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Glen Grant 18 yo (2016, OB, 43%)

If you are used to read us, or better, if you meet us in person, you will surely know that Glen Grant has a special place in our heart. Glen Grant is an historical distillery, the one and only owned by an italian group, that for a long time has suffered from questionable marketing strategy, that yet is effective: if we all remember that Michele of the tv spot and if we all see Glen Grant 5 yo in every italian supermarket, well, they did the right thing. In spite of this reason, Campari has decided to modify the brand’s perception, by extending the core range. Last month Distillery Manager Dennis Malcolm, a living legend of distillation, came to the italian headquarters of Campari to present three new bottlings: 10 yo (well, it has been out for a while), 12 yo and 18 yo. The latter in 2017 won a silver medal as “finest whisky in the world” in the highly contested Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible. We can’t trust blindly Jim, so we prefer to taste it and give you our two cents. 

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N: it has a very peculiar nose for such a grown old whisky. Indeed its freshness is impressive, we feel notes of white fruit like white grapes, pear, lychees, white peach. Lemon and ginger. Cereal is still very present here with something between yeast and yogurt. Amazing! After a while, the profile goes a little bigger, with a light almond paste, barley and vanilla. Quite herbaceous and with a touch of oak tree.

P: given that delicate nose and that alcohol degree we were expecting a shy palate, but we find a full bodied whisky, with a fruity explosion at first. In the foreground we find a beautiful sweet peach, together with pears. Spiced oak and dried fruits show a growing influnce. Raisins, but also something richer and sweeter, like pastries, cream and vanilla.    

F: dried fruits and malt, very clean and vaguely sugary.

We really liked this Glen Grant, that has a truly particular profile and a charming body. In the end this 18 yo confirms the house tradition, with great elegance and refinement. It is about 100 euro, that is frankly excessive (for our pockets, not for the current market), but we do greet the revival of a historic brand: 85/100. And we like to end withe Dennis Malcolm quote: “A brand is not a brand without heritage”. 

Thanks to Claudio Riva and Whisky Club Italia for inviting us to Campari!  

Recommended soundtrack: Rick James – SuperFreak.

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