This Glen Grant 17 is from Whiskybroker the low-priced indie outfit of Martin Armstrong, the son of Raymond Armstrong, who was till recently one of the principals behind the revived Bladnoch distillery. Bladnoch’s fate continues to be unclear but Whiskybroker seems to be going strong. More power to them and their reasonable prices—though I have to say I have not been very highly impressed by many of their bottles that I’ve tried (I did like this Bowmore more than the others). Let’s see if this Glen Grant bucks the “trend”.
Glen Grant 17, 1993 (55%; Whiskybroker; from a purchased sample)
Nose: Quite spirity at first but as it settles there is a mouth-watering fruitiness (apples, a touch of pear) along with a lot of malt and sweet vanilla; just a little bit of grassiness too. After a minute or two more acidic notes emerge (lime peel, kiwi) and then get quite intense before merging with the buttery, vanilla sweet note. Really quite lovely. A drop of water emphasizes the lime at first but there’s a slight turn to a muskier, almost tropical sweet-sour note.
Palate: Very drinkable at full strength with a thick texture. And it leads as well with a thick malty sweetness with vanilla and then a bit of oaky bite followed by a beany/tofu kind of “blank” note. With more time there’s a fair bit of lime and the initial notes become more subdued. Hmmm I like the palate better with water: the lime mixes with sour apple and it generally becomes more dynamic.
Finish: Medium. No real interesting development here. With time the lime hangs around longer and there’s some salt as well and then at the very end there’s a simple syrup sweetness. As on the palate with water. The lime expands dramatically and there’s a slightly chalky aspect to the texture now.
Comments: The nose was very nice, the palate was fine, the finish was okay. On the whole, a very pleasant and drinkable malt that will not demand too much of your attention if you’re drinking it while doing other things. Better with water, I think.
Rating: 86 points.
I agree that Whisky Broker offerings can be variable, but they are at least normally good value. I’ve had four bottles from them, the best was a stonking 14yo Springbank first fill Bourbon barrel.