After two weeks of peated whiskies (a week at Ardmore and then a week on Islay, at Caol Ila, Laphroaig and Bowmore) let’s end the month with what should be a pair of milder Speysiders. First up. a bourbon cask Glen Grant, distilled in 1993 and bottled at 13 years of age by James MacArthur (are they still around?).
Glen Grant 13, 1993 (57.7%; James MacArthur; bourbon cask 121926; from a sample from a friend)
Nose: Tart fruit off the top (a mix of apples/cider and orange) along with some oak and a bit of chalk. Maltier with a bit of air and the fruit turns a bit muskier (over-ripe pear, a hint of pineapple). The oak turns first resinous and then leafy and the citrus gets tarter (lime now rather than orange, some of it makrut lime). With time and air the musky fruit and the malt expand. Water pushes the acid and oak back and brings out more of the sweet fruit along with some cream.
Palate: Ah, very nice: a big hit of sweet lime with a rich, oily texture. Quite approachable and expressive at full strength. On the second sip there’s some malt to round off the citrus. With time the musky fruit begins to pop out here as well along with a fair bit of malt and some floral notes. Okay, let’s add some water. Ah yes, as on the nose the fruit is now much richer and there’s cream to go with it along with a discreet oaky frame.
Finish: Medium-long. The lime eases as it goes, picking up some white pepper. Sweeter fruit and malt here too with time. Longer and as on the palate with water.
Comments: At first this seemed like a very pleasurable but somewhat simple whisky but with time and water it revealed far greater charms. Neat it’s a 13 yo; with time and water it seems like an older, more complex whisky. Very nice indeed.
Rating: 88 points. (86 if tasting only neat.)
Thanks to Michael for the sample.