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Friday, January 22, 2021

Glen Grant 22 year old 1992 Single Malts of Scotland, cask 35936

(Glen Grant cluster homepage)

The first two 1992 Glen Grants from this week demonstrated both the benefits and limits of refill cask maturation. Today's '92 was aged in a smaller vessel, a barrel, for two more years. I tried the three of these single malts side-by-side, and in the game of "Which One of These Doesn't Belong" this 22yo would be the choice. In a good way.

Like the other two samples this week, this whisky arrived at my house courtesy of a certain Renaissance blogger. Thank you again, sir.

Distillery: Glen Grant
Region: Speyside (Rothes)
Ownership at time of distillation: Seagram's
Bottler: Specialty Drinks Ltd (now Elixir Distillers)
Series: Single Malts of Scotland
Age: 22 years (13 March 1992 - 25 March 2014)
Maturation: bourbon barrel
Cask #: 35936
Outturn: 222 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 57.8%
(thanks to My Annoying Opinions for the sample!)

Not only is the nose bigger and bolder than the other two '92s, but it's......earthy, earthy to the point wherein it reads like one's romantic vision of old school Highland malt. There's some yeasty wort and savory broth. A good dose of peach juice, with a hint of dunnage. Diluting it down to 46%abv brings out more hay and soil. Some hot metal and hints of pears in the background.

The palate also has more oomph, showing off minerals, citrus oils and an assortment of roasted nuts. The nose's earthiness tilts more towards a mix of soil and ash here. It seems to gain a creamier mouthfeel with time, while also gaining a good herbal bitterness. Reduced to 46%abv, the palate gets sweeter and ashier, while also feeling more pulled together, making it difficult for me to suss out separate parts.

It finishes with cracked pepper, minerals and a little bit of smoke. More limes and bitter herbs with time. Once diluted to 46%abv the finish loses its smoke but gains more tangy citrus.

This is, at minimum, tied for my favorite Glen Grant of the cluster so far. The smoky, earthy element brings a complexity missing from almost all of the other five GGs. The source of that note remains a mystery. MAO certainly found it, Whisky Magazine reviewers found it, a couple of the Whiskybase members found it, but Serge did not. Though Caperdonich distillery made peated runs, Glen Grant probably has not done so since it started sourcing malt in 1962. So perhaps the smokiness comes from the barrel's previous contents. Whatever it is, it works.

And on a totally obnoxious note, the Whiskybase community, Serge, MAO and I all gave this whisky the same score.

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - ???
Rating - 88

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