Back to Speyside today for a look at two single cask whiskies from Glen Grant distillery.
Glen Grant 22yo (Bow Bar release)
This is a 22yo that was matured in a refill wine barrique and bottled for the Bow Bar in Edinburgh. Drams (35mls!) and full bottles are still available if this sounds like something you’d want to try.
Opens with red grape juice, sweet vanilla, and Red Kola. It’s a touch herbal with pine and rosemary branches. There’s also hints of shortbread and a touch of honey in the background.
This feels a little thin on the palate. The mouth feel reminds us of Mr. Whippy soft serve ice cream, if the machine had leaked a little water into the cream mixture. alcohol is well integrated and there’s hints of red berries and tannin from the red wine barrique but it’s predominantly sweet vanilla wood flavours that we’re getting. If we didn’t know better we’d think this was a finish.
Nose (with water)
There’s some fresh apple juice, candy floss, and a little synthetic sugar in the form of strawberry laces. Going back to it here’s also a touch of burnt toast in the background and a little Ambrosia Devonshire custard too.
Palate (with water)
The water mellows this out, removing any alcohol bite, but also a lot of the initial flavours we got on our first sip. Leaving it to sit on the palate, flavours of cream cake and buttercream icing are found. The finish is now medium length, quite tannic and mouth drying with a touch of lime zest.
This falls a little flat for us, we were expecting more of the red wine influence, but instead were greeted with a typical bourbon cask twenty something Glen Grant. That’s not a bad thing really, we do like early twenties Glen Grant very much, but the mouthfeel and finish is a bit lacking.
SMWS 9.211 (Glen Grant)
This is a 17yo first fill bourbon barrel. We’ve only seen it available by dram or bottle at the SMWS Vaults venue.
Initial floral notes of daisies, fresh strawberry, creamy vanilla sponge cake, white chocolate, caramelised marmalade, freshly grated ginger, herbal, and fruity oak.
Palate is a touch spicy with white pepper and powdered ginger. This has a nice creamy mouthfeel, with sweet citrus flowers and candied nuts. Finish is medium length, with a touch of bitter spice and lingering vanilla.
Nose (with water)
With water the white chocolate develops a more milk chocolate profile akin to dairy milk. There’s also orange zest, fresh cut grass, and pecan nuts.
Palate (with water)
With water we’re getting vanilla biscuits with sweetened cream inside, lots more oak, and a little raw nutmeg. Water has really impacted this in quite a negative way. Finish starts is quite sweet, but is then overwhelmed with oak spice.
The progression of this dram is akin to a relationship gone wrong - it’s starts very well, all happiness and love, but ends with a bitter divorce (or taste in this case). Much better without water, and if it wasn’t for the slight bitter note on the finish this would be excellent.
- 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.
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