Sunday, June 7, 2015

Review: Glen Grant 16 year old Single Malt Scotch

"Glen Grant" is not exactly a household name in the abode of most Scotch drinkers, and that is precisely why I invited it into mine.  This stray cat needed a home and I had plenty of love and affection for it, second only to the near-retirement age librarian a little way down my leafy street with five Persians peering out her picture window and batting at suspended amethyst crystals, slightly out of reach.

So, one chilly evening, I stoked up the hearth, leaned back in my beat-up corduroy recliner, enjoyed the warmth and snap, crackle, pop of the straw yellow flames licking the split logs, tuned my radio to an NPR profile of  Ralph Nader, pulled an ancient (circa early 1970's) black and orange macrame blanket over me, glanced at a stack of unread New Internationalist and Mother Jones mags, but decided against them, and instead simply shared a pensive moment or two with kitty while lazily gazing into the blossoming fire.



Nose (undiluted)
Apple blossoms, faint lemons, orange rind, country garden air.

Palate (undiluted)
Sweet light apple, pears, and then some intensity of orange rinds, plums and figs.

Finish (undiluted)
I am tasting some good dry wood, oak, malt notes and a little sherry.  Slight smoked kippers.

General Impressions
This tabby purrs like a little tug boat out in the bay.  No bite or sharp claws out, but he is a little playful.  Very well behaved, but not above attacking a ball of yarn.  The 43% ABV delivers good intensity and tapestry of flavors.  Did I mention it is very easy drinking?  Add a little water (eg. 1/4 teaspoon to double) and the dram delivers notes of English cream and milk chocolate.

I had some friends over and they all wanted to pet kitty too.

A good one for people who are new to this breed of animal.


Jason Debly

P.S.  Here is my video review of this whisky:


  1. Mate from work gave me a sample of this last week.
    Yes, very easy drinking this one. Enjoyable.... caught a couple of those... Not sure on the orange though. I'd certainly have it again.... But I still find myself comparing it to the Cragg 12 and Dal 15 .... I would buy those before the GlenGrant. Love the review mate.

    AL (from OZ)

    1. My bottle was just opened this week, but it was actually purchased three years ago. After I read your comment, I checked some online reviews of Glen Grant 16 and it is described as lighter than mine, more of a Cragganmore, while mine definitely has a sherry presence. Mine is really similar to Glenlivet 18.

      Anyhow, it is a nice dram well worth enjoying!

      Thanks for commenting.

    2. Jason, Good to see your review. I too like this bottling. I also think Glen Grant makes one of the nicest distillates that the general single malt and Scotch-drinking public has never given its due appreciation. So little of it hits the shelf under its own name. It's a huge place Their spirit shows up in blends everywhere and in malt blends as an ideal "get-along" kinda component, very clean and very corrective to a bottler having abberant or unusual blending adjuncts to "fix". Cheers. JK

    3. Hi! JK,

      I never knew it was such a big player in the blended Scotch arena. Good to hear from you!

  2. Found my taste for Glen Grant while stationed in Italy. Great daily taste. Hard to find in the States, but well worth it when you do.

    1. Yes, I understand that it is extremely popular in Italy where it is distributed well. No doubt due to the fact that an Italian company owns the distillery. It would certainly function well as a daily dram so long as the price is not too high.

  3. Good review. I like to try distilleries that aren't hogging LCBO shelves, and Glen Grant is one on my list. Luckily we have a Gordon/MacPhail Glent Grant 2003 available in Vintages. Very nice 11 year old, and makes me curious to try more. I'd love to see more distilleries represented in, like Glen Morey, Glencadam and Speyburn. Better that than yet another "specialty" bottling of Ardbeg for the LCBO to overcharge for collector fever.

    1. Hi! If you like to explore the more obscure distilleries that are putting out great product, do seek out the independent bottlers like Berry Bros. & Rudd, Hart Bros., and certainly Gordon & MacPhail.

      I agree that I am pretty much gonna scream if Ardbeg or Highland Park come out with another over priced, over hyped malt. That sort of marketing gets very tiresome.

      P.S. Mortlach 15 from Gordon & MacPhail is available and is a delight. Available at LCBO.

  4. The Mortlach (rare 500ml) $110 ... The G & M Mortlach15 is $120 ... Geee.... It would want to be pretty special at that price... Down here anyway.... I'd probably go to the Aberlour a'bu for the same price ... Just my two bobs worth...


  5. Glen Grant always a solid choice. It's not fashionable like Islay or the more glamorous distilleries, but its consistent and very good value. Really nice distillery to visit and they have lovely gardens and a forest walk.

  6. Great notes! Had this and enjoyed it at a big vertical tasting last week, where a brand rep noted it's being discontinued...a colleague just reviewed the new 12-year-old release, which together with the 18-year-old, is replacing the old 10 and 16 in North America:

    1. Yeah, the 16 suffered from really poor sales in North America so being discontinued was kinda inevitable.

      Thanks for commenting!