...where distraction is the main attraction.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Birthday Booze! Glen Grant 37 year old 1974 Berry Brothers & Rudd (cask 7643)

For my birthday this year, I thought it best that as a stay-at-home father I should celebrate by remaining completely sober all night.

HA HA! HA HA! Ha Ha! Ha. ha. ha. ha.


I'll move on.

So, I drank some things on my birthday, including a 1978 Calvados (reviewed here) and a 1978 Benriach single cask (reviewed here).  I ended the night with a 37 year old whisky.  A single sherry cask of Glen Grant, bottled by Berry Brothers & Rudd.  Old Glen Grant tends to be reliably excellent, which makes one wonder why new Glen Grant isn't reliably excellent.  But then again, none of us are as good as we used to be while the mind, the body, and humanity at large decays into the fetid garbage heap that is the future.

I've been reading too many Nihilist Arby's tweets.

So much to say about this whisky in this introduc--

Distillery: Glen Grant
Ownership: Campari
Bottler: Berry Brothers & Rudd
Range: Berrys'
Age: 37 years (1974 - 2012)
Maturation: some sort of ex-sherry cask
Region: Speyside (Rothes)
Alcohol by Volume: 47.8%
Chill filtered? No
Caramel Coloring? No

Its color is very dark gold, maybe some maroon highlights.  In the nose, the sherry starts out dry almost smoky.  More nuts than dried fruits.  There are small notes of dried herbs and menthol.  With time, the fruits do come out to play.  Then dark chocolate and mint leaves.  On the palate, dry nutty sherry splashes up against a wall of malt.  Again, with time, the grapes emerge.  Unlike yesterday's Benriach, the bitterness is more herbal/wormwood than oak-related.  Then bits of cigar and toffee.  Pretty rich without being very sweet.  Orange peel and dark cherries meet roasted malt in the finish.  Then lime, toffee, a soft bitterness, and a hint of smoke.

WITH WATER (~46%abv, just a few drops)
The nose becomes maltier.  A little bit of toffee.  More dried berries than grapes.  Never a hint of sulphur.  Meanwhile, there's less malt in the palate.  It's sweeter, with raisins and dried blueberries.  No more smoke or bitterness in the finish.  But there are more berries and overall sweetness.

A couple years ago, someone was nice enough to share with me an official Macallan 18yo that had been distilled in 1984.  Not being a fan of the current version of Mac 18, I tried the '84 with doubts.  But, thanks to more malt, drier sherry, and a touch of smoke, I declared, "Now, this is good."  This Glen Grant reminds me of that particular Macallan.

Nothing about the whisky propels it into the Excellent realm.  Instead, it's a very solid, very full, graceful sherried whisky without major flaws.  Serge V. came to a similar conclusion, though with a few different notes.  Meanwhile, one of the other Maniacs found it sweeter than I did.  In any case, good stuff.

Availability - Secondary market?
Pricing - Used to be around $170!?!? (Sheesh, Berrys' has a 23yo non-sherried Bunna going for $220 nowadays.)
Rating - 88