Glen Grant

SMWS 9.88 A heart-starter

Glen Grant 25 Years Old 1988 9.88 A heart-starter (55.3%, SMWS, Refill Sherry Butt, 542 Bottles, 2014)

  • Single malt scotch whisky
  • 55.3% ABV, £99
  • Score: 87/100


What they say:

Cask No. 9.88

Little aroma beyond ‘dry’ to start with: very dried fruits, dried out leather, ash, soot, but soon opens to present fruitcake mix, ‘over-steeped jasmine tea’, toasted Brazil nuts, warehouses, mushrooms. Nice texture; sweet overall but very tannic, even ascorbic; some burnt jam in the aftertaste and a bitter coffee dregs and dark chocolate in the finish. Surprisingly, water introduces a meaty note – fresh tuna – with buttered croissant, high strength cocoa powder, then treacle toffee, fig pigs and salted caramel. Not so tannic now, with dry liquorice, coffee, dark chocolate and burnt toast. Very unlike the familiar light-bodied proprietary bottling.

Drinking tip: In place of espresso

Date Distilled: 18 April 1988 Colour: Polished mahogany Age: 25 years Flavour : Spicy & dry Cask Type: Refill ex-sherry butt Whisky Region: Speyside Spey

Outturn: 542 bottles


What I say:

Another visit to the SMWS and this time the Queen Street branch in Edinburgh for a few sample drams with friends. I started the night with one of my usual random requests of something very sherried. It was cold outside and we had just enjoyed the hubbub of the Edinburgh Christmas Markets including a fine Jura hotdog! That is Jura the region in France, a fine saucisse de morteau sprinkled with aged Comté cheese on a baguette (apparently the premium après-ski hot dog), followed by a crêpe au chocolate. So something to warm my bones and tantalise the tonsils. As soon as this dram was poured I could tell I was going to enjoy it from the colour alone!


Dark liquid toffee amber


Raspberry balsamic vinegar, nutty walnut and brazil nuts, dark chocolate cocoa, boozy fruit or christmas cake, dunnage warehouse


Chocolate and coffee, Mocha, nutty brazil nut and pecan, fruit and nut chocolate bars, treacle,  raisin, sweaty leather saddle


Long, drying and tannic


 Yum! A stunning dram from Glen Grant (SMWS distillery #9) absolutely choc-full of lovely sherry influence and aged to perfection. The perfect dram for a cold winter night.

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