Whisky Review: Gordon & Macphail Book of Kells Glen Grant 50 Years Old Exclusively Bottled for The Whisky Exchange

Style: Sherry, Complex and Venerable

Nose:

Delicate red dates, dark cherries and cranberries deeply engrained into waxy, walnut oak. Leather followed by apeppermint surge, black peppercorns gently sprinkled on golden malt. Whiteflower gently latched on thoroughly stewed tropical fruits. The aroma isslightly on the spicy side, but overall it is wonderfully integrated.

Palate:

Baked assorted red fruits condense and amalgamate to a silky, perfect form. Such a magnificent entrance… Then we have a waxy layer of archaic signatures – Walnut oak cabinet, timber and old armchairs leading to more tropical fruits. Dark cherries riding on herbal spice, golden malt brimming delightfully. A charming peck of old school peat smoke, damn, this is beautiful. Floral rims, black currants converge and gently filter down to the end.

Finish:

Purple grapes and bubble gum rounded off with vintage coal fire peat. Long and satisfying.

Thoughts:

What a dram. The maturation and integration of this Glen Grant has reached to a height that most are incapable of. Maybe the nose is a bit tight, but the rest is impeccable – Especially the subtle, vintage Speyside peat really highlights the complexity of the malt. While in recent times old/ultra-aged whiskies have been glorified and slapped on super premium price tags, some of the ones I have tried, unfortunately, the oak component got out of hand and disrupted the balance – Too tannic, acidic, bitter – overwhelmed. It is not easy to find a distillate/cask to stand against the tides of time, very few can actually make it, I am just glad that this Glen Grant 50 years old is not bottled for the sake of its age.

☆☆☆ [Most Recommended]

[49.4% | Independent Bottling | Single Cask | Cask Strength | Cask Number: 3720 |Matured in a Refill Sherry Hogshead | Non Chill Filtered | Non Coloured | Tasted on 19/12/2018 | Opened on 21/09/2018 | ***]

-Esmond

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