Tuesday 22 November 2016

Speyside Trip: Macallan & Glen Grant

Hello again everyone,

Back again today with some more of my adventure in Scotland (June 2016).

First thing I did today was go to a tour at Speyside Cooperage which was really interesting. You don't really get much for your £3.50 (15 min video then a viewing gallery into the Cooperage) but it was pretty mesmerising to see the coopers at work.

After that I just about had time for a tour at Glen Grant. 45 mins, £5 and you get to taste the Major's Reserve and the 10yo. Since I was driving I took some away in a sample bottle and tried later. Guide seemed a little nervous and might have been new.

Glen grant is an interesting distillery (most of them are!) because they got purifiers on the stills, similar to Ardbeg, although I think Glen Grant were the first distillery to use them. Anyway, these purifiers only allow the lightest vapours into the condenser, allowing for a lighter spirit.

Glen Grant 10 40% (2016 packaging)
Colour: Gold
Body: Light
Nose: Fragrant, fruity and perfumed. Melon and banana, heady women's perfume, orange blossom, orange peel, lemon.
Taste: Soft. Sweet and perfumed, flowers, orange blossom, orange peel, fragrant oak, lemon pith, some chocolate into the finish.
Finish: Medium length. Chocolate and oak.
Notes: Nice nose, lackluster finish.

Next up was Macallan, which I was expecting big things from. Horst Leuning suggested it as his distillery to visit as a connoisseur. 1 hour, 30 mins, £10 and 4 tasters (all pretty small but some rarer stuff too). Plus all four tasters I hadn't tried before. Very professional and

friendly guide who knew a lot about just about everything.

Macallan is huge, its really 3 distilleries on one estate. They are just finishing the 3rd distillery and its bigger than the other 2 combined, its going to be pretty impressive once its done. Did you know they also own a cooperage in Spain?

Anyway onto the whiskies. Macallan has 3 main ranges, the NAS 1824, and the age statement Sherry and Fine Oak. Sherry is just Sherry casks, Fine Oak is a combination oof Bourbon and Sherry.

Macallan 12 Fine Oak 40%
Colour: Gold
Body: Medium
Nose: Aromatic. Very malty and oily. Nutty, Sherry, honey, honeysuckle, little floral notes- Heather, milk chocolate.
Taste: Oily, nutty, very malty, Sherry and vanilla, lots of honey, more oily malt, Macademia nut.
Finish: Short/Medium length. Nutty and then oily and cloying.

Macallan Amber 40%
Colour: Light Amber
Body: Medium
Nose: Malty and oily, Sherry, wood spice, nutty, oily nuts, fresh barley, raisin, biscuit.
Taste: Very soft arrival, raisin, biscuit, malt, barley, spices building up, then some harsh oak and tannins, but recedes into the finish.
Finish: Short/Medium length. Oily malt and oaky spices.

Macallan 12 Sherry 40%
Colour: Amber
Body: Medium
Nose: Lovely. Heavy and fat. Sherry, nuts, oily, malt, earthiness, raisin, dark chocolate.
Taste: Soft, Sherry, nutty, oily, oily malt, barley, raisin, honey, dark chocolate, good quality coffee.
Finish: Medium length. Good quality dark chocolate and great coffee.
Notes: Great stuff. Can't believe this was discontinued in most markets, or maybe they just got super expensive?

Macallan 18 Fine Oak 43%
Colour: Dark Gold
Body: Medium/Full
Nose: Lovely, very perfumed, perfume, men's cologne, aromatic spice, cinnamon bark, honeysuckle, orange blossom, orange peel, orange juice.
Taste: Soft arrival, lots of honey, honeysuckle, floral, perfumed, manly cologne, musk, old oak, sandalwood, some tannins, Sherry, toffee, chocolate and dark coffee.
Finish: Medium/Long length. Toffee, honey and spiced oak.
Notes: I didn't know they did this. Thought the 21yo was the next step up from the 15 fine oak. A really grown up whisky, sophisticated. 

Reviews #161-#164

Score Average: 74.5
Best Score: 91
Worst Score: 44
0-49 Terrible
50-59 Bad
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
70-74 Good
75-79 Very Good
80-84 Excellent
85-89 Superb
90+ Magnificent

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