Glen Grant 18 years

"The natural and mineral side was close to the distillate and much to my liking, but it got a bit too acidic on the palate and the development lacked some sophistication for 18 years of maturation"

(Photo from Whiskybase)

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About once a year whisky appears in the headlines of the news when our good old Jim Murray chooses his often surprising favourites. In 2017, Scotland was lucky to be included in his top three after years of oblivion. It was a new release of Glen Grant, of all distilleries, that had caught his eye. Instantly, many whisky enthusiasts rushed to disclose their horror of this “ridiculous” choice on social media, often without ever been close to a drop of this liquid. But there is only one way to circumvent the controversy and that is to taste it for yourself, preferably without prejudice, meaning blind. And so we did.

Nose

My first impression is light with some intense alcohol scent and slightly grassy. Once your nose is more accustomed, notes of butterscotch cookies appear onto a green and natural background. A light sweetness appears, but it is certainly not overly sweet, with a few hints of oranges. If believe the bourbon cask has had a modest impact. A very faint hint of smoke in the background, rather difficult to detect, but it is there. More honey, a hint of foam, a hint of wet stones, marshmallows and more citrus. I would call this a soft but complex nose, very subtle.

Taste

A soft, grassy and slightly drying palate with yellow cherries, yellow prunes, roasted rosemary , maybe some avocado or rather guacamole, and hints gravel and clay. After a while more orange lemonade, and lots of gravel, bricks and barley. Also more grass. It is slightly mineral with in particular calcium. Then lemon curd, a hint of mint, and a hint of something fragrant (floral?) and grapefruits. In fact, it is getting very acidic. I would not say this is that easy. More grassy and citrus, again the very faint smoke, and a slightly drying aftertaste.

Overall

I think this 18-year-old Glen Grant, which it appeared to be after the contents were disclosed, has got me into a slightly mixed feeling. The natural and mineral side was close to the distillate and much to my liking, but it got a bit too acidic on the palate and the development lacked some sophistication for 18 years of maturation. A very decent dram nonetheless. Not top three material for me, but that is something personal.

What others say

Whiskybase: 85.92 (109 votes) * Serge Valentin @Whiskyfun: 81/100 * Angus MacRaild @Whiskyfun: 84/100 * @TheWhiskeyJug: 86/100 * @Whiskynotes: 82/100
Read for yourself

Big thanks to for sharing the sample!

Scores

these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •

Cask influence
55%
Peat/smoke
20%
  • Citrus
  • Grass
  • Lemonade
Nose 86%
Taste 85%
Balance 84%
Depth 83%
Finish 83%
Score