I’m starting to think that older Glen Grants are like Vanilla ice cream. Always fairly pleasant, but sort of lacking the pizazz of, say…a Rocky Road or Tin Roof Sundae. Maybe a better analogy is the ‘always a bridesmaid, never a bride’ motif.
Let’s distill that one final step further (pun intended) and say that the older Glen Grants I’ve tried to date are rather mundane. When you start tiptoeing back through the decades in terms of whisky vintages, those rarified older malts become rather frighteningly pricey. I don’t necessarily have an issue with this, so long as the stuff in the bottle is akin to drinking angel’s tears and freshly-squeezed moonbeams.
Glen Grant is one of the world’s best selling malts, and the distillery’s annual output of close to six million litres is staggering. Obviously the whisky is good when it’s been massaged a bit, but that’s in a fit-for-purpose type scenario (i.e. many barrels vatted for single malts or the whisky being used for blending). So how does the spirit hold up as a single cask (or small batch) bottling released by a third party? In this situation there is almost no opportunity to hide any potential blemishes. Barring something catastrophic happening, the company (Duncan Taylor, in this case) is almost obliged to release the stuff, and not take the multi-thousand pound loss. Herein lies the danger in independent bottling.
But as to the whisky at hand…
This is a fine old Glen Grant by Duncan Taylor. Make no mistake. It’s fruity and mature, pleasant and infinitely drinkable. It’s simply not, however, what I need in return for an investment of 40 years and several hundreds of dollars. Perhaps if you consider the cost as the price of admission to step back in time and taste a bit of history…fine. Otherwise…
Nose: Creamy. Latex paint. Some pineapple and soft orange fruits…but not really tropical. Spice mix is the best part of this. Cherry and cinnamon. Touch of eucalyptus. Right at the edge of being overcooked. Hmmm…a few toes hanging over the edge actually.
Palate: Nice arrival on spiced fruit and tasty oak. Very nice fruits then changes direction quickly. A little sharp…maybe too much wood. A vague hint of smoke.
I’ve heard so, but I’m beginning to wonder if there is such thing as a stunning older Glen Grant. Very much an example of older is not always better.
Thanks to my mate, Vikash, for the opportunity to sip at this one a couple of times now. Cheers!
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt