This was the 90th Twitter tasting organised and run by Steve Rush of @TheWhiskyWire. Another well run event, where we sampled four different expressions from the Grant Family. All blends, all less than £20 a bottle… excellent value for money, “bang for your buck”! drams.
Here are my notes:
FAMILY RESERVE – 40% ~£18
“Grant’s Family Reserve is made with whiskies that have been matured in virgin oak, bourbon first fill & refill casks. Grant’s Family Reserve uses the much acclaimed Girvan grain whisky as its main base. Grant’s Whisky is still crafted in house by their own Master Blender, Coopers and Stillman”
Waxy/oily quality, apple, a touch of menthol too. Quite young & fresh. After time, it softens and you get “warm banana bread” Has good legs in the glass.
Soft, gentle and sweet. Banana, marmalade, mellow honey… some tempering dry oakiness from the barrel.
Bit of malt loaf (Soreen) on the finish, and some gentle warming cinnamon spice.
SHERRY CASK – 40% ~£19
“Matured in ex-bourbon & refill barrels, hogsheads & butts, then finished in sherry casks for 3 months. Both the Sherry & Ale Cask Finishes were launched in 2001, as the brands first cask finished variants.”
Quite spirity, similar waxy quality to the Family Reserve. Dates, prunes and stewed apples. Sweet and fairly rich on the nose, but maintains a ‘freshness’ like pressed apple juice.
Dark honey, caramel, red berry jammy notes. Oaky spicy notes, hints of raisins.
Not overly long, little touch of pepper & spice but not much.
ALE CASK – 40% ~£19
“Matured in ex-bourbon & refill barrels, hogsheads & butts, then finished in ale casks for 3 months. It’s the only Scotch to be finished in barrels that once held ale.”
Nice malty notes, candied lemon peel and cut turf (grassy & earthy at the same time). I like this… it does have a hoppy, beery element that’s different but nice!
Floral, dry & spicy at the same time. Bit of a tang there, maybe a thrice hopped ale? I like this, it’s quite savoury with vanilla oaky Bourbon barrel notes evident but deff got a beery influence!
Dare I say a hint of Guinness?! Maybe a combination of the ale and charred barrel? Its quite a good finish really, some tannins evident (someone said black tea)
SIGNATURE – 40% ~£20
“Grant’s Signature has been matured in ex-bourbon & refill barrels, hogsheads & butts, with no finish. Launched in 2014 Grant’s Signature is the most recent addition to the range.”
Minerals, river water, crisp green fruits. Not as complex as the Ale cask, but v.fresh. Someone said gooseberries… I think of gooseberry crumble as with time the dram softens and you get warm oaty notes and creamy sweet vanilla custard.
A coastal, salty quality. Vanilla, cloves and hazelnuts but with a tempering rich creaminess. Bit different!
Sweeter and softer, custard but with some black pepper, and still the salt! at the end.