A Glen Grant 1949 bottled by Gordon & MacPhail, how about that. I was very impressed when I heard what I just tasted. The reason I didn’t know was that this was a blind sample I got from the SanFransiscoWhiskyClub. A very generous gesture and a great opportunity for me to taste something that was distilled so long ago.

The collaboration between Glen Grant and Gordon & MacPhail goes back a long time. It all started at the beginning of the 20th century when Gordon & MacPhail entered into partnerships with a handful of distilleries, such as Glenlivet, Mortlach and thus Glen Grant. Partly as a result of this collaboration, Glen Grant became the first to market an official single malt. But where they mainly focused on a bit dull and young single malts (mainly 5 and 10 years old), it was mainly the older and sherry cask matured Glen Grant single malts bottled by Gordon & MacPhail that achieved cult status.

This Glen Grant has matured in an amontillado sherry cask and is bottled at 40% ABV.

Glen Grant 1949 tasting notes:

Nose: Oh hey, this smells old, but in a good way. I love that. Peach, oranges, Apple compote and heather honey. This is followed by tobacco leaves. Then nutmeg appears. Later the fruits go to the background, making room for this nutmeg and also cloves.

Taste: Somewhat light and watery at first sip, would say a low abv, maybe 40%? Somewhat fruity and sweeter then the nose suggests, with mostly oranges and baked apples. A sweet honey and plenty of it. Then a slight bitter note from coffee, but really in the background. Dark chocolate too. Later the spices also appear here, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. Earl Grey tea as well.

Finish: Mid-long. A little woody. Liquorice and the rest of the spices.

An interesting one. It seems to go on and on. Flavours keep changing. Going from fruity to spicy and things in between. At first, I thought the low ABV made it kinda watery, but after a few sips this seems to be less and a lot of flavours are starting to develop. Quite the old-style nose and taste. Very very nice.

Many thanks to SanFranciscoWhiskyClub for the sample!