SMWS 9.68 and 9.79 - two Glen Grants at 22 YO
I recently visited the SMWS venue in Queens Street, Edinburgh. Angus there recommended we try a couple of Glen Grants (distillery number 9), and so we did. Here is what I thought of these two whiskies.
SMWS 9.79 Quiet Time Dram, 22 YO, 57,7 %
The first Glen Grant of the evening is the SMWS 9.79 Quiet Time Dram. It has been aged for 22 years, in a refill hogshead, ex-bourbon. It was distilled 1991-04-18, and the outturn was a total of 238 bottles.
Here is the SMWS 'tasting note':
A light melody drifted by, as calm waves of violin bow resin and church pews reached noses. Scents of sesame snaps and toffee apples increased a sense of calm. On the tongue, a bitter sweet sensation as vanilla pod and cinnamon spice combined with ginger and rye.
Nose (23/25): Delightful vanilla, biscuits, green apples, mint and the memory of a flower garden (not perfume). I love the bourbon barrel influence on the nose here. It is refined and tempered. The name 'Quiet Time Dram' is very fitting for the nose on this whisky.
Taste (22/25): Honey! Full and rich sweetness. Mildly tingling. Warm and soft licorice, caramel and white pepper - other spices as well; cinnamon and a drop of ginger.
Finish (21/25): Warm and long, a bit more narrow than the initial taste. Honey replaced by more caramel.
Balance (22/25): Low key and peaceful.
SMWS 9.68 Plentiful fruit - super-charged sweetness, 22 YO, 53,8 %
Here is the presentation SMWS themselves give of this whisky:
The nose has plentiful fruit (orange, mango, banana, peach, pineapple fritters) honey on toast, white pepper, leather gloves and suntan lotion - maple and pecan pastries with water. The super-sweet palate has orange fondants, toffee apples, yum-yums, tangy fruit and substantial spice.
Nose (23/25): Very much like the 9.79 actually. The main difference being that we find more apples and vanilla here. Slightly more spicy on the nose.
Taste (22/25): Again we see the close relationship with it's relative 9.79, but this is more like the noisy and boisterous little brother. There's more spice on the attack here, more flavor in general. Where the 9.79 was quiet and laid back, this guy wants attention, and he wants it now.
Finish (22/25): A nice finish, a bit shorter than the previous one maybe, but more rich and spicy.
Balance (22/25): There's more going on here, which has both pros and cons. I am not sure it would have worked as well if we had reversed the order of the tasting. Both are fine drams though, and have opened my eyes to Glen Grant. I need to explore more of the whisky from that distillery!
Sláinte! - Thomas