First Impression: Gordon & MacPhail Glen Grant 1954

[40%・Distilled in 1954・59 Years Old・Bottled in 2014・Gordon & MacPhail Bottling・Single Cask Bottling・Cask No: 1822]

Nose:

It starts with the mellow aromas of a mahogany desk that has received a fine polishing treatment.  The dark fruits in the background are rich and alluring yet the tone remains bright with the rose petal flavoured cotton candy .  A leathery presence that evokes excitement akin to unboxing your newly arrived Edward Green Oxfords made from Delapré leather tanned in Alsace, it’s the oiliness of the leather that marks the difference.  Further along there is the candle wax note with dried prunes giving the acidity and the ripe mango slices easing in the sweetness.  Dark cocoa on the backend as the oak settles back in, merging with the vibrant sherry note in the form of fresh red apples.  Roasted almonds and coconut flakes that were lightly toasted bring on the caramelisation.  Slight sprinkle of pepper and muted dried spices juxtapose the luscious black cherry note in the background.  Stupendously complex and far exceeding the great expectation, it’s so suggestive yet it is presented in such a elegant manner, a perfect nose.

Palate & Finish:

A satisfying viscosity that coats the tastebuds with delicious fruitiness, carrying citrus  raisin characters that tilt marginally towards acidity as opposed to the sweeter spectrum.  It then displays unmistakable traits from a half-century-long maturation with the spices in place that noticeably must have grown gentler over the years.  The woodiness becomes more and more prominent with the oven-baked raisins lacing the tannins through out, yet it retains the essences from the plump red fruits.

The finishing carries traces of minerals, a restrained follow through that is elongated with just traces of tobacco and menthol to go with the minuscule presence of plums and prunes, with a hint of earthiness and coffee beans roasted with treacle.

Thoughts:

This is certainly up there with some of the best “old” whiskies I have had, certainly in a class of their own.  A classic that has spend decades refining itself in a first filled sherry puncheon.  This is a whisky distilled from around the same period as when Rolex applied star hour marks on their dials.. the fascinating bygone era which simply cannot be replicated, even if there are the means to do so I am not so sure there is such intention…  It’s only through time capsules like this may we experience such precious histories that are bound to be forgotten soon.  Thank you Gordon & MacPhail for this experience.

☆☆

Nicholas