GlenGrant Five Decades
Situated along the banks of the River Spey, the Glen Grant Distillery was founded in 1840 by John and James Grant, who had previously been employed at the Aberlour Distillery. Glen Grant’s unique location — it enjoyed access to fresh water from the river, a steady supply of barley from the surrounding farmland and access to transportation from the nearby port of Garmouth — allowed it proposer quickly. By 1872, however, both John and James Grant had passed away, and James Grant Jr. — James’ son and John’s nephew — inherited the distillery. The younger Grant, known simply as “the Major,” quickly proved himself a worthy successor.
The Major was a legendary inventor, womanizer and traveler — he was the first person in the Scottish Highlands to own a car and his distillery was the first in Scotland to enjoy electricity. In addition, the Major designed and equipped Glen Grant Distillery with the tall, slender stills and purifiers that allowed Glen Grant to produce whisky that was noticeably lighter and more delicate as compared to its Scottish brethren.
Glen Grant Single Malt Scotch Whisky is made from crisp, Scottish barley, much of it still harvested from the same Morayshire fields that John and James Grant used nearly two centuries ago.
Once the barley has been malted and mashed, it is fermented in washbacks made of Oregon Pine. While wooden washbacks are more expensive and difficult to maintain as compared to stainless steel washbacks, they absorb a portion of the heat generated during the fermentation process and thus, create a lighter and more rich whisky. Following fermentation, the wash is twice distilled, first through Glen Grant’s copper-pot wash still and then again through its spirit still. Each still is equipped with a purifier, which acts as small condenser and causes a portion of the evaporating vapors to be pumped back into the pot and then re-distilled. This purification process — Glen Grant in the only distillery in Scotland to use purifiers in both distillations — results in whisky that has a signature fresh and malty flavor.
Glen Grant Five Decades pays tribute to Glen Grant’s Master Distiller, Dennis Malcolm, who was born on the distillery’s grounds in 1946. At the age of 15, Malcolm began working at the distillery as a cooper, and was promoted to Master Distiller in 2006. Glen Grant Five Decades is made by vatting together Malcolm’s favorite casks of whisky from the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s (each cask was laid to rest after Malcolm started at the distillery in 1961).
By marrying together these slowly aged casks, Malcolm crafted a whisky with unusual depth and complexity. The whisky has a light, golden barley color along with an aroma of vanilla, cream and sherry. The aroma gives way to notes of caramelized oranges, coffee, citrus, and honey that are well-balanced by touches of mellow spices and raisins. The finish is layered and complex, with notes of fruit lingering throughout.
“The Glen Grant Five Decades combines all my 50 years of experience at Glen Grant,” says Malcolm, “using casks that I have hand-picked over this time, so it is something I am very proud of and hope Scotch whisky lovers will enjoy, too.” Only a handful of bottles of Glen Grant Five Decades Single Malt Scotch Whisky will ever be made. Pick up a bottle today!