|Glen Grant, 15-Year-Old (Scotland) |
As we reported in last month’s Whisky News, Campari is introducing a number of welcome new developments at its Glen Grant distillery in Rothes, and one of the most interesting is this first ever official bottling of a single cask, cask strength expression.
The nose is light to medium, quite dry and fruity, with a hint of malt. Sophisticated and mature. The palate is rich and fruity, with peaches coming to the fore, along with well integrated barley sugar, ginger and pepper. The finish is medium to long, with persistent spice and lingering fresh fruit.
Great to see a Glen Grant on the market that has been allowed to gain some real age before bottling. Word is that more, even older expressions are on the way in 2008.
59.9% ABV, 50cl, £76.60, distillery website.
|Glen Grant, 1953, Gordon & MacPhail bottling (Scotland) |
Remarkably, Gordon & MacPhail is now offering an example of every Glen Grant vintage from 1948 to 1968, plus some dating back to the mid 1930s and many more recent ones.
The 1953 has a big, beguiling, peaty, Sherried nose, with ginger, honey and spices. It becomes more treacly when exposed to air for a few minutes. A splash of water opens up aromas of apricots and cedar, but don’t add too much, as this veteran could easily collapse. By contrast with the sweet nose, the palate is quite bitter, slightly smoky, with very dry Sherry and a note of oranges. A mere hint of water elicits softer, peachy characteristics. The finish is long, dry and spicy, with a suggestion of aniseed at the very end.
Remember that this is a 53-year-old whisky, so think of it as an opportunity to drink a piece of whisky history. Considering the sums of money asked by many retailers for younger ‘vintage’ whiskies, its price seems very reasonable.
40.0% ABV, 70cl, £225.00, distillery website, specialist whisky merchants.
|Glen Grant, 1992 Cellar Reserve (Scotland) |
Under the ownership of the Campari Group we are seeing some welcome new expressions of this famous Speyside single malt, which has long been a best-seller in the Italian market. The vintage 1992 Cellar Reserve follows on the heels of a well-regarded Cask Strength 15-year-old: the first ever official, single cask, cask strength Glen Grant.
The nose of ‘1992’ is medium-sweet, with ripening pears and a slightly heathery note, while the palate presents fresh fruit and malt, with developing nuttiness. The finish is medium in length, with hazelnuts and ginger.
Available from specialist outlets in European markets, Sweden and the Glen Grant visitor centre shop in Rothes.
46.0% ABV, 70cl, 44.00, distillery visitor centre.
|Glen Grant, 60 Years Old Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee (Gordon & MacPhail) (Scotland) |
No doubt the first of several whiskies released to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, this veteran offering from Gordon & MacPhail comes from first-fill sherry cask 465, which was filled in February 1952 and bottled on 2nd February 2012, precisely 60 years after the whisky was distilled. Just 85 bespoke Glencairn decanters of this cask strength expression are on sale.
Apricots, sherry, brittle toffee, sweet eating apples and soft vanilla on the nose. Finally, marzipan and Madeira. The palate is succulent and offers more apples, plus citrus spice and cinnamon. Very long in the drying finish, with liquorice, cloves and oak tannins. 42.3% ABV, 70cl, £8,000, specialist whisky merchants.
|Glen Grant, Milroy’s of Soho Single Cask 1995 (Scotland) |
Not too much Glen Grant finds its way into Sherry wood, and only modest quantities get to spend any great length of time relaxing in warehouses, but as distillery manager Dennis Malcolm notes “When it does, it matures beautifully in ex-Sherry casks.”
This example by Milroy’s of Soho is not exactly in the veteran stakes, being bottled as an 11-year-old, but it has been matured in a fino Sherry butt, giving it a pale, white-gold hue. Honey and yeasty, cereal notes initially dominate the delicate nose, along with citrus fruits, but drier, more grapey characteristics emerge in time. Firm and nicely weighty in the mouth, with fresh oranges and more honey, but ultimately comparatively dry grapes from the fino Sherry. The finish is satisfyingly dry and flinty. An unusual but extremely desirable expression of a classic Speyside malt. 875 bottles.
46.0% ABV, 70cl, £35.00, Milroy's of Soho.