...and what a review! This is the stuff whisky dreams are made of, at least mine. I never scored any dram 98 points so far but after 5000+ different drams tasted I think it is time to break this tradition (and still I can do a 99 points score if an even better dram crosses my way after the next 5000+ tastings). What is absolutely astonishing about this Glen Grant is the fact that the taste is even better than the nose, usually the nose is excellent on very long-matured drams but the taste often fails to meet this high quality level. Enough said, as I like to enjoy the rest of my sample without intellectual exercises.
The colour is mahogany and of course I use a big spherical blender's glass to nose this old beauty. The first sniff right after serving is very impressive already with dozens of different interwoven aromas from all three the malt, the sherry and the wood. It takes quite a while until my olfactory cells adapt to this onrush of aromas and it takes even longer until they manage to separate the different impressions. For a detailed description please refer to the excellent reviews of Serge and Angus at whiskyfun.com because they own better senses than I do. Nonetheless, I enjoy this nose at least as much as they did (maybe even a little more) because it is not just extremely complex and flawless but perfectly balanced and full of interesting nuances too. Take your time with this nose as it improves greatly upon oxidation, my score started at 93 right after serving but then improved one point every 15 minutes until it finally reached its peak after around one hour of breathing and some drops of water. Remember, old drams demand patience!
Usually the taste of very old drams cannot match their nose but this one is different. This taste is even better! I cannot believe the initial signals from my taste buds so I have to take a quick second sip and it confirms an immense onrush of delicate flavours which is hard to match even by the best drams I had so far (and I had a lot of excellent drams over the last 25+years). This taste is multi-multi-multi layered and if you are able to chew this dram for at least three minutes it offers a myriad of impressions in an endless procession of flavours across your taste buds. Again, please refer to Serge and Angus for details as they stated all flavours already I am able to identify. But what strikes me most is the unbelievable harmony of the holy whisky trinity in this taste - malt, sherry and wood march hand in hand and without the slightest wrestling for dominance as if they fell in love to each other a long time ago and this love has constantly grown over the years married together. Wow, what a taste - I am flashed, to be honest.
The arrival of this dram is absolutely flabbergasting with an immense power and freshness that I never thought was possible after 67 years of maturation. It instantly coats all parts of my mouth with a creamy and warming texture and the best about this mouthfeel is: It is completely free of any distracting bitter or drying moments, this is a triple wow-surprise for a 67-years old dram. The finish is virtually endless and fades very slowly in different vanishing waves again without any distracting astringent or unpleasant bitter notes. Are there new impressions during the finish? Of course, but it is almost impossible to describe them as the taste was over-complex already. Some drops of water release a whole set of new impressions in the nose and turn the taste a little more punchy and smooth at the same time which seems to be a contradiction but actually it is what it is. Unfortunately, the different layers start to intermingle now as it happens so often on reduced levels of very complex old drams. A further reduction smooths both nose and taste and the layers are almost gone now - I prefer the neat dram to be honest (at its flabbergasting 59.4% abv after 67 years of maturation, I still cannot believe this...).