Nose: Charred oak, old grapes, celery, and sweet spices. Quite an unusually sweet nose considering the notes.
Palate: White wine, stewed berries, oak spices, and burnt hot mocha. Slight traces of fruit lollies and aniseed as it heads to the back of the tongue.
Mouthfeel: Thick and chewy. Very smooth, and also quite dry. No burn.
Finish: Dry, very dry. Grape, and a touch of soot are present; also a slight trace of ethanol – which is a bit odd considering the age.
An earlier release of this bottling got 96 points in Jim Murray’s 2014 Bible. This one was bottled in 2009 at 40% ABV. It was aged in a first fill oloroso sherry butt. This bottling is part of Gordon & MacPhail’s Rare Vintage series.
It’s an interesting whisky for a Glen Grant, quite rich and dark, and quite thick – The Glen Grant spirit is normally much lighter, sweeter, and punchier in my opinion. I can’t say I’ve tried many Glen Grant whiskies aged anywhere near this one – I think until this dram, the oldest of theirs that I had drunk was the 18 year old, so I have no idea if this is how the Glen Grant spirit normally ages, or if it was the casks that were chosen by G&M.
Glen Grant is a Speyside distillery that is currently owned by Gruppo Campari. The distillery was started in 1840 by two brothers, John and James Grant; who decided to get out of illegal distilling and smuggling and become licensed distillers. In 1872 the next generation of Grants, James ‘The Major’ Grant took over, and the business boomed; quickly becoming one of the most famous and best selling whiskies of the time. The Glen Grant distillery is located in Rothes in Speyside, Scotland, along with the Glenlivet, Glen Spey, and Glenrothes distilleries. The Caperdonich distillery, which was originally the Glen Grant #2 distillery for four years from when it opened in 1898 was closed by then owners, Pernod Ricard, in 2002; and demolished in 2010.
Gordon & MacPhail is an independent bottler of Scotch whiskies that was founded in 1895 who are also located in Speyside, in Elgin – which is close enough to Glen Grant that they are both in the same council area, and Scottish, British, and EU, electorates. Gordon & MacPhail have bottled ‘official’ bottlings under license for distilleries including Macallan, Glenlivet, Glen Grant, Linkwood and Mortlach. They have some of the largest, and oldest, stocks of single malt whiskies aging in barrels in the world, and have released 3 different 70 year old bottlings; one from Mortlach, and two from Glenlivet.
This was a brilliant whisky. It is a whisky that needs to be sipped, and allowed to breath a bit. It is quite a thick and rich whisky, great for sipping late at night – not an everyday dram; although to be honest, I doubt many people could afford to have a 49 year old whisky as an everyday dram anyway.