Tasting note by Serge Valentin
Glen Grant 59 yo 1952 (49.2%, Gordon & MacPhail for LMDW, Book of Kells, refill hogshead, cask #1134)Five stars That’s right, this baby is almost 60 years old. It fetched Gold at the MM Awards 2011 and I just saw that they still have it at whisky.fr. 750€ is a lot of money but remember a 70yo is worth £10,000 at G&M’s while other brands will try to sell you prepubescent whiskies for hundreds of quids… Oh, and isn’t the label beautiful? As for the bottle, remember you can always buy second-hand crystal decanters at flea markets for just a few bucks… Colour: gold. Nose: oh yes! Old whisky! What no artificial ageing process will ever achieve! (erm, hopefully). Starts with stunning notes of almond oil, teak oil (for the deck of your yacht) and many, many other oils plus camphor, eucalyptus syrup and cedar wood (cigar humidor). Goes on with many fruit jams and honeys, in the style of the 1972s but with more complexity. Polished jams, so to speak, and then tar liqueur and a beautiful spice mix (not space mix, G&M are no drug designers!) In short, a fantastic nose.
Mouth: sure there’s a little oak that’s striking first but what’s really amazing is how light those oaky notes are. After that, it’s a very wide, very complex combination of fruit jams, chutneys, spices, herbal teas and beeswax, without any cloying parts and, above all, still no overoakiness. Pipe tobacco. Finish: medium long, a tad more drying now, which is normal, with something floral. Orange blossom water? Quite some menthol in the aftertaste, it’s almost as if you had just sucked a few mint drops. Comments: quite miraculous. It’s got something of both the Mortlach and the Glenlivet 70yo by G&M. Frankly, the price is quite 'cheap' relatively (don't shoot, don't shoot!), especially since I believe there were less than the equivalent of 50 bottles remaining in the old cask… SGP:462 - 92 points.