Let’s close the month with one more review of an official release. This Glen Grant 18 was apparently added to the distillery’s portfolio in 2016, where it sits at the top of the range. (The Glen Grant bottles were all redesigned at some point too—I have to admit I’ve not really kept track of the distillery releases.) Not too long after its introduction sentient wart Jim Murray named it one of the best whiskies of whatever year that was and I imagine that caused a mix of derision and frantic buying. It’s now widely available, including in the US where it seems to be going for anywhere between $110 and $160 and prices even further north. In the current single malt market an official release 18 yo in the $110 range is not a bad deal (if you can find it at that price). But is it any good?
Glen Grant 18 (43%; from a bottle split)
Nose: Fresh and juicy (apples, pears a bit of lemon) with some toaste oak in the background. Maltier/muskier on the second sniff with some pineapple in there too. Not too much change with time; maybe a bit sweeter. A drop or two of water and it’s muskier with more pear now than apple.
Palate: More oak than fruit at first but the fruit expands as I swallow, along with the malt. Very nice texture at 43% and a good drinking strength—it doesn’t feel underpowered at all. Continues in this vein: a balanced blend of malt, oak and fruit. With time the citrus gets more fizzy and comes to the fore. Okay, let’s try a drop of water. Hmmm it washes it out a bit and brings out a metallic texture; the texture isn’t done any favours either.
Finish: Long. The malt goes on for a while and then the citrus emerges and expands. A little peppery bite at the end (that’s the oak again). The metallic thing carries through into the finish with water and expands.
Comments: Not terribly complex for an 18 yo but no flaws per se; by the same token there’s also not very much that makes it stand out. This would be a great summer sipper; not priced like one though. I’d hold the water.
Rating: 85 points.