Glen Grant 2002, 12 years old, 59.9% – SMWS (9.100)

Sometimes you come across a sample in your sample collection that you can’t remember buying. When you find out it’s a 12 year old Glen Grant at almost 60%, you honestly can’t think why you ever spent money on it.


Image from ScotchWhiskyAuctions.

That might sounds insanely snobbish, but it’s mostly that I generally don’t really like modern Glen Grant, and especially those insanely strong SMWS bottlings normally don’t get a rave review from me.

Then you see that it’s called ‘Coffee and Cigarettes’ and, in combination with it being a 1st fill bourbon cask makes absolutely no sense to me. I still wonder how it ever got on my shelf.

Anyway, I brought it with me on holiday to review it and see what’s what.

Wood ashes, very dry, some light wood spices. Eventually, there’s a bit of cigarettes and vanilla.

A bit thin, but very sharp. A lot of heat from the alcohol. Chili peppers, wood, some weird bit of cigarettes and ash.

A massive afterburner. Insanely sharp, too sharp. More vanilla and oak, slightly fruity with some hints of pear and cooked apple.

What I’m glad about is that in some cases I think I know what to expect, and then it turns out to be the right thing to expect. This isn’t so much a bad whisky as one that’s absolutely not in my wheelhouse.

It’s way too strong, and I think the charring of the cask has completely taken over the whisky. Not a good one, in my book.


Glen Grant 12, distilled on 20/08/2002, 1st fill bourbon cask, SMWS, 9.100, Coffee and Cigarettes, 59.9%. It used to cost £ 48,40 from the SMWS, but six months after release it didn’t even get that in auction.


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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