Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Malt Mission 2007 #78

Grant'sGrant's Ale Cask Reserve
Blended Scotch Whisky
40% abv

One of the last remaining, self-sufficient, family-owned distilling/blending companies in the world of Scottish whisky, William Grant & Sons owns the Dufftown based Glenfiddich, Balvenie and Kininvie, as well as the grain distillery, Girvan, in the town of the same name.

David Stewart, the master blender of the whole William Grant & Sons range, is responsible for malts and blends that make up 10.5% of the market share and has been at it for over 40 years. The nose knows. Not afraid of getting on the the e-thing, the label's brand ambassadors, Ian Millar and Ludo Ducrocq, have been keeping a blog of their own.

In the 1890s, William Grant introduced his family's blend, Grant's Standfast, which today is known as Grant's Family Reserve. It is currently among the top 5 biggest selling blends in the world.

The blend has a clear Speyside theme, Balvenie and Kininvie take the leads and Glenfiddich finds its way in there, too. But that is only 40% of the malt content. The rest comes from all over the whisky map, including a few squirts of Laphroaig and Bowmore. It is thought that they also use different grain distilleries (than their own, Girvan) to make up the grain component.

With this special Ale Cask Reserve, the blend is put into casks that held beer (see yesterday's post) for a further, albeit short, maturation. The result has been critically acclaimed and award winning. Let's taste it.


Huge mix of aromas. Dried fruits, tropical fruits, preserved fruits. Honey, ginger, toffee, ice cream truck butterscotch. Some soy and oyster sauces, too.

Creamy in the mouth. Bittersweet, rich maltiness, some smoke. Quick finish not unlike the beer yesterday, malty and creamy and then whoosh... gone.


Unusual nose, unique mouthfeel, but that is where the excitement ends. Weighty, physically, but sort of too well integrated? No off-notes, nothing to really complain about, it's just a bit... ______. And the nose really pointed to more action on the palate. The short and pretty uneventful finish makes a case for a good quaffing whisky, though.

Malt Mission #76
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