A Glen Grant 1948, a stunning 70 years old and still at a respectable strength of 48.6%. It is the latest addition to the Private Collection range from Gordon & MacPhail.
Like the 1948 cask #1369 I could try a few years ago, this is a first-fill sherry butt but a mild one so to speak. It is presented in an engraved, hand-blown crystal decanter, framed in a wooden presentation case.
Glen Grant 70 yo 1948 (48,6%, Gordon & MacPhail ‘Private Collection’ 2018, first-fill sherry butt #2154, 210 btl.)
Nose: starts on typical brass polish with a sweet, honeyed undertone. Rubbed petals, hints of fennel and cut herbs. Mentholated notes, maybe teak oil. After Eight. Cigar boxes. Apricots and orange peel. In the background there’s a hint of dried porcini and old books. A whiff of smoke and old leather as well. A bit fragile but really great complexity.
Mouth: a surprisingly dark profile which the colour of the whisky doesn’t suggest. Mexican chocolate, smoke and tobacco leaves. Coffee or even tar liqueur. Old Pu-Erh. Sappy oak. Then cardamom, cloves, aniseed and cough syrup. Very herbal towards the end (reminding me of an old Jerez Quina I once had).
Finish: medium, with many teas and herbs, a sourness of charred oak but also dark cocoa.
Always a pleasure to try such an old malt. Maybe not because it is the best whisky ever, but because such old drams are so different from all others. Oak influenced of course but not tannic. Excellent. Available from The Whisky Exchange (brace yourself).