Many distilleries, though not all, offer a cask strength or high-strength single malt in their regular lineup. For Glen Grant, that would be the 15YO, and it’s making its way to our local shelves at last.
Originally introduced in 2019, the Glen Grant 15YO was recently launched in Singapore, coinciding with the 60th-anniversary celebrations of Master Distiller Dennis Malcolm, currently Scotland’s longest-serving distiller. The 15YO is also a product of his own making.
Glen Grant is often associated with heavily sherried whiskies but the modern specimen is far more diverse, style-wise. And the 15YO expression is perhaps the most intense example of the modern house style. The 15YO is matured entirely in first-fill ex-bourbon casks, and are not chill-filtered. In that sense, this is pure unadulterated Glen Grant.
It must be doing something right because it has picked up multiple awards since its inception:
- Gold medal, “Single Malt Scotch of the Year”, New York International Spirits Competition 2020
- Gold Medal, 93 points, Beverage Tasting Institute 2021
- 92 points, Ultimate Spirits Competition
- Double Gold, San Francisco Wine and Spirits Competition 2019 and 2021
- Platinum, 94 points, Ascot Awards 2021
If I’m honest, I’m so accustomed to the heavily sherried style of the Glen Grant that multiple tastings of the newer house style haven’t quite hit home yet. Oh well, no harm in going another round. Hic.
So what of the 15YO? The first impression is that it’s a whisky that plays it safe and I don’t mean that in a bad way. At the same time, it’s probably the best representation of the current ‘OB’ Glen Grant style offered directly by the distillery.
And the Glen Grant is an easy drink: classic bourbon sweetness on the nose, accompanied by citrus fruit – at times apple, at times some pear? There’s a slight rawness as well, but may not always be a bad thing.
On the palate, some hint of cinnamon, pepper and milk chocolate, and I was a little confused at first; is this all bourbon cask? With time, familiar honey and vanilla notes establish themselves as the backbone along with lemon and apricots. A slight astringency and bitterness are present, but it all works out in the end; the sweetness fades, accompanied by a slightly spicy finish while the apples and pears return.
A ‘session’ whisky, for sure. This is something you can have on its own or diluted slightly if you prefer a lighter drink – that’s always the upside of higher strength whiskies. You always have the option.
You can try the Glen Grant 15 Years Old by the dram at select venues including Dragon Chamber, Public House, One Place Bistro Bar and Sweetea Caffe. For bottle promotions, Malts is offering $188++ per bottle and $358++ for two while J’s Bar and Grill is pricing theirs at $208++ per bottle and $358++ for two. Retail prices may vary but the RSP is $125 and you can find them at Cellarbration, Redmart and Amazon SG.
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