Glen Grant 20, 1992 (Maltbarn)

Back in February I’d posted a review of a Glen Grant 23, 1985 and said I’d have more Glen Grant reviews in the weeks to come. Because I am a shameless liar I only posted one more Glen Grant review in the roughly 20 weeks that came after that. But what is time? An illusion, a fog. Here we are now in mid-July and the weeks fall away like magic and we’re returned to that halcyon time when all three people who read this blog regularly were agog at the thought of successive weeks of reviews of Glen Grants that are no longer available and were only available in Europe to begin with. See, dreams can come true.

This was bottled by Maltbarn, a small German independent bottler. This was only their 12th release—I’m not sure what number they’re up to now. The label says “ex-sherry butt” but, as you’ll see, it’s not exactly a sherry monster.

Glen Grant 20, 1992 (54.1%; Maltbarn; sherry butt; from my own bottle)

Nose: Rather sour to start with some tart apple and then starts getting a little bubble gummy with some aniseed mixed in too. Some berries too after a bit and a little woody astringency. A mild leafiness that develops with time is the only evidence of the sherry cask. Water pushes back the leafy note and some of the acid, and brings out some malt.

Palate: Pretty much as advertised by the nose minus the bubble gum: tart apple, berry sweetness, some mild tannic bite. The fruit turns a little muskier as I swallow. Maltier here too with water but also a little washed out.

Finish: Medium. The acidic fruit is the top note here too and the wood gets spicier as it goes. Less wood with water.

Comments: Blind, I would never have guessed this was from a sherry cask: there’s almost no sign of sherry influence (none on the palate). There’s also not much here that suggests a 20 yo whisky. Neither of these are flaws per se. What this is is a refreshing, fruity, summery malt. And it’s summer.

Rating: 84 points.

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