A couple of months ago when I was planning on visiting Gordon & MacPhail in Elgin I got an email whether or not I was interested in them sending me samples. By now, a lot of other bloggers have already reviewed those samples but somehow I didn’t seem to get around to them.
They sent out loads of stuff to loads of bloggers for their ‘The wood makes the whisky‘ campaign. This goes paired with a rather awesome looking website where they explain a lot of things about wood maturation and their vision on how to bottle great whisky.
This review is the first of the bunch. Since the whisky was already released four years ago, I guess that one month delay is not going to be the biggest problem.
Oh, the visit to G&M never happened since we had an already busy agenda for the few days in the area and we couldn’t make it work. Shame, but it leaves something to go back for (like I needed another excuse).
A 1954 Glen Grant is not something you taste every day, so part of the reason for the delay was that I wanted a quiet hour to sit down for this one and I paired it with the 1950 Glen Grant that was bottled for Wealth Solutions. I tried them on Christmas eve after the kids went to bed. Best Christmas eve ever, maybe?
The sherry cask is clear from the first second. Quite a lot of it, and quite a lot of oak too. Slightly peppery, and spicy but also light hints of good vinegar. A surprisingly crisp hint of pine needles, forest. Some orange too.
The palate is quite light and even a tad thin at first. It takes a few seconds to settle in, and by that I meant the thinness is gone after a second or three, four. Slightly dry and sweet. Dried plums and dates. Baking spices with a focus on clove.
The sherry is big on the finish, dry and rich. Again those hints of vinegar and pine needles are found which is an interesting combination with the dried fruits. One that works really well. It’s quite mellow, but really long.
This one has far more oak influence than the Wealth Solutions dram. A lot more sherry as well. It seems the focus on way of presenting lots of age is quite different, it makes them hard to compare.
The vinegar and pine needles is something that stands out, but in an oh so delicious way. I love the surprising crisp notes that this brings and it makes for an experience to remember. Normally, I’d expect a 60 year old dram (or 57/58 in this case) to be mostly about the oak and the spirit quite interchangeable (unless it’s a peated one, that is). In this case the whisky really stands out and makes itself unique.
What is hard to describe, I had problems pointing it out in the Bunnahabhain from earlier this week too, is the old age magic that is happening in the bottle and in your glass. This one has boat loads of that.
Wrapping up: This is a supreme dram. I’ve not tasted that many ancient whiskies, but this one might be one the best ones I’ve had, together with the Glen Grant for Wealth Solutions (the most recent one).
I found that the 58 year old Glenfarclas, and the 66 year old Glen Grant were awesome, but more generic ‘old whisky’. The latest two really stand out and it seems they try to really bring something unique to the table. At which they succeed.
Glen Grant 1954-2012, 40%. It’s available for 1050 euros at Scoma in Germany.