Most likely this is a real single malt (there are doubts about vatted malt), but the mystical "Mc Tay's Distillery" from Fort William
https://maps.app.goo.gl/7qefuvpxkqZW4iVEA?g_st=ic completely opaque indicates the neighborhood with Ben Nevis, whose taste profile is openly written by the German LDB on the WB. But scotchwhisky.com says that the office belongs to the Edrington group, most likely went away in 1999 as a package when they 70/30 split with Fiddick Highland Distillers, who had, in one form or another, in his pocket (as they appeared) :
Glenrothes (since 1887),
Highland Park (since 1937)
Macallan (since 1996).
Glenglassaugh, I think, can be immediately crossed out, since it stood from 1986, until the Russian loot was washed on it, but in 2008 the plant was nevertheless resurrected. Glenturret came to them too late, only in 1990 and after 19 years was sold. Macallan, although it was not sold, but despite the fact that it is now the main draft horse of the Edringtons, it began to slowly move away only from 1996.
And in general, from this entire list, only the most original Highland Park with Bunnahabhain and Glengoyne with Tamdhu allegedly fit the time frame, well, maybe even Glenrothes, if the theoretical assumption is correct that Mc Tay's Distillery migrated from the pocket of Highland Distillers to the Edrington group, although this is not a fact. Tamdhu or Glengoyne as a single malt, I think you can immediately cross it out, well, it’s not that character at all, although it may be in vain, because the “exclusively sherry” policy was introduced to Tamdhu only in the 1990s, while Highland Park and Bunnahabhaain (by the way, similar profiles). But these are very vague assumptions, but why not dream up.
We should not forget the fact that in those distant times, the exchange of barrels was a common practice for blenders, so I fully admit the option that Highland distillers had Ben Nevis barrels lying around and they singled out the Glen Graeme brand for it, because, well, what to do with these barrels when they are not the most needed in mixes of their most basic blends.
By the way, we still need to delve into the etymology of the origin of Glen Graeme. Where can this valley be located in Scotland and who is f*ckin Graham: https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/Graeme And also compare the cube image with distillery options and figure out what the two icons to the left of the inscriptions mean.
There is another information that whiskey from miniature Glen Graeme 10 yo Unblended Pot-Still Malt Scotch Whiskey was distilled (that is, the distillery belonged to them) and bottled by Row & Company (Distillers) Ltd., and then imported into the USA by Greig, Lawrence & Hoyt, Limited of New York (they also imported the Glenfyne Distillery single molt to America), circa 1930s-1940s, after Prohibition: https://whisky.auction/auctions/lot/93537/glen-graeme -10-year-old-unblended-pot-still-malt
It’s even more difficult to dig here, because there is very little information on shuffling companies, brands and factories, but still I’ll try to at least throw in thoughts, maybe there will be a clue somewhere, although it’s far from a fact that the Glen Graeme miniature in the 1930s and mine the 1970s Glen Graeme bottle is the same Glen Graeme. Especially the new Glen Graeme of the 2020s. So, Row & Company Ltd., which is listed as “distilled and bottled” on the miniature, was founded in London in 1934 as a subsidiary of Robertson & Co. (later Robertson & Baxter Ltd.): https://scotchwhisky.com/whiskypedia/3193/row-company, and this is their family in the last century decided to build Bunnahabhain on Islay in partnership with William Ford & Sons and McMurchy & Ralston, when the Islay Distilling Co. was founded under this business. Ltd. and after the latter merged with Glenrothes in 1887, it turned out the original Highland Distillers (William Robertson was the first chairman), which will buy Highland Park (the main asset before Macallan) only in 1937. Or rather, his sons will do this, having founded in 1934 that Robertson & Co itself, which spawned a subsidiary of Row & Co (originally as an agent of North British distillery) and now it has already bottled a Glen Graeme 10 yo miniature in 1930-40 for the American market: http://www.whiskyparadise.com/ looking_category.asp?Marca=Glen%20Graeme&DescrizioneCategoria=Whisky%20-%20Vatted&Startpage=Looking
From all this intricacies, we revolve, as it were, around Bunna (the historical roots of the company) and Nevis (the address of the company is strikingly close to the distillery).
In any case, if you believe the Italian excise tax, then we have 12-year-old malt spirits from barrels of the 1960s and 1970s, which is already cool in itself, considering that there are no grains at all. I might have chosen something as a single molt if they had not changed the equipment and profiles beyond recognition, especially considering the time jumps, which makes the job completely ungrateful.
In terms of body, it reminds me more of Nevis with the waxiness of Highland Park.
A very chic nose and completely inconsistent, even a little disappointing, with a sip, but even despite the minimum strength, a very solid and knocked down malt. Bourbon sweetness of fruity vanilla against a light phenolic carbon. Quite fatty and quite chewy, despite its good drinkability. The damp earth and the tropical juiciness of the lychee with its prickly skin. The waxiness of church wax and the ginger oatmeal texture of a cookie from the oven. Salt with pineapple and light pepper. Peppermint gum and licorice lollipops don't have a very long aftertaste.
Modern Glen Graeme is reduced to 48% vatted malt, which is based on bourbon Macallan with the addition of Aultmore and Glenlivet spirits: https://www.whiskybase.com/whiskies/whisky/171238/glen-graeme-19-year-old and despite being 19 years old, everyone was in barrels of the first filling, if the importer is not lying: https://www.astorwines.com/item/36925
That is, not at all what I guessed above, but who ever adhered to the exact recipe of alcohols, especially in such not very well-known batches, if at all it used to be a batch, and not pure malt from single distillery. Still, the inscription "unblended malt" was then written on many single malt bottles, even before the word "single" appeared on the labels, for example:
Laphroaig Unblended Islay Malt: www.whiskybase.com/whiskies/whisky/77692/laphroaig-10-year-old
Oban Unblended Highland Malt:
Glenfarclas All Malt Unblended: www.whiskybase.com/whiskies/whisky/140073/glenfarclas-all-malt-unblended
Aberlour Unblended All Malt: www.whiskybase.com/whiskies/whisky/41040/aberlour-08-year-old
Mortlach Unblended All Malt: www.whiskybase.com/whiskies/whisky/203525/mortlach-12-year-old
Auchentoshan Unblended All Malt
Glenlivet Undlended Pot Still: www.whiskybase.com/whiskies/whisky/44457/glenlivet-1961-ud
That is, it was sometimes designated as malt whiskey from one distillery before the “single malt scotch whiskey” standard was established, so that fraudsters would not confuse malt from one distillery with mixing malt spirits of whiskey from different ones, issuing “vatted malt” as “single malt”.
And also the painful archaic inscription “pot still malt” meant that malt whiskey was expelled precisely on classic alambicas, and not on continuous distillation columns or Lomond stills, which at that time somehow gained a lot of popularity, especially among those blenders of distillers who did not there was a variety of spirits (for example, the Canadian invaders Hiram Walker and Seagram) before Pernod Ricard bought them all.
Just as funny as “pot still malt” now sounds the old inscription on the labels “Oak cask”, when you read it you involuntarily exclaim, like “fuck, what else?” ... but then there were options, since until 1990 barrels were not they could certainly have been made of oak, for example, chestnut was quite common (up to 10-15%)