Booze Review

Whisky Review – Glen Grant Five Decades

Glen Grant Five Decades SIngle Malt

If you turn back the clock 50 years, you’ll land on 1963. In 1963, my parents weren’t yet married, and I wouldn’t be born for another 4 years. Now that I’ve told you about two things that didn’t happen in 1963, here is a list of 10 things that did happen:

  • January 8 – Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is exhibited in the United States for the first time, at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C..
  • March 4 – In Paris, six people are sentenced to death for conspiring to assassinate President Charles de Gaulle. De Gaulle pardons five, but the other conspirator, Jean Bastien-Thiry, is executed by firing squad several days later.
  • March 21 – The Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay closes; the last 27 prisoners are transferred elsewhere at the order of United States Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.
  • May 8 – Dr. No, the first James Bond film, is shown in U.S. theaters.
  • July 1 – ZIP codes are introduced by the United States Postal Service.
  • August 28 – Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers his I Have A Dream speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to an audience of at least 250,000 during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
  • September 5 – British prostitute Christine Keeler is arrested for perjury for her part in the Profumo Affair. On December 6 she is sentenced to 9 months in prison.
  • October 30 – Car manufacturing firm Lamborghini is founded in Italy.
  • November 22 – Assassination of John F. Kennedy: In Dallas, Texas, President of the United States John F. Kennedy is assassinated, Texas Governor John B. Connally is seriously wounded, and Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson becomes the 36th President.
  • December 26 – The Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “I Saw Her Standing There” are released in the United States, marking the beginning of Beatlemania on an international level.

!963 also marked Dennis Malcolm’s 2nd year as an employee at the Glen Grant distillery. Glen Grant Five Decades  is “the marriage of the most valuable Glen Grant casks from the past 5o years” and has been released to celebrate Dennis Malcolm’s 50+ years with the distillery. Here are a few words about this whisky from Dennis Malcolm himself, Glen Grant’s Master Distiller:

And now for the review…

  • Appearance: Pale golden color.
  • Aroma
    • Limpd: The nose took a little extra time to open up with hints of vanilla, banana and Murphy’s Oil Soap.
    • G-LO: The nose on this one is quite subtle. I’m getting vanilla, hazelnuts, honeysuckle, toasted coconut, and a touch of dried stone fruit (I’m thinking apricots or peaches).
  • Taste
    • Limpd: The texture was a little syrupy with more of a droplet than a sip formed out of the glass. The taste was quite peppery, followed by a good amount of sweetness (cane sugar and vanilla) and then nice finish with a hint of dried fruit accompanied by a long, warming heat.
    • G-LO: Two words come to mind when I take my first sip of this whisky: soft opening. It starts off very light and fruity with little to no alcohol burn. As you approach the middle, a light cinnamon heat kicks in with a good bit of vanilla and honey in the background to lend some balance. Becomes even spicier as you move towards the finish with that hazelnut nuttiness making an appearance. The finish is long lasting with a lingering vanilla, cinnamon, and honey aftertaste.
  • ABV: 46%

The Verdict

Limpd: The Five Decades certainly took its time to come into full flavor and I thought it was a little more reminiscent of the newer spirit than the older ones. Overall, this was a lovely dram with a nice balance between the spice and the sweetness. I found that it reminded me of Lyle’s Golden Syrup right out of the can with a lot of pepper (more black pepper than cinnamon) and just the right amount of alcohol heat. I was actually expecting a little more of burn given the 46% ABV but the blending actually masked the alcohol. Well done!

G-LO: This is my third experience with a Glen Grant Single Malt. The first was an 8 year old single cask bottling from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, and the second was a 27 year old single cask bottling from Duncan Taylor that The Coopered Tot was kind enough to let me sample. If I said three times is a charm, that would imply that I didn’t enjoy my first two experiences with the Glen Grant. That is definitely not the case! While the Glen Grant definitely leans towards the kinder and gentler end of the whisky flavor spectrum, that is not to say that their whiskies are dull. What I like most about this particular Glen Grant expression is how the light and fruity nose deceives you into thinking that the palate will be mellow and subdued. That is definitely not the case since this whisky starts off slow and then intensifies as you approach the finish. I definitely enjoyed it, but given that a 750ml bottle costs around $200, this stuff is well out of my price range. Three words: delicious but pricey.


Many thanks to Nick Rotundi of Exposure PR for sending us this very generous sample!

3 replies »

  1. Ah, another reference to the ubiquitous Lyle’s Golden Syrup. Must have been 14 or 15 references to it last night alone as I channel surfed the Xfinity lineup just in the mid 800s. Given its explosive popularity I’m surprised they’re waiting another 3 weeks before making it he theme of Dancing With The Stars.

    Oh, and Paper Machete would be an eminently more watchable and elegant flick than the non paper one in theaters now.

    Thanks to your recent forays into reintroducing me into the world of the brown goods, I’m intrigued by the Five Decades (though resigned to the reality that I may never savor a dram).

    Now, who wants to take a little trip through the last five decades?? Matteus Rose anyone?



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