Dram Review: Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection Glen Grant 1948 (Cask No. 2154)

[48.6%・70 Years Old・Distilled in 1948・Bottled in 2018・Gordon & MacPhail Bottling・Cask No. 2154・Single Cask Release of 210 Bottles]

Nose:

It is remarkable how lively the dram still is!  Honey is laid down in a stately and elegant manner, the floral notes mingle with some Italian herbs as the creaminess from the oak melts into a certain vegetative note and what results is an instant gratification.  To further the enjoyment there are notes of essence oil from lightly squeezed lemon peels, of tree gum, of ginger powder and of passion fruit syrup.  In time the malt and minerals fill the base, faint hints of tobacco and powdery wood incense swirl with traces of a vanilla and candied orange cake that is moist, syrupy and buttery and paired with poached pears and marzipan.

Palate & Finish:

Condensed and jammy, the dram delivers a fruit extravaganza, oranges, pears, lychees and wee pineapples.  The well aged leathery creaminess coats the taste buds as the dryness of the oak slowly presses down, lighter notes of leather and tobacco flirt with more exciting notes of cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, licorice and marzipan.

The mesmerizing dryness from the antique charred oak staves extends and elongates in the finish, mellow and peaceful with just a suggestion of smoke.

Thoughts:

I don’t think I could quite do justice to how absolutely magical the nose is.

The age does show on the palate but the whisky manages generations of wood influence well, in part because the Sherry component is surprisingly not overtly assertive.

I do wonder what the cask would be like had it been bottled two decades earlier, my guess is that this cask was always going to be special, it would make for an exceptional whisky whether it was bottled as a 40 year old or as a 70 year old.

In any case though I am glad it was forgotten about in the massive warehouse of Gordon and MacPhail, resulting in probably an once in a life time opportunity..

☆☆ [Highly Recommended]

Thank you Gordon & MacPhail for the sample, it’s much appreciated.

Photo credit: Gordon & MacPhail

-Nicholas