Glen Grant 1952/1990 (Gordon & MacPhail)
So there’s this guy in The Netherlands who shares the most amazing whiskies. If you’re a Dutch whisky enthusiast, you might know (of) Norbert. He vaguely resembles a famous English singer-songwriter, but most importantly, he’s the dude that gave me the opportunity to taste the best whisky I’ve tried so far. You know, this one…
A little while ago he shared another rare one, which is the whisky I’ll be reviewing today. This Glen Grant was distilled in 1952, which is impressive enough, but the fact that it was bottled almost three decades ago, makes it even more scarce. I mean, most of the whisky I drink on a regular basis was distilled after this whisky was bottled. And at that point it was already nearly 40 years old.
Glen Grant 1952 (40%, Gordon & MacPhail, 1990)
Nose: Very grassy to start, with a hint of rubber that quickly disappears. Furthermore, this Glen Grant gives us vanilla sugar and menthol, as well as moss, tobacco leaves and mushrooms. There’s a whisper of lemon peel too, followed by something ashy. Maybe even a whisper of peat.
Taste: A nice amount of oak (although maybe a tad too tannic for some), vanilla sweetness and honey, with a profound yet shy waxiness, if that makes sense. Also, you’ll find a decent amount of ginger and cracked black pepper. An inkling of English breakfast tea, while it is also fairly earthy too, with a hint of star anise, and again, maybe even a whisper of peat. Very full-bodied, even at 40 percent. But isn’t that often the case with these oldies?
Finish: Lingering tannins and menthol, with some pear skin as well. Not very long.
Almost maddening to think that this kind of priceless liquid probably was sold for a nickel and a dime back then. Very, very good. Not the best old Glen Grant from Gordon & MacPhail, but still…
Photo: The Whisky Exchange (might not be the exact same batch, as the one I tasted seemed a little lighter in colour)
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.