I was recently approached by some of our local representation for Glen Grant. They wanted to send me a bottle of the new Batch Strength 15 year old. The implication is that I’d help share the word. I think you know me by now, I’ve never really warmed to the idea of collecting freebies. That’s not why I do this. But I had an idea. An idea that would allow the good folks who reached out to me (and do note, they were lovely) to get some honest feedback, and also allow a bunch of my mates to try a dram of a malt I know none (or few) had ever tried. And I think…I may continue this idea if more offers come in.
I accepted, with thanks, and shortly thereafter a package arrived with my name on it. First off: Love the branding. The colors pop. I know it’s not very traditional or austere, but it’s got a bit of…gumption.
So…I took the bottle into work a couple weeks back and poured a round of drams for my coworkers. Blind. I repeat, blind. All I asked was that they’d share a few thoughts as they drammed. No one had any info to work with, other than seeing the color in their glass. The rest was all sensory evaluation and rough scoring. We circled up and I began jotting down everyone’s ballpark scores and rough hollered-out tasting notes. I did the exact same thing a couple nights later with the Unkindness Collective guys, as the first dram in an evening of inebriated philosophizing (or something). I’ve bundled up all those collected notes and compiled an aggregate score based on these awesome and uber-cooperative ten individual folks’ input.
Before we get there, however, I just want to take a sec to offer up a thought for the folks at Glen Grant: Tweak this little promo package thingy you send out if you want to continue offering samples to those of us who speak about the whisky industry. The whole package seems a little…out of touch. I don’t understand the two ice cube trays that were included. Nor the logic behind sending out a bottle with Jim Murray’s endorsement stickered to the front label, in light of a rather inflammatory situation that has recently been brought to the public’s eye. Actually, not so recently, and that’s part of the problem. By nature, a bottling like this (especially with a name like “Batch Strength”) is obviously geared toward a slightly more discerning whisky drinker. Yet these two missteps make it suspect that you actually understand your target demographic. Speaking as a very passionate whisky lad: It’s hard to be passionate about a brand that obviously doesn’t hold the same that same passion. Or isn’t projecting it well, anyway. There. That’s my gripe. And that was a lot of passion.
But at the end of the day, we’re here to talk whisky, and Glen Grant in particular. I’m glad I got a try at this one. And if I’m being honest, I didn’t even know it had hit our market. My bad. It’s a decent whisky overall, but nothing that cuts an identifiable profile. I’ll probably have another dram or two, then pass the heel off to a mate. If any of my local friends care to have a go before that happens…drop me a message and I’ll pass off a sample. Whisky is meant to be shared, as the team at Glen Grant generously showed us. Thanks Team GG, on behalf of all who shared from this bottle, and will share from this bottle.
Anyway…here are the gang’s collected notes, shouted out answers, and a few of my own notes. This should give a fairly rounded profile that probably paints a more accurate picture than I could alone.
Nose: Ginger. Poached pear. Big ex-bourbon influence. Red berries and cream. Reminds of Auchentoshan Valinch, without the massive orange note. Lightly-toasted almond. Malty. Creamy. Fruity. Peppercorn. Honeyed white fruits. Banana? Fresh. Green apple. Reminds of Glenrothes. Palate: Creamy. Clean. Distillate-driven, as opposed to cask-driven. Doesn’t drink hot. Sweet. Young. Reminds of the Glenlivet Nadurra 16. Warm. Toasted wood. Cereal and grain. Finish: Short. Some others said long. Lime peel. Apple cider. Aggregate Score: 82/100