Bought – Wrights, The Lion Brewery, Farnham, 26th February 2014
One of the nice things about going into a local, independent off licence is, you never know what you might find. It’s like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates but very alcoholic and only for those 18 or over. I’d never been into Wrights of Farnham but I’d driven passed many times. Finally its time had come! Behind the counter, along the top shelf, they had the usual suspects – Glenfiddich, Glenlivet, Old Pulteney, etc., until my eyes stopped at a Glen Grant. I’d heard of the Major’s Reserve but I couldn’t remember what ratings it got and I’d missed Ralfy’s video review from January (shame on me!). But I knew that £19.49 was a good price, even when compared to online prices. I had to have it!
Having now watched Ralfy’s video, I’m still glad I bought this malt. Yes, I know it’s young (Ralfy says the oldest malt in it is 7yo maximum) and maybe it’s best mixed with something else but it’s Jim Murray’s bible remark about the taste that sells it to me. He gives the taste element a very high mark of 23/25 (effectively 92/100!) and says to forget the nose and the finish and enjoy the tasting part in the middle “such is the fresh beauty of the malt and stunning honeycomb threads which tie themselves around every taste bud”.
Interestingly, Jim complains that the finish is “caramel-rich” yet, as Ralfy points out, the light colour of the whisky suggests little use of caramel, certainly in terms of enhancing the colour. Jim says the caramel is there because nearly all the sherry butts at Glen Grant have been used up, so caramel is being added instead of that natural sherry sweetness we get from maturing in sherry casks.