Apart from their single cask releases, Malts of Scotland also launched a “budget series” called the Glen Classes. These bottles have a different design and try to offer high quality for a small amount of money. Most of them are still single malts (grains) but the distilleries are not mentioned on the labels, so they might change as batches sell out.
When launched last year, there was Glen First Class (a Glenfarclas distilled in 2000) and Glen Peat Class (17yo vatted Islay malt). Recently they were joined by Glen Speyside Class (18yo Glenrothes) and this Glen Grain Class, a vatting of 4 sherry butts filled at the North British distillery in 2000.
Glen Grain Class 2000
(50%, Malts of Scotland 2011, batch n°1)
Nose: not the vanilla / coconut combo I was expecting. Lighter, definitely mintier and less warm. Hints of grapes and green banana. Sawdust. Fresh herbs. Overall a bit alcoholic, like wodka or schnapps. Hints of unlit matches. Not bad actually, just not the expected grain profile.
Mouth: sweet start (powder sugar, grain cookies), evolving to herbs again (gin or schnapps) and finally moving in the direction of drier, slightly bitter flavours. Pepper. Apples maybe. Where’s the sherry?
Finish: slightly hot, bittersweet with spices.
Clean grain whisky without much sherry influence. It may be pure but also quite atypical and slightly disappointing. I’ve heard the Glen Speyside Class is much better, I should really try that one as well. Around € 30.