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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Glen Grant 20 year old 1992 Maltbarn, Release 12

(Glen Grant cluster homepage)

The saucy labels continue. Monday's whisky had a naked duck on its label. Today's had a purple flower. Purple, get it? Purple rhymes with curple (thank you, Robbie Burns), and curple is a horse's buttocks. Who knew this was going on among the German bottlers? I did!

Like yesterday's Glen Grant, this one is a 20 year old single cask distilled in 1992, but this one spent its maturation time in a sherry butt, a cask I assume Maltbarn split with someone else due to the tiny outturn.


Distillery: Glen Grant
Region: Speyside (Rothes)
Ownership at time of distillation: Seagram's
Bottler: Maltbarn
Age: 20 years (1992 - 2013)
Maturation: sherry butt
Cask/Release: 12
Outturn: 109 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 54.1%
(thanks to My Annoying Opinions for the sample!)

The nose is mostly grass, honeydew, sour apple candy and the almond butter note, again. After 20 minutes it picks up caramel corn and toasted pecans. After 30 minutes, some plum skins sneak in. Diluting it to 46%abv brings out oranges, honey and toasted grains.

The palate delivers a good tart wallop, while mixing in sweet apples, and a pepper oil bite similar to the Whisky-Fässle 20yo. It does get raw and bitter at times, almost too much for this grumpy taster. A hint of Luxardo cherries saves it sometimes. It gets sharper, harsher when diluted to 46%abv. It's bitterer and tarter, with some mineral notes.

The finish is similar to the palate, but with some fabric and sweet citrus. Once reduced to 46%abv, it's sweeter than the palate, though there's a big horseradish bite mixed in.

The sherry and oak are nearly absent, which can be a great thing, but in this instance the cask seems almost neutral/inactive. The whisky's nose is very charming, and the finish mostly works, but the palate feels a bit half-baked. Dilution does not improve matters. One wonders what happened to the other 70-80% of the sherry butt.

MAO appears to have liked this Glen Grant a little more, while Serge held it in even higher esteem. Perhaps I would have enjoyed this whisky more under other circumstances, but it had some tough competition with Monday's and (especially) Friday's whiskies.

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - ???
Rating - 82