If you are a good person, you know that – despite the common perception – Glen Grant is a malt that knows how to seduce whisky experts; and you should also know that the GGs from before the first expansion of the stills (that is, before 1973) are particularly sought after by the most
demanding connaisseurs of the globe. Since we get cocky from time to time, we’ll taste today a single cask (ex-sherry Oloroso) from 1970, owned by Antonio Bleve, aged for thirty-one years before Samaroli decided that yes, the right time had come. The color is dark coppery.
N: beautifully open and deep, it immediately offers a feeling of great complexity. We are surprised by a slight ‘meaty’/sulphury note, however well-integrated with a lot of sweets: mon cheri, red fruit in spirit, hyper-ripe apricots, cola, tamarind in large quantities. A ‘dirty’ profile remains, certainly not sweet, with leather notes, old wooden boxes, black olives. Even cinnamon and rhubarb, at times. Of great intensity, delicate and multifaceted. Hints of candied orange and brown sugar. Melted chocolate; burnt sugar. Very good.
P: a whispered attack, with a clear predominance of red fruits, in an apparently ‘rarefied’ context. Still there are notes of tamarind, chinotto; very particular, definitely, even if it’s delicate, with tropical excursions; dried fruit mix, you know? Then cinnamon, licorice. Herbal notes, which give some fresh liveliness to the profile: eucalyptus mostly. Bitter chocolate (cocoa beans, better) and wood, towards the finish it becomes slightly astringent, with never excessive traces of propolis and rhubarb…
F: cherry and wood. Very dry, but long and persistent. Cinnamon, licorice, chinotto again.
What a master, this Glen Grant… Bottled at the last useful moment, in our opinion (the feeling is that the herbaceous / propolis notes are about to conquer all the palate, but still a fruity outpost resists), this single cask is really fascinating, offering in a single glass that lost world of ‘old sherries’ that we hear so much about from our ol… errr, expert friends. Congratulations to Bleve and Samaroli, therefore, for selecting such an high quality barrel. It costs almost 500 euros, we
warn you, we are in the heart of the luxury-premium-top-prestige area; but ignoring this detail we can’t give less than 91/100.
Recommended soundtrack: John Grant – Glacier.