It’s been a while since we’ve been tasting the Glen Grant 5 yo: we didn’t dislike it enough, and someone resented our judgment. Maybe it’s because we still remember our teenage thirst for booze and for Ballantine’s poured in caps in carparks; or maybe it’s because the distillery is wonderfully sough-after amongst the less biased drinkers. It is what it is, we admit we love Glen Grant. So we decided to taste two OBs: an upper class modern bottling and an almost entry-level bottled a couple of decades ago. Let’s start with this latter, a late ’90s 10 yo. Beautiful label with brown edge.
N: very open and cozy, relatively simple but not immature. Actually it’s a nice, warm nose, with pronounced notes of custard, shortbreads, toffee and caramel. On the sidelines, there’s also some yellow fruits (fresh and dried apricot) and some orange soda. Malt and hazelnuts for a wonderfully aromatic nose.
P: with a 40% abv, the body is fully satisfying, beyond expectations. It’s a perfect reproduction of the olfactory profile, with malty, buttery and citrusy notes increasing. The overflowing creaminess is still present, but less impressive. It’s incredibly drinkable.
F: long, with suggestions of toasted malt, sweet citrus and butterscotch.
Let’s not mess about: it’s a simple whisky, it’s a good whisky. It’s a single malt Scotch whisky class, it’s a Speyside textbook, it’s the perfect example of the high average quality of entry-level bottlings from the ’90s. When even ordinary whiskies used to be pleasantly malty. Quality and intensity, it’s 86/100. Not so common in this range of bottles.
Recommended soundtrack: Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros – Get Down Moses, wow!