Monday, March 30, 2009
Blended Scotch Whisky
WhiskyLIVE NYC is tonight (Monday March 30, 2009) at Pier Sixty, Chelsea Piers (23rd at the Hudson River). See you there?
Another blend from the Grant family and the industry's longest serving and most highly awarded Master Blender, David Stewart. Most recently he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from Whisky Magazine's Icons of Whisky 2009 for his 46 years with family distillers William Grant and Sons, where he was responsible for leading the team that won three consecutive Distiller of the Year awards for his work with Glenfiddich, The Balvenie, and Grant's blended whiskies.
An apprentice at the distillery for twelve (12!) years, David has always taken his responsibility very seriously, but that has never hindered his creativity. Always the innovator, David is a pioneer being the first to mature a whisky in two successive woods (essentially commericalising 'finishing') with The Balvenie Classic and its contemporary version, The Balevnie 12yo DoubleWood, using the Solera vatting system for Glenfiddich 15yo, and for using rum casks to mature single malt (Glenfiddich 21yo and The Balvenie 17yo Rum Cask). Now, Brian Kinsman(see pic, the guy on the left), David's apprenctice of nearly a decade, prepares to take the reigns, but there are no signs that David is in a rush to go anywhere and will certainly have his modest and talented hands at work with William Grant & Sons for many years to come.
The Grant's website says that this bottling is finished in "virgin bourbon casks" which is confusing because a virgin cask would imply that it was "new wood" and a bourbon cask would imply that it already held bourbon. So, what's going on? Whatever the story, this whisky won a World Whisky Award for Best Blended Whisky (12yo and under) last year and is part of the line that has undergone a slick repack/redesign without losing any of the trademark design features (crest label, "Stand Fast", or bottle shape)
Challenging to get pricing in pounds sterling or US dollars because this puppy is not sold in either market. Yet.
For all Grant's had on the mission and for more blend history, click HERE.
Grainy and sweet, big vanilla, almond butter, and stewed carrots. Pistachio nuts, salt, and honey mix in an unresolved union.
Wow, quite smoky and nutty off the top. Sherry sweetness makes a brief appearance with some plums and raisins and then oak and smoke round off the experience. Great movement. Long and smoky finish.
A whisky for drinking rather than nosing. And boy, did I not expect the smoke on the palate. But I was quite pleased by it and need to try this on the rocks. Tonight maybe? Okay.
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