In my experience, there are three sorts of drams.
Some drams you wait for ages to try, you hear the press, see other peoples praise, await with baited breath and then… Does it meet all that expectation? Other drams, you buy, drink and well… humm? Then slowly, over time, they work their way into your heart and you fall in love with them. Lastly, there are the unexpected drams, the ones you get given or know nothing about.
This Glen Grant 12 Year Old falls very much in to the latter. Until we were sent this dram, we had heard very little about the distillery, let alone the malt. However, after a little digging in our memory banks, we realised that we had sampled the 10 Year Old in a previous tweet tasting, when it won an award.
Also from a little internet search we find that Glen Grant is the best selling whisky in Italy and that it has won lots of awards over the last few years. It is a Speyside Distillery, set in Rothes and that they use tall, slender stills and a double distilled technique to produce a smooth spirit.
Today, we review the recently released 12 Year Old.
Appearance: Very natural, light and strawy in colour.
Aroma: Vanilla, apple and sweet, biscuity cereal. On the nose, this dram feels airy, summery and light. There is something zesty and fresh about it.
Taste: The start of this dram is like the aroma, light, floral and sweet. This part of the dram pulls me back to the preparation for my wedding and the complex process that is choosing flowers. When you step into a florists and you are met by a warm, sweet. muggy floral pollen.
In the middle, there is a light, developing spice, which is somewhere in between the heat of cinnamon and the power of aniseed. There is a continuing sweetness, which balances the dram. This is all honey and cereal, that places me at the breakfast table with my daughter. Laughing, enjoying the morning and full of the potential of a new day.
In the last notes, these spices draw through the mouth, filling, mellowing and developing. There is also a rich, creamy toffee flavour, that mingles with this spiciness and rounds it out.
Mouthfeel: Spicy, but balanced, all that you would expect from a classic Spey Malt
Overall: People do not give lighter whiskies enough time. Too many conversations about whisky start with people dismissing whole swathes of the whisky world in one fell swoop. This is a dram to try, to give time and to enjoy. It is light, sweet and floral, yet there is also a power and a spice, which is warming and comforting.
RealDram Factor: 7.7
Source: Sample from Distillery
More Information: Glen Grant Distillery