Glen Grant had a bit of a soft relaunch in 2016. They ditched the older style bottles in favour of a design that still oozes World War II veteran charm – “Morning Fawlty!” – and added a 12-year-old expression to the range which was very well received.
Glen Grant likely doesn’t get the love it deserves, struggling behind Glenfiddich and Glenlivet for its place on the shelf. But they score plenty of nerd brownie points, if only because they happen to be the only Speyside distillery bottling every single one of its whiskies on site alongside the distillery proper – making it one of a handful of distilleries that get to control production from start to finish, in-house.
Interestingly, where the 10 is bottled at 43% (for us!) and 40% for the rest of the world, Glen Grant 12 is at 43% globally. Which means, the only “fair” comparison can be done in territories like South Africa, where the ABV playing field has been leveled. Let’s dip into the 10:
Grassy and creamy. Creamy both in terms of “softness” and in terms of smelling like whipped cream, or milk. Some peanuts, green beans, butter. Thankfully not too sweet – more brown sugar than white. Overall a fairly simple aroma, but wonderfully cheerful, with absolutely nothing that fights for attention. Great balance!
Utterly easy-going. We’re talking Glenmo 10 levels of smooth-sippin’, with a crisp alcohol bite that quickly gets massaged into a citrusy, creamy quality. The modesty on the nose carries through – this is not a whisky that will blow you away with depths of complexity, but rather does one or two things remarkably well: orange and vanilla. Likely as good an entry point for newcomers as Glenmorangie. No water needed 🙂
Rich, satisfying and simple – like the dram itself. Medium length, and slightly oily. We’re lucky to get it at 43% – I can only imagine that the finish suffers when diluted.
A really cracking dram. Extremely hard to go wrong with this, and a no-brainer when placed alongside some of the other (more popular) entry-level single malts, particularly the ones that have a 12 on the bottle rather than a 10. While likely never to be a whisky destined to satisfy that deep whisky nerd itch, it’s certainly one that will happily be cracked open on a Friday after work as a deeply enjoyable, easy drinking affair – or bliksemed at summertime braai.