A while ago I went to a club meeting and Leon Zonneveld, of “Uw Top Whisky” fame (which is considerable among whisky geeks in The Netherlands) brought me some bottles. I paid for them, and shipping which I didn’t need. Instead of paying me back, I opted for him to bring some samples. I like surprises like this.
He brought a varied pack of things I can’t even remember all, apart from that there also was an oldish Glen Moray which I, in the end, didn’t really love. It wasn’t bad, but it was nowhere near as good as I had hoped.
Anyway, this one was also in the pack and it’s been forever since I tried Glen Grant. It’s bottled by David Stirk, in the Exclusive Malts range, which is the range I prefer (Exclusive Casks is usually finished, Exclusive Range is good too but not as ‘exclusive’). Let’s dive in!
Much more powerful than I’m used to from Glen Grant, maybe even a little bit austere. It’s a rather typical dram of Stirk’s with some peaches and other fruits, but on a background of what I would imagine is American oak. Quite a lot of it, actually. Very gentle, very easy going. Some dried peaches too, and a hint of leather. Dried herbs, mint I think. The oak is very much present, but not overpowering.
The palate is thick and buttery at first, but it does reveal the alcohol after a couple of seconds with some peppery and spicy heat. I just had a ‘Bastogne‘ cookie (a cookie packed with baking spices, we Dutchies seem to love that shit) before and those flavors come rushing back now, so backing spices for sure. The syrupy structure comes back after about thirty seconds of swimming, but it does remain sharp. Fresh peaches, candied fruit and oak. Some vanilla cream and white pepper. Maybe a little too much oak?
The palate has a strange youngish oakiness. A bit like there’s some virgin oak involved, which there is not I presume. The finish is rather long but a tad flat after the rich palate. Oak, some spices and some dried fruits. Not very rich, but still rather tasty. Slightly drying towards the end.
This is a bit of a strange one. While I like the flavors mostly, I do feel this whisky is a bit over oaked. There’s not much info on the bottle, but I assume this was matured in a sherried hogshead. There’s 203 bottles of it, so 26 years in a 250 liter cask support that guess.
Anyway, in a way I like this whisky. I’d give it some extra credit for showing David’s preferred style of whisky (based on what I’ve tasted) which is cool. On the other hand, mainly on the palate this feels like it’s been in oak a little bit too long and the spirit wasn’t strong enough to cope with the wood in the end.
Glen Grant 1985-2012, 26yo, 55.6% – Exclusive Malts, Creative Whisky Company. Available for € 125 from The Whisky Specialist.