuming and content to go about its own business without fanfare,
over exuberant marketing or pricing.
The April outturn from Cadenheads harboured many temptations
including the 11-year-old Ledaig I’ve just reviewed and the 31-year-old Potter
Distilling Company; Indian corn creating a Canadian whisky? Then there were
others, but I’m trying to avoid visiting the Edinburgh shop. One that did
stick out was Glen Grant as I know from experience it has a wonderful symmetry
when combined with a sherry butt. The Macallan may hark on about their wood
management and greatness with sherry casks, but Glen Grant can deliver a
knockout blow when aroused.
Established in 1840, Glen Grant is today owned by the
Campari Group Speyside and is hugely popular in Italy, being the biggest
selling malt in that market. I wouldn’t have believed it myself but a recent
trip confirmed the abundance of whisky on the shelves was indeed Glen Grant,
with the 5-year-old proving particularly affordable, light and an easy drinker
in the warmer climate. However, it’s those sherried examples from bygone eras
and the distinctive square shaped bottles that harbour a series of delights.
This whisky would have set you back around £145 upon release
or thereabouts. It was highlighted by many and unsurprisingly sold out upon
release. Certainly the bottle share I organised this month for a handful of
Cadenhead releases, this was by far the most popular purchase. Just enough left
in the bottle for me to enjoy a couple of drams and then it was all over.
Bottled at 44.8% strength with an outturn of 312 bottles, it’s natural coloured
and no messing around with filters. Glen Grant at its most natural and now time
to reflect why I don’t purchase more from this distillery.
Colour: dark chocolate
Nose: a wonderful thrust of vanilla and rum soaked raisins. Dark
chocolate gingers and surprising layer of creaminess that with the nutty aspect
is simply a walnut whip. Honey sweetness, orange peel and spent matchsticks
follow before sweet cinnamon, treacle, brown sugar and marzipan. It’s great to
peel away the layers on this nose with plenty of fun to be had.
Taste: very refined and a lovely
texture with memories of a rich dark chocolate oozing across the palate. A hint
of ginger, those bourbon biscuits a passing thyme note in the background. Blackberries
add more richness with more brown sugars and treacle. A decent and strong black tea finish
and Fry’s chocolate creams.
Overall: in some ways this tastes like an old 60s or 70s
distillate that’s just been given time to do its own thing in the cask. You can
feel the age and appreciate. There’s a lovely harmony with the cask and just
enough distillery character coming through. Now, if I just had the time to seek out further whiskies from Glen Grant...
Labels: 1985, cadenhead, featured, glen grant, sherry butt