Let’s keep the run of OMC 20th anniversary releases going. As you may recall, I really liked the Arran 21 and thought the Laphroaig 12 was a bit too mono-dimensional. Here now is a Glen Grant 27, the oldest of the bottles in the split I went in on. (I don’t really know what the complete line-up of these releases was—it’s possible there were others that were even older). I’m a big fan of older Glen Grant and a big fan of older, sherried Glen Grant—both of which this is. In theory, at least, this has every chance of being my cup of tea. Let’s see if that turns out to be the case.
Glen Grant 27, 1991 (50%; Old Malt Cask, 20th Anniv. Release; sherry cask 17079; from a bottle split)
Nose: The first impression is of oak, not tannic, a little mentholated; past it come sweeter notes of red fruit (raspberries) and vanilla. On the second sniff there’s some citrus (orange). With more time there’s some milk chocolate and some of the leafy stuff from the palate. With a few drops of water the fruit expands nicely: apricot now to go with the orange.
Palate: Starts with oak (a little more tannic here) and dried leaves; just a lick of smoke as well. With time there’s some earth and a bit of leather and the citrus from the nose shows up as well. Water doesn’t do as much for the palate—still oaky and leafy and increasingly bitter here (coffee grounds).
Finish: Long. The oak and leafy notes go on for a while, turning a bit bitter. Softer here too with time. The bitter notes develop more in the direction of char/soot here with water.
Comments: This is pleasant stuff but neat there’s just a bit too much oak for my liking. Water makes the nose more complex but the palate stays too oak-driven for me.
Rating: 86 points.