In some years I forget that December 7th is a special day, but this time I remembered. It means we’re writing about whisky for 14 years already (in case you’re interested: Balvenie 30 Year Old). I find that hard to grasp, but hey, a good reason for a celebration dram!
Last year we had a phenomenal Highland Park 1959 Ferraretto, this year we’ve dug up an even older Glen Grant 1955 that was bottled in 2014 by Gordon & MacPhail. Later in 2017 is was re-released as part of the exclusive Glen Grant Collection, a “six pack” of whisky distilled between 1950 and 1955. Only 75 of these beautiful wooden cases exist.
Glen Grant 57 yo 1955 (40%, OB 2012, first fill sherry butt #833, 484 btl.)
Nose: extremely elegant. There’s cinnamon pastry, furniture polish and lots of cigar boxes, with echoes of dusty libraries (Trinity College, of course). Then subtle mentholated notes, charred orange peels, but also green apple peelings. Figs and walnuts, with the lightest hint of smoke, or at least unlit cigars.
Mouth: dark and earthy. A lot of chocolate and molasses (in a dry way though). Then a bitter note and herbal tea, plenty of roasted walnuts. I’m also getting hints of some of the oldest sherry I could try, from an era when you’d still talk of ‘Dark Brown’ instead of Oloroso. Huge gingerbread flavours. Then some vegetal notes and hazelnuts, with Christmas spice.
Finish: long, on cigar leaves, dark cocoa, sultanas and subtle ash.
I love the mix of dusty nuts, precious woods and soft smoky notes, with echoes of ancient sherry as a bonus. The strength is quite modest, but I think it could have been too woody at a higher ABV. Not perfect, but a priceless experience. Still available from The Whisky Exchange for instance.