Glen Grant, as I’ve said before, is one of the storied distilleries that I don’t know very well and so I’m always happy to try another one. I have a review scheduled for next month of a much older, sherried one from an earlier era but first, here’s this bourbon cask teenager from the late 1990s. I’ve liked all the Cadenhead’s Small Batch releases I’ve reviewed in this run–some more than others–and I hope this will keep the positive streak going.
Glen Grant 15, 1997 (55.8%; Cadenhead’s Small Batch; bourbon hogshead; from a bottle split with friends)
Nose: Wood makes the first impression–pencil shavings turning to lightly toasted oak. Some fruit below it (apples) and then an increasing maltiness. With more time there’s some white grape as well and the wood gets somewhat dusty; more acidic too now. The fruit expands, melds with the malt and gets much more musky with time. With water the vanilla from the palate shows up here too and the fruit really expands: peaches, oranges, plums.
Palate: Malty and sweet off the bat with toasted wood making the next impression. Nice, thick mouthfeel. On the second sip there’s a lot more acid (lime zest) and more spicy wood. More vanilla too with time. Water emphasizes the lime.
Finish: Medium-long. The zesty citrus and spicy wood and malt mingle and linger. With water the lime takes center stage and the finish turns much longer.
Comments: Balanced, fruity and malty whisky. No flaws, and quite classy in its way; there’s nothing here to make the heart race, but it would be exhausting if your heart were racing all the time. Needs water to reveal all its charms (especially on the nose).
Rating: 86 points.