Glen Grant is a distillery located in the town of Rothes in Scotland’s Speyside whisky region. It is a large distillery that has a capacity of 5.9 million litres per year and is currently owned by Italian drinks company Campari Group. Glen Grant is popular with blending companies and is one of the best selling single malts in the world. It has been as high as second place in the world sales charts but currently sits in fourth behind only Glenfiddich, Glenlivet and Macallan. The majority of Glen Grant single malt is sold in mainland Europe, with Italy being its main market.
The distillery was founded by James and John Grant in 1840. They were brothers and decided to use their surname for the distillery name. The name Glen Grant has stood ever since. It remained in their direct ownership until 1872 when James died (John had died in 1864) and the distillery was inherited by James’ son, James Grant Jnr. The distillery remained in the ownership of the family until Grant Jnr’s grandson, Major Douglas Mackessack, sold it to Canadian group Seagrams in 1972. After numerous subsequent takeovers, the Campari Group took control in 2006 and re-launched the range of single malts with new packaging in 2007.
This whisky has been matured for a majority of its time in bourbon casks but then transferred for the last year to sherry casks. The colour is golden and the nose has richness and interesting character – there is sweet vanilla, fresh crisp green fruit (pears and apples especially), dried grass, oaky wood, dried fruit (think of sultanas) and a hint of spice (imagine cinnamon). On the palate, this is packed with vanilla and cereal grains, feeling creamy and soft in your mouth. The grass and oak elements come through as do the subtle sherry cask influences – the dried fruit and woody spices (add in some nutmeg and cinnamon now). The mix of all the elements is interesting - the vanilla and dried fruits supply a lovely level of sweetness, while the cereals and dried grassy notes give a slightly herbal bitterness that creates balance. The finish is relatively short but very pleasant and soft with the oak, dried fruit and spices prominent.
This Glen Grant 10 years old is a lovely and under-rated dram that only costs around £25 a bottle. On our recent visit to the Glen Grant distillery we were surprised by the quality of it for the price, liked it and bought a bottle! It would be a perfect whisky to use as an introduction to a whisky beginner as it is so soft, rounded and easy to drink.