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Thursday, January 14, 2021

Glen Grant 16 year old 1992 Cellar Reserve (OB)

(Glen Grant cluster homepage)

While some single malt distilleries spew special releases at a regular clip, Glen Grant has attempted very few. In 2008 they rolled out a 16 year old Cellar Reserve for about 50euro. The whisky wasn't terribly limited, with its outturn of 13,542 bottles, but it received the NC/NCF/46%abv treatment. I don't think there's been a follow-up Cellar Reserve in the 13 years since, so perhaps they had a spare 40-50 cask parcel sitting around?

Thank you to My Annoying Opinions for the sample and the French Square. Yes, that is a naughty reference.

Distillery: Glen Grant
Region: Speyside (Rothes)
Ownership at time of distillation: Seagram's
Age: 16 years (1992 - 2008)
Maturation: hogsheads?
Outturn: 13,542 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 46%

The nose begins with a clean and almost green barley note. Some fennel and tarragon mixed with a medicinal hint. Granny Smith apples, lemon zest and ground mustard seed. Once reduced to 43%abv, it picks up some more apples skins, then roots and carob, while holding onto those herbal notes.

The palate mixes a gentle sweetness with a peppery rumble. Hints of vanilla and shouts of acidic limes. It has more of a bite to it than I'd expected. It gets slightly papery after 30 minutes. The palate intensifies(!) when diluted to 43%abv. More pepper and acidic lemons. A rare example of good acidity in a whisky.

Quite some astringency in the finish, along with a blend of barley and minerals. No noticeable change occurs when diluted to 43%abv.

So, Glen Grant can be a fighter. This I did not know. It's not raw or undercooked; it's just, you know, whisky. One can appreciate a limited release that isn't an utter oak/sherry/peat creature. Like yesterday's Glen Grant, this one would probably work best in weather warmer than a Midwest winter. For additional takes, see MAO's review or Serge's or the whiskybase page. Our scores are pretty close on this one.

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - near €50 back in 2008
Rating - 84