Distillery: Glen Grant
Bottler: Gordon & MacPhail
Age: 45 years
Limitation: 1121 bottles
Casks: 4 refill US hogsheads, 1 first fill sherry butt
probably chill filtered; uncoloured
First whisky review of the year 2018 – let’s make it count! I’ve tried a few fairly well-aged Glen Grants from G&M before, some “overdone”, some stellar. This one is made up of mostly American oak casks, which is a very promising sign!
Aaaaaah! The nose promises great things! That old-timey smell which nothing but good wood and long age can give a good distillate! We’re entering e beekeeper’s dusty wood workshop. Wax is in the air, mixed with barrel-aged honey stored in grandfather’s oak cupboard, a bouquet of summer flowers hanging upside down to dry. We also get a whiff of caramelised ginger, oranges, baked sweet apples with cinnamon and cloves. This is absolutely beautiful, light, yet sophisticated, the oak influence is there but in no way overbearing. Fingers crossed this profile holds up on the palate! Quite light on the arrival, as is to be expected at 40% ABV, but the dram is juicy, mouth-coating and oily. The beeswax is back, the oak cupboard is back, so are the honey, the caramelised ginger (actually, more like pickled ginger…), the dried flowers and just a pinch of spices. The impact is a bit stronger on subsequent sips, which also show a hint of dryness, which works quite well. While it lacks the extreme impact we experienced on the nose, this is amazingly light and balanced for a 45-year-old whisky. The oak is there, but far away from being too much. A whisky in its best years, perhaps? The medium-long finish is slightly spicy upon swallowing (the ginger is back and it brought its mate, pepper), rounded, with wax and baked apple served on an oak platter. Very pleasant, but not too impactful.
Well, that was an exciting start to the year! An impressively well-balanced, well-aged dram, exhibiting all the qualities of long age, but without overbearing oak influence. The low ABV does take its toll on the palate and finish, but that’s critique on a very high level!
have a great, successful and happy new year 2018, everybody, and may your glasses always be filled with good drams!
(Nose: 93 Palate: 90 Finish: 88)
Thanks a bunch to malt mate Jo for passing on the sample!