Glen Grant. You know this place is Italian when you walk on site. They have a lovely garden center and a coffee/espresso center for all visitors to wait in. Actually, now that I think about it, most of the employees were Italian as well! Very beautiful distillery and I was quite impressed by the upkeep of the buildings. Although I must say, once you go inside, you do feel like you may be in a throwback 70’s movie. All the colors within the distillery were quite retro. Glen Grant is owned by an Italian company called Campari. www.camparigroup.com
When you check out their website you will see they also own Wild Turkey from the US. Other than that they have rums and liqueurs controlling their portfolio. Glen Grant Whisky is definitely not their top money maker, but it is very popular in Italy and is probably why they purchased it. The distillery was bought from Pernod Ricard and is now Campari’s only scotch whisky distillery.
They get their malted barley from Port Gordon malting’s, which is actually where I will be spending the day in another week learning about the malting process. The mash tun is all stainless steel and it is quite large in comparison to their capacity I felt. They currently produce around 4 million liters of new make spirit per year. They happen to use four hot waters during the mash process which lasts about 8 hours. There are ten washbacks and they are all Oregon pine. Liquid yeast is used for fermentation and it lasts about 48 hours. There are four spirit stills and four wash stills. The re-flux bulge in the middle of the wash still was quite unique and more of a square shape. The spirit stills looked like what you would see in Speyside and had a small, circular re-flux bulge. Apparently this bulge in the wash still is called the “German helmet”. So far this is the only one like it I have seen. There is only one warehouse on site and the rest are sleeping in a facility across the road.
Typically they age in either American bourbon barrels of Spanish sherry butts. They will re-use their casks up to three times and utilize the Speyside Cooperage. All filling of casks and bottling is done on site. As of today they are claiming to be the #1 selling single malt in Italy and #2 in France. Here are the drams that I tried…
Major’s Reserve- Non-Age Statement aged in only bourbon barrels
Holly’s Tasting Note..
Nose: Butterscotch, biscuit, sugar cookie.
Palate: Sharp oak, slight toffee brittle and citrus.
This bottle is only about 30USD. I would buy this as an easy drinking dram anytime! As a NAS, it is probably ranging from 5-8 year old barrels.
12 Year Glen Grant Single Malt – aged in sherry and bourbon barrels and only launched 4 months ago.
Holly’s Tasting Note..
Nose: Fresh fruits, roses, some flowers, dried raspberries.
Palate: Sweet on the palate! Creamy fruits and strudels.
Now, I didn’t really get anything similar on the nose as a few websites have shared. They got honey, apples and almonds. Oh well, I am sticking with my flowers and fruits!
Next up is Tomatin..