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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

June 19, 2014


The Short Sessions,
two really old Glen Grant

After some very old Karuizawa or Glenfarclas, Wealth Solutions have recently issued a very old Glen Grant 1948 by Gordon & MacPhail. I had first thought I’d select another old Glen Grant by G&M as a worthy opponent, but the ones I have at hand were all bottled at around 40% vol., which is a bit lowish in this context. So I decided to rather choose this one…

Glen Grant 25 yo (86° Proof, George Strachan Ltd, +/-1975)

Glen Grant 25 yo (86° Proof, George Strachan Ltd, +/-1975) Four stars It’s not old, but it was distilled a long time ago. Remember the UK started to use ABVs on January 1st, 1980, so any strength in 'proof spirit' should suggest a pre-1980 bottling. 86° UK proof should mean 86/1.75 = +/-49.1%. This baby may have been distilled in the late 1940s. Colour: white wine. Nose: it is an unusually grassy, mineral and metallic Glen Grant, with some OBE in full swing. That means that we’ll also find some earth, soot, gravel and all that, as well as touches of ‘old camphor’. Old tools, engine oil, linseed oil, waxed fabric, Barbour grease… And all that! Very un-Glen Grant, I’d say. Mouth: unusual again, with a kind of metallic mix of pepper and iron in the arrival, with then more citrus and ‘old oils’. Some earth again, lemongrass, funny wasabi or horseradish, touches of cigarette ashes… It’s pretty big, rather ‘nervous’, evolving towards yellow grapefruits and other sharpy citrus. Oily mouth feel, good power. Finish: long, a little acrid and pungent, but with lovely grapefruits again in the aftertaste. Comments: bigger and sharper than most old Glen Grants I could taste. A little austere in fact, but I really liked it. SGP:362 - 87 points.

Glen Grant 66 yo 1948/2014 (46.6%, Gordon & MacPhail for Wealth Solutions, first fill sherry butt, cask #1369, 160 bottles)

Glen Grant 66 yo 1948/2014 (46.6%, Gordon & MacPhail for Wealth Solutions, first fill sherry butt, cask #1369, 160 bottles) Five stars We’re close to the record 70 years old that G&M have recently come up with (Mortlach and Glenlivet). The only 1948 Glen Grant I have tried until now had been blended with some 1961 in a ‘Royal Marriage’ bottling (Charles and Diana). Colour: full gold. Nose: the opposite of the Strachan, with much more roundness and a pretty beehive-y profile, which isn’t unusual in old Glen Grants. Beeswax, honey, pollen, old wood. What’s really striking is this ‘Indian’ side, with some cashew sauce, soft curry sauce, coriander, lemon basil… Also touches of coconut oil, which may suggest the butt was made out of American oak. The ‘Indian’ side is really fascinating, and very unusual (and wonderful.) Mouth: keyword is oaky balance. You feel the oak but you wouldn’t ask for less of it, which is a funny feeling. White pepper, quite a lot of eucalyptus, black Assam, white pepper, cinnamon, stewed peaches, honey sauce, chewing tobacco (as far as I can remember, I may have tried that thrice), then a little Greek retsina wine, certainly a little Chartreuse and lastly, notes of liquorice wood. It’s not often that ‘obvious’ oak tastes this good. A matter of balance indeed… Finish: rather long, a tad gritty now, with notes of chlorophyll and mint. Cough lozenges and cinnamon mints, then bitter oranges and pomegranates. Comments: a wonderful experience, unless you’re firmly against ‘obvious oak’. Loved the mentholated side – and hey, it’s more and more difficult to find whisky that’s older than this humble taster. SGP:471 - 91 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Glen Grant I've tasted so far







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