...where distraction is the main attraction.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Assessing the Glen Grant cluster at the halfway point

With the intent to make this series more than just a string of reviews, I am pausing at the halfway point of this Glen Grant cluster to assess the whiskies thus far. One more contemporary Glen Grant will follow this post, and then we're off to a different era of this Rothes distillery.

Three of the first six bottlings were very spirit-forward, two had minor oak influence and one, the first, had a vibrant but well-balanced cask. Though one of the whiskies came from an ex-sherry butt, it was an inactive cask, so the six whiskies were mostly on the same general playing level.

So far...

Here are nose notes that appeared in more than two reviews:

Apples - 4
Barley - 4
Citrus (Orange x2, lemon, lime) - 4
Florals - 3
Stone fruit - 3
Yeast/wort - 3

As expected there were a lot of barley spirit-based notes, nothing very oaky. No dried fruit, no vanilla.

Here are palate notes that appeared in more than two reviews:

Citrus - 5 (Limes x4, lemons)
Bitterness - 4
Pepper - 4
Apples - 3
Mineral - 3
Nuts - 3
Sweetness - 3

Lots of citrus and apples again, but also some edgier characteristics.

Here are finish notes that appeared in more than one review:

Citrus - 4
Bitterness - 4
Mineral - 3
Apples - 2

Not much in the way of repetition here. Most of the finishes were limited in complexity and length, which (I think) demonstrates the limits of multi-refill casks and limited maturation time.

Looking at these notes. a few things come to mind. Either these results are a confirmation that these were consistently reserved casks, or these are the sort of notes my senses tend to find first and frequently. (I could spout my whisky CV right now in order to convince you of some level of sensory depth I may possess, but you've made it this far with me, so what the hell, let's keep going.) These are not baby whiskies. The youngest is 13 years old, though a 16 or 20 year old may read the most youthful. So, I believe I lucked into mostly refill casks which have brought me closer to a citrusy, apple-y spirit with mild mineral and bitter herb notes.

It took a lightly-peaty cask to shake the selection up a bit, and I'm thankful for it. Perhaps that 22 year old isn't representative of 1990s Glen Grant, but that variant highlighted the styles of the previous five.

Next week, I'll begin with a Glen Grant distilled in the late 1980s for one last look at a contemporary whisky, and then we're going back in time.