Batch Strength of Fresh Fruit
Did you get to experience a dram of Glen Grant 16? It is no longer available (insert weeping sounds here) and I’m still not over it. I shared the last of my bottle with my friend, Kristin, a self-proclaimed bourbon girl who doesn’t like scotch. She liked it. But the 16 is gone. Enter stage right – Glen Grant 15 Year Batch Strength.
During a visit at Oak Point Market in Central, LA (always worth the trip for their great selection and customer-centric service) I bought a bottle of the Glen Grant 15 Batch Strength. Not Cask Strength, but Batch Strength. With a 50% ABV its strength is the culmination of the entire batch run, not the exact ABV of a single cask. This offering is only in travel retail and the US market.
Distillery: Glen Grant
Expression: 15 Year Batch Strength; 1st Edition
Age: 15 years
Date Distilled: 2002
Date Bottled: 2017
Cask: 1st Fill Ex-Bourbon
Sampling it neat….
Color: Light Straw Yellow
Nose: Fresh strawberries and a buttery, vanilla pound cake, but not super sweet
Palate: First sip is sweet fresh fruit, then rolls into a spicy cinnamon toast and honey toffee
Finish: Dry finish, low heat, spice lingers a bit
From the first whiff to the last sniff I get the aroma of fresh strawberries. It’s as if someone cut up flat of Ponchatoula, Louisiana strawberries and poured them over a fresh-baked pound cake.
The initial palate is sweet with a fresh fruit taste of apple or pear. Then spice comes along like the burnt bits of sugar in cinnamon toast (bread, butter, cinnamon and a piles of sugar – not the cereal).
Glen Grant has eight very tall stills which produce a lighter spirit. That is evident for every Glen Grant I’ve had – including my beloved 16. It’s a lovely, light Speyside but by not means thin or weak.
The finish is a slightly dry with lingering spice. At 50% ABV, it has relatively no alcohol heat.
With a little water… Brought out more sweetness on the nose – like a fruit-topped crème brûlée. More honey flavor on the palate. Thinner finish with less spice and dryness. Still a delectable dram.
While I would love for the Glen Grant 15 Year Batch Strength to be a direct replacement for the 16, it is not. And it wasn’t created as such. On its own, it’s a really good bottle of whisky – as it was meant to be.
Far too often our favorites are discontinued. After all, there is only so much whisky in a particular cask or production. A new expression deserves a fair shake. We should allow each offering to stand on its own and not in the shadow of our favored memory.
This bottle cost me about $60 and it’s worth every drop. Against other 15 year selections, most with lower ABV, it’s a downright bargain. If you are looking for an everyday dram with a lightly sweet flavor and higher ABV, this would be a great choice. We will definitely keep Glen Grant 15 Year Batch Strength on our bar.
Have you had this dram? What do you think about it? Let me know in the comments below!
By the Way…
I love garage sales and thrift stores. Don’t put it past me to stop and grab someone else’s trash to become my treasure. This handsome Scotsman figurine came from a yard sale a few streets over from our home and I thought he would make a great addition to the bar.