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Drink Review: Glen Grant The Major’s Reserve

A no-age-statement entry-level Glen Grant, focusing on their mission to make light and easy-drinking whisky. This is a very accessible, approachable malt ideal for beginners or as an aperitif.

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Glen Grant Review

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Glen Grant, as you likely all know, is one of the most well-known malt whisky distilleries. After all, they’ve been attaching their name on to readily available bottles of whisky since 1890! They’re another of those Speyside distilleries along the river Spey which have been going strong for quite some time, giving us light-bodied, soft, oily, floral whiskies. Glen Grant holds an interesting place in the whisky community, as they’ve started to move into the no-age statement sector with their recent releases. While this may upset some whisky purists out there, this is a fantastic way for Glen Grant to bring awareness to the whisky brand and make a strong statement. Glen Grant did something similar back in the 1960s by releasing Glen Grant Speyside Vatted Malt, a 10-year old blended malt.

Besides this interesting history, Glen Grant’s focus on recent no-age statement executions comes from their home, Grant’sherry. You know, the iconic fishing village for a fictitious detective in “Tales from the Darkside” on the HBO channel. You’ll hear the story if you head over there and ask the locals, but it involves fish, a waitress, and a murder. Anyways, Grant’s gets its name from a wealthy British businessman who built a distillery overlooking his fishing grounds which his workers could only access after a hard day’s thrashing of the waters. The major’s fishing grounds just so happened to also be a whisky hotspot, which is why Glen Grant produces light, oily, floral whiskies.

Major’s is Glen Grant’s entry-level whisky produced at their sister distillery, Glen Mhor, and is designed to be a light and easy-drinking single malt to introduce folks into the world of single malt whisky. This is a very story driven whisky, and, as such, has a beautiful bottle emblazoned with a wallpaper-like label depicting the fishing village of Grant’sherry. The bottle is a dark green you don’t usually see in whisky bottles, and the whisky itself is a vibrant, lively gold. 

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Nose

The nose on this whisky is delicate and light. There’s a lot of violets and wet peat moss out of the glass. With some time in the glass, the peat moss grows stronger. The violets continue to play but are soon sprinkled with pieces of hay, giving it a grassy, floral, and earthy essence. Glace cherries and toffee are in the background under the violets, and if you train your skills, you can pick up some oakiness as well. With a lot of time, the vanilla creeps in as well.

Palate

On first sip, you’ll detect a bit of a smoke to The Major’s Reserve. Nothing bold, but it’s definitely there. The peat smoke mixes with all the same flavors you detected off the nose and a bit of white pepper, with notes of sea salt and lemons. As you swallow, the tobacco and oak make an appearance and carry the smoke for a bit, but you’ll also find yourself tasting toffee and butterscotch. How the hell did toffee get in there!? Unless there’s a secret stash of honey roasted toffee hidden in the distillery, I’m at a loss. As you let it sit on the palate, the violets polish off the experience with a nice, light finish.

I mentioned above how this whisky is a purist’s dream. It’s light, floral, and grassy, and a little bit of a smoke bomb. Glen Grant is one of the most flavorful distilleries around, and you can easily sense that with this whisky. The experience is smooth and the flavors are subtle yet vibrant. However, for those not well-versed in whisky, this can feel like a sensory overload. If you’re into Chivas Original, then Glen Grant is for you.

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