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Glen Grant: Single Malt as it should be

By Whisky Live Staff 18-04-2017

Some people are just so much more intriguing and fun to be around than others. Why is that? It's almost as if you can sense a current of contradictions coursing through them. In a good way. A hard to pin down, burbling, pulsing energy that's very appealing, making it hard to resist.

Whisky can be like that too. Take Speyside's Glen Grant, for instance. Jim Murray, of the Whisky Bible fame, the internationally renowned whisky aficionado and highly respected arbiter of taste - he gets Glen Grant. It's why he rates the single malt range from the small town of Rothes so highly, awarding the 2017 title of Whisky of the Year to its 18 Year Old expression and scoring its siblings very highly.

Try any of the whiskies. Your first impression may be of effortless elegance, with a gentle, approachable smoothness. But don't be fooled. Accessible doesn't mean superficial. What follows is a fruity intensity, spicy, floral notes and then deeply satisfying traces of creamy, malt richness, toasted nuts, oak and vanilla that linger with a long and layered finish.

Dennis Malcolm, Glen Grant's eighth master distiller in 177 years, has finessed his skill with such deftness and delicacy that it only appears easy. His subtle touch belies the complexity he has conjured for each member of the Glen Grant single malt family. Take that ease and approachability for granted and you short-change yourself. Instead, you can savour and appreciate the graceful contours on the nose, the tongue and in the mouth as each of the single malts unfurls its unique suite of aromas, flavours and mouthfeel.

Speyside's only barley-to-bottle distiller, Glen Grant is situated near the cool, clear river waters of Rothes' Black Burn and has followed a provocative ingenuity from the very beginning. Defying the British crown with true Scottish independence, brothers James and John Grant were technically smugglers in the early days. But once they could legally open their own distillery in 1840, they turned from outlaws to entrepreneurs, introducing new thinking, new technology and new techniques to the art of single malt whisky. They and their successors beefed up the railway lines to improve access, were the first to use electricity in their distillery and most significantly, invented a tall potstill for a smoother, finer-grained single malt style, flavour and texture. It revolutionised whisky then and still sets Glen Grant apart.

You might also be interested to know that the 10 Year Old is the most awarded Glen Grant single malt and has won the Whisky Bible Single Malt of the Year title in its age category for five years, consecutively. Meanwhile, the 10 Year Old earned gold at the most recent International Wine & Spirit Competition, the prestigious event held annually in London.

From the delicate Major's Reserve (retailing for around R269,99) to the richer 10 Year Old (R429,99), the honeyed and spicy 12 Year Old (R499,99) and the rare and remarkably intense 18 Year Old (R1 599,99), there is an unmistakable pedigree of refinement. Single malt as it should be. Come taste a range of Glen Grant for yourself at Whisky Live from 4 - 6 May in Pretoria at Brooklyn Square and from 1 - 3 June in Durban. Tickets are available at

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