Sunday, 24 March 2013
Glen Grant 1991 19 Year Old (D/T)
This Glen Grant is a Duncan & Taylor bottling, and it is 51.5% alcohol volume. That explains the power in this whisky during my blind tasting (you can find my blind tasting notes below). This whisky has a good strong kick, but unfortunately is it unbalanced to the bitter side and the oak appears to have dominated too much as it aged in its cask. This whisky has some nice character, but all the diversity is drowned out by the massive oak dominance which cuts the tongue sharply.
The nose is delightful, with bursts of sweet apple and a dense cloud of oak laden bitterness which wafts up without much energy. There is a mustiness about this whisky, like old socks dipped in some in brandy and sambuca; the cotton weaves around the alcohol and chokes it a little as whiffs of sweet licorice add some spark. Have I ever smelt old socks dipped in brandy or sambuca? Well, of course I have. Any Italian grandma thinks alcohol drenched socks are the cure to any cold or flu! The smell of old books and cardboard also develop, almost like a long forgotten box of blueberries and mushrooms. Then a subtle earthiness develops.
This whisky hits the palate powerfully, as sharp citrus and bursts of bitter oak strike the tongue. This is surprising given the musty and almost moldy nose which seems to strangle any spark. However, the news is not all good! Our good friend oak has had a lot to do with this whisky, and in fact the oak in this whisky is overpowering. The experience is therefore unbalanced towards the bitter side as oak drowns out much of the other character in this whisky. With it comes spice and some hints of vanilla, though this is all consistent with a whisky that has become victim to the wood! I think this whisky is lovely and powerful, so it is in my view a real shame about the overpowering oak. It seems to cut the tongue and in a jealous rage chase away the other flavours before they have a chance to shine.
The finish on this whisky is long and vibrant, though that bitterness and oak dominated flavour is yet again something that detracts from the finish.