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Thursday, January 28, 2021

Glen Grant 36 year old 1967 Sherry Wood from Scott's Selection

(Glen Grant cluster homepage)

It's time for this cluster's first deeply sherried Glen Grant (probably). I've seen only a few Scott's Selections with the Sherry Wood label, and this is the first I've reviewed here.

I've scootched forward to a distillation date more than a decade after yesterday's whisky, but by gum this is a 36 year old sherry cask, so you'll just have to forgive me for reversing the time travel schedule. Though the distillery's floor malting ended several years before this whisky was distilled, 1967 is within the direct-fired still era. I've wanted to try this damned thing since My Annoying Opinions reviewed it forty-eight years ago, so I'm very thankful to have been able to get in on a bottle split last year.

Distillery: Glen Grant
Region: Speyside (Rothes)
Ownership at time of distillation: The Glenlivet and Glen Grant Distilleries
Bottler: the late Scott's Selection

Age: 36-ish years (1967-2003)
Maturation: Sherry Wood
Alcohol by Volume: 55.1%
(from a bottle split)

The nose leads with musty dunnage, dusty old books and ultra-nutty sherry, followed by cocoa powder and Manuka honey. A swirl of guava and yuzu juices starts in the background gradually easing to the front over time. Hints of toffee ice cream and sandalwood drift around the edges. It gets mustier and dustier once reduced to 46%abv, with a lovely oak note, as if the cask itself was much older than whisky's 36 years, and filled with walnuts, toffee and fruity cinnamon. And maybe a yuzu or two.

The big, bold palate packs in almonds, bitter walnuts, tart fruits and sea salt. Then gentle oak spice and that ancient oak note. The fruit appears quietly 45 minutes in, mostly mango and peach juices. Tingly tart limes take over the fruit juices once the whisky is diluted to 46%abv. A big salty nip gives it one additional dimension, and another arrives with a well-aged Yamazaki note.

The finish highlights the tart fruits (lemon, yuzu and nectarine), as well as dunnage and wood smoke. Diluted to 46%abv, the finish happily matches the palate.

For a point of reference, I tasted this whisky side-by-side with Monday's 25-year-old single refill sherry butt, which likely resulted in that whisky's crummy score. The difference wasn't due to a different spirit style, but rather the vessels that held the two single malts. If you haven't gathered, I do complain about casks, a lot. But, goodness, there's a point when an old cask hits that zone when one feels as if he can smell and taste the years that have passed, making that drinker all mushy and romantic about the brown liquid in his glass. This whisky's got That Thing. The fruit notes don't hurt either, but I wanted more. This is me complaining about a 90-point 36-year-old whisky. 

Next week, older whiskies.

Availability - ???
Pricing - ???
Rating - 90

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