...where distraction is the main attraction.

Friday, February 5, 2021

Glen Grant 56 year old 1955 Gordon & MacPhail

(Glen Grant cluster homepage)

You ask, but Michael now what are you going to drink when you turn 56? Malört. I'm going to drink Malört.

I just wanted to reference Malört in my introduction to a 56 year old whisky.

That's it for the short paragraphs, people. I'm going to write a longer paragraph now, starting with some details about where the following sentences are going, testing your attention span. Then I'll awkwardly pivot to half-formed opinions about what makes a whisky beautiful and why whisky's not really important in the general scheme of things. Quickly I'll contradict that, cuddling with hypocrisy as if it represents depth rather than my terror of being insignificant. I'll follow that up with a sentence trying to hide the fact that it's just filler. Then, of course, I'll admit I'm wasting your time.

And now a 56 year old whisky, a thing that was consumed intermittently one afternoon while I also drank a 50 year old whisky. That's 106 years of whisky. What?

Also purchased from an LA Scotch Club event two lifetimes ago

Distillery: Glen Grant
Region: Speyside (Rothes)
Ownership at time of distillation: The Glenlivet and Glen Grant Distilleries
Bottler: Gordon & MacPhail
Series: Distillery Labels

Age: 56 years (17 February 1955 - 1 August 2011)
Maturation: one first fill sherry cask, one refill sherry cask
Cask #: 828 & 860
Alcohol by Volume: 40%

The nose has a brighter, simpler fruitiness than the 50yo, imagine peaches, figs and dates. Anise and honey. Peppery basil leaf and spicy cigar wrapper. Though it develops a note of Rolos after an hour, the figs last the longest.

Raw cocoa and carob bark strike first in the palate, followed by gently sweet pipe tobacco and just a hint of wormwood. After 30 minutes: grapefruits and tart nectarines. 45 minutes: earth and stones. The tart fruits gain strength and the bitterness retreats with time.

It finishes with unsmoked mild cigar tobacco, tart lemons and grapefruits in the early sips. Later on, wormwood and incense appear providing some dimension to the tart bite.

Though less intergalactic than the 50yo, this 56 reads like an excellent sherried whisky half its age but with just a bit more bite, weighing in around 46%abv. Nothing about it announces five decades, rather just great extensive sherry cask maturation. I know I'll get the stink eye from many folks for saying this, but I'd rather drink the 12yo that was probably distilled around the same time as this whisky. If price was of no concern......well, I'd be wondering why price is of no concern.

This 1940s-1960s Gordon & MacPhail range is likely loaded with gems, and I'd bet many are operatic even at 40%abv. They're all far out of my price range, but I'm glad G&M had the foresight and commitment to produce these pieces of history.

Availability - A few European retailers
Pricing - north of $2000
Rating - 90

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