For our cheap sips articles we look at more budget friendly bottles. Our goal here is to find the diamonds in the rough. In these articles we limit ourselves to a maximum of £50 a bottle and focus on whiskies that are available all year round.
For today’s article we sat down with Grant’s Global Brand Ambassador Danny Dyer to taste several of their releases.
Grant’s Triplewood (Formerly Grant’s Family Reserve)
We’re told this accounts for over 90% of all Grant's sold, it’s the 3rd best selling scotch whisky in the world, and is Grant’s flagship blend.
Triple wood is matured in 3 different types of wood - it’s been done like this for over 20 years and Danny wanted highlight how this makes it the special dram it is. The cask types are:
- American oak (giving it the vanilla notes)
- Refill bourbon (giving it the sweeter notes)
- Virgin Oak (giving it it the spicy notes)
It’s produced from around 25 single malts from all over Scotland. It’s made once or twice a year as needed. There’s no batch numbers on the bottles as Grant’s aim to make every batch identical. Some of the malts used are matured from new make by Grant’s, others are bought in as older stock.
Around 60% of the blend is grain. For reference the industry standard is to use 70% grain. The grain is matured exclusively in American oak.
There’s honey and spice. Ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon - you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s some sherry casks in the mix but it’s the combination of the virgin oak and American oak that’s tricking you. We’re also finding It’s a little yeasty, with toasted bread, and a good hit of alcohol as well.
The promised vanilla makes itself known, but there’s also some young spirit notes. Water adds a light smokey note - not particularly peaty but we’re getting singed hairs, burnt toast, icing sugar, pears (skin and flesh) and a light pepper spice. Not too long of a finish with some more of that tingling spice and light cereal notes.
So does this get a recommendation from us…? Well yes, it might not be the first dram we’d personally reach for, but at £15 bottle it’s hard to argue the cost / quality isn’t incredibly high.
It’d be remiss not to mention while it can be drunk neat, Grant’s themselves recommend this is served with Cola. Danny recommends this is served with Francis Hartridge Cola as While it’s a rich it’s less sweet and he finds regular cola can be cloyingly sweet, and this serve is more in line with typical whisky drinkers palates. We’re also told this should be garnished with orange as this works well with the orange flavours Brian Kinsman, Grant's master blender, blends into Grant's.
Grant's 8 year old Triplewood
Price: ~£25 although TBC
This isn’t available yet and won’t be available in standard shops in the UK, but will instead be sold on William Grants main distribution site - clinkspirit.com. The site also has Glenfiddich and Balvenie releases.
This release is the exact same as triple wood, but all of the component parts have been aged longer. We’re finding this like the standard triple wood if it was turned up to 11.
You’ll find less of that faux sherry, and will instead get more chocolate. For us they came through in the form of eclairs. A lot of the young spirit notes have gone, replaced by a more prominent grain note. We’re also getting a lot of that ginger, and Bombay mix.
The palate has a more luscious mouthfeel and the finish has lengthened. We’re finding it quite sugary sweet on the finish, but with a hit of alcohol too. There’s some citrus like orange, pith and juice. Water doesn’t help this, bringing out too many woody, bitter notes.
We’re expecting this to come in at around £25 and again the cost to quality ratio is very high.
Danny’s recommend serve for this is a Grant’s Cola Sour:
- 25ml fresh lemon juice (roughly half a lemon)
- 50ml Grant's Triplewood 8 year old
- 1 egg white
- 20ml cola syrup
Shake all the ingredients with ice, strain into a glass then add some orange bitters on top.
We have to say we really enjoyed this it actually tastes and smells like a fizzy cola bottles, straight out of the Hairbo factory. For the more classic cocktail, Danny recommends mixing Triplewood 8 and tonic with an orange wedge garnish.
Grant's Triplewood 12
This release has swapped the virgin oak for sherry casks. We weren’t privy to the type of sherry, and it's still roughly 60% grain and 40% malt in this bottle.
We were skeptical at first, but we’re very impressed with the nose here. It’s got a nice mix of leather, citrus, and vanilla, aromas going on that gives it a real depth, but also a freshness. There’s a green note here - not super herbal, but light, fruity, with green mango and mint leafs. We’re not finding any of the young spirit notes.
It’s well aged, deep, rich, and quite syrupy, there’s a good balance of sherry and bourbon, it’s more bourbon forward but there’s enough sherry to help it along. There’s still the grain note here as expected, but it’s incredibly smooth and drinkable. With water the sherry comes out more. There’s also a little more citrus, fruit and syrup.
Another bottle that’s worth the asking price in our opinion.
Danny recommends this served in a highball, so presenting the Grant’s Triplewood 12 highball...
A normal highball is whisky topped with soda. We’re told the Grant’s highball uses a honey / orange syrup to make it special. You can make this at home by taking a tablespoon of honey and squeeze a wedge of orange in to the mix (top tip - add a touch of hot water to dissolve the honey first). You should use 50mls of Grant’s and add soda / syrup to taste.
Alternatively We’re recommend a Cola old fashioned. This contains 50ml Grant's, ice and cola syrup to taste. Stir to dissolve some of the ice and serve with a twist of orange.
- 10 - Perfection. A whisky that we’ll remember forever.
- 9 - Amazing. We’d pay through the nose for a bottle.
- 8 - Great. Pick this up at RRP.
- 7 - Good. Happy to have a dram or two but wouldn’t buy a bottle.
- 6 - Passable. Would accept a dram, but wouldn’t seek it out.
- 5 - Poor. Would drink if it was the only option.
- 4 - Bad. Maybe it can be saved by ginger beer?
- 3 - Awful. It can't be saved by ginger beer.
- 2 - Pour it out
- 1 - We’ve never tried a whisky rated this low and hopefully never will.