Thanks to /u/cake_my_day for this sample
Recently Glen Grant 18 was awarded the Whisky of the Year by a specific whisky book. Well, it was one of three, and was the only Scotch.
As we all know, different whisky reviewers will tell you different things. I may tell you about high end whiskies, and will rate them on quality without price. Thus someone who doesn’t have the money or time to try them out would feel my reviews aren’t that helpful.
I’m limited by what I buy and what I can swap for. And since I’ve reviewed a lot of the standard OBs, and OBs tend to cost more and aren’t as cask strength as I’d like them to be.
But perhaps I should try and fix that every so often. Let’s start with Glen Grant 18.
Beyond the award, what’s the deal with Glen Grant 18? Well it’s the top end of the non-limited whiskies from Glen Grant. There are older ones, but this is the regular one. It’s all ex-bourbon cask, and they only pick the highest quality casks.
According to their marketing, of course. I can’t say one way or another, as according to the police I’m not suppose to live in the warehouses and sip out of the barrels at night, as that’s “creepy” and “illegal”.
Such a restrictive culture we live in. Anyway, let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Price: $189.95 CAD at the LCBO
Colour: 7.5Y 9/6
Nose: Apple pie, caramel, oak, croissant, nutty
Initial nose is a nice mixture of butter, cinnamon, and apples. Now you want to cook those apples just a little bit, brown the butter, and activate the spices a tad (use fresh) before putting it in the crust. Then it’ll smell like this nose.
Now that you now how to make apple pie the way I prefer, we get to the rest of the dram. Caramel, butter, and nuttiness. Good complexity with the butter, it’s making things happen.
Hey, maybe I’m wrong for mocking the award (insert easy setup joke here).
Taste: Butter, lemon juice, cloves, violets, caramel
Taste has some of the butter and spices and even some of the lemon you put on the apples to avoid them going brown (Tip #2) in the apple pie, however it’s complexity has fallen off the map like an old Galleon on the side of the earth.
No, the earth isn’t flat. Don’t contact me about that.
Some nice floral notes now. Though I’m sad at the loss of complexity. It’s certainly a lot of butter. Which is cool.
Finish: Almond, cinnamon, butter, orange zest, mint
Finish brings out more nuttiness, more butter, and some acidity. There’s some mint now, and it’s nice. Overall nice combination, though it’s not living up to the complexity of the start.
Oh, and a little bit of Amaretto added to your apple pie mixture could add some nice almond flavour to your apple pie.
Conclusion: So now you have tricks to make a pie. Adding high proof vodka to your crust instead of some of the water to help make it. Or just buy crust, because honestly making crust is so painful.
Oh, yeah, this is a whisky review. My bad.
Glen Grant 18 has a nice nose on it, which makes me assume that people who like it really enjoy that aspect of whisky. And frankly, if that’s you, this is an easy purchase. The price isn’t going to go nuts, you’ll be able to find it, and there’s that. So let your nose freak flag fly if that’s you.
However, at the end of the day, this was a butter forward dram that doesn’t have the complexity of other 18 year old OBs on the market. There’s no rough notes, it’s smooth, and you could pour this for most people (non-whisky nerds included) and they’d enjoy it.
I’m looking for a bit more, so I won’t be going nuts on it, but at least it’s something everyone can buy and feel alright about it.
Scotch review #840, Speyside review #240, Whisky Network review #1351