Glen Grant 1997 13 Year

Glen Grant 1997 13 Year
Signatory Cask Strength Collection
Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky

59.3% ABV
Glen Grant 1997 13 Yr Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky

What the Bottler Says

AGED: 13 years
DISTILLED ON: March 1997
BOTTLE ON: February 2010
MATURED IN: Hogshead
CASK NO: 38886
BOTTLE NO: of 291

Glen Grant Distillery, built in 1840 by brothers, John and James Grant, is located in the heart of Speyside. The distillery is now the world’s second-largest single malt whiskey brand.

COLOR: Light amber
NOSE: White grapes, a fresh apple tart and ripe pears
TASTE: Similar to the nose, with hints of vanilla, oak and white pepper.
FINISH: Medium, white pepper spice

What Gary Says

Nose:  Buttered yeast roll, honey, malty, pears, apricots, subtle earthiness with heather.
Palate:  Creamy mouthfeel but tart and sharp, canned pears with fruit salad and freshly cracked pepper.
Finish:  Moderately long and drying with pepper spice and pears.
Comments:  This has a sour/tart note to it that reminds me a bit of sour fruit gummy candies. It clouds up nicely with a bit of water, reflecting the non-chill filtration (although it doesn’t state that on the label from what I can tell). I’m not familiar with Glen Grant, but this doesn’t leave me with seeking out more specifically. Any one cask might be just that (a one off), but I think the folks at Signatory do a pretty good job so can’t help but think that this isn’t a fair representation of Glen Grant (albeit at higher proof).

Rating: Average/Stands Out

Green Spot 1991 26 Year Old Marsala Cask

Green Spot 1991 26 Year Old Marsala Cask
Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey
The Whisky Exchange Exclusive

55.7% ABV
$675 – $800
Green Spot 1991 26 Year Old Marsala Cask TWE Exclusive Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey

What the Producer Says

A very special bottling, selected by and exclusive to The Whisky Exchange: a single cask of 26-year-old Green Spot pot still whiskey, distilled at Midleton and filled into cask on 18 October 1991. It was initially matured in bourbon and sherry casks, before the spirit was reracked into a single Marsala butt for further maturation. The result brings together the fresh fruit flavours of bourbon-cask maturation with the richer dried fruit notes you get from sherry casks, and stirs them both together with fragrant Marsala and classic Irish pot-still fruit and spice.

Details from the bottle:
Triple Distilled Irish Whiskey
Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey
Single Cask
Matured in Bourbon Barrels, Sherry Butts and recasked to Marsala Butt

Cask Number: 50776
Date of Bonding: 10/18/1991
Matured in Warehouse: M14B Bay 20
576 Bottles

What Gary Says

Nose:  Rich and thick, dark fruit notes of raisins, apricots, dates, figs, clove, nutmeg, marsala wine, butterscotch, dark chocolate, caramel, toffee and a hint of anise.
Palate:  Rich mouthfeel, intense fruit notes, dates, black currants, figs, chocolate, marsala and sherry, graham cracker, nutmeg, bit of pepper and baking spices.
Finish:  Long and lingering with marsala notes and dried fruit.
Comments:  THE best Irish whiskey to pass these lips! In fact, one of the top 5 best whiskies I’ve tasted. To be sure, this is a pricey one. Big thanks to Richard for sharing a generous sample of his bottle (and sharing the bottle itself amongst friends). Water opens this up with even more fruit and tamps the chocolate notes a big, but it absolutely doesn’t need water in my opinion. The palate near the end leaves me thinking of S’mores. Just an amazingly intense and complex dram. If you don’t have to pay VAT, the price is £500 ($691 at current exchange, before shipping).  Now – you may ask, if I’m rating this a Must Buy, did I buy a bottle then? No, but not because it isn’t worth it. But even at $800, if you can get a group of enthusiasts together – that’s only $35 for a 30 mL pour (and I think anyone who handed over $35 for a 30 mL pour of this would think it was absolutely worth it, and might double-up – if there was any left!)

Rating: Must Buy

Baker’s Exclusive Selection

Baker’s Exclusive Selection
Unfiltered Single Barrel
Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Privately Selected; 11 years, 8 months

53.5% ABV
Baker's Exclusive Selection Unfiltered Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
We would like to thank Beam Suntory and Multiply for sending us a sample to review.

What the Distillery Says

This fall, Baker’s® Bourbon proudly introduces Baker’s® Exclusive Selection, a limited time offering of extra aged single barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey collected from some of Baker Beam’s favorite warehouses on the James B. Beam Distilling Co.’s campus in Clermont, KY. Aged for 11 years and 8 months, the extra time in the barrel along with the changing seasons allows for even more distinct notes and layers of flavor to emerge from each individual barrel of Baker’s Exclusive Selection.

Baker’s Bourbon was created in 1992 by Sixth Generation Beam Master Distiller Booker Noe as part of the original Small Batch Bourbon Collection. Baker’s Bourbon is named after Baker Beam – grand-nephew of Jim Beam and a tenured distiller who worked at the Jim Beam Distillery for 38 years. Baker’s Bourbon began a new era as an exclusively single barrel bourbon in 2019, becoming as uniquely positioned among the James B. Beam Distilling Co. portfolio as its namesake Baker Beam is in the Beam family.

While every bottle of Baker’s Bourbon offers a unique tasting journey, you can expect a few defining characteristics from the Baker’s Exclusive Selection bottles:
Proof: 107
Nose: Fruit, vanilla and caramel
Palate: Medium-bodied with flavors of oak, toasted nuts and vanilla
Finish: Robust flavors sit on the tongue for a while, warm and rounded

What Gary Says

Nose:  Caramel crème candies, vanilla, oak, chocolate fudge, roasted peanuts, baking spices, nutmeg, clove, leather, hint of mint and cinnamon.
Palate:  Creamy mouthfeel, caramel, dark chocolate, hint of mint, peanut brittle, toffee, cloves and cinnamon.
Finish:  Moderately long, drying with oak, leather and trailing spices.
Comments:  I sampled this alongside an older Baker’s (before it changed to a single barrel recently), and found this to have a more nuanced nose. It had a bit less oomph of caramel and vanilla, trading that for more complexity, more spice notes, and a nicer mouthfeel. I liked this better over time. While I’d always rather see cask strength when given the option, if I had to pick a proof point where bourbon really shines for me – it would be 107. A really solid addition to the Baker’s lineup! .

Rating: Stands Out/Must Try

Dunville’s Three Crowns Vintage Blend Irish Whiskey

Dunville’s Three Crowns Vintage Blend Irish Whiskey
Sherry Finished

43.5% ABV
Dunvilles Three Crowns Irish Whiskey Sherry Finish

What the Distillery Says

Dunville’s Three Crowns Irish Whiskey is a premium vintage blend of superior aged whiskeys finished in three of the finest sherry casks.

Nose: Very gentle, floral, sweet and juicy. Orchard fruits intertwined with nutty caramel, nougat and powerful butterscotch overtones.
Palate: The initial sweetness from the malt gives way to light citrus fruits, orange, lemon, green apples, pepper and clove. The wood spice and lovely oak tannins firm up this whiskey before the oloroso sherry casks take the final curtain.
Finish: Orchard fruits and caramels give way as subtle notes of walnut, nougat, vanilla and dried fruits come through in the soft lingering finish.

What Gary Says

Nose:  Malt, heather, floral notes, sponge cake, shortbread biscuits, apples and butterscotch.
Palate:  Thick mouthfeel that is rich and creamy, sherry sweetness, raw honey, fruity with apples and oranges, clove, nutmeg and a hint of cinnamon.
Finish:  Moderately long and damp with sherried fruit notes.
Comments:  Wow – from the nose I wouldn’t guess that this has a lot of age on it (get a bit of a grain note that has me guessing there is some fairly young malt in the blend), but this has a lovely, thick and chewy mouthfeel that for me overcomes that. I’d never had anything from Dunville’s before, but do like sherry finishes so for $35 thought ‘What the hell’. Glad I did – this is delicious! For the price, I can’t imagine any fan of Irish being disappointed – and would encourage them to give this a try. It reminds me a bit of Slane in that it isn’t an incredibly complex dram, but is a really great drinker (although this has a better mouthfeel, and is definitely worth the small lift in price from my perspective).

Rating: Must Try

Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye 2021

Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye 2021
Canadian Rye Whisky

63-67.0% ABV (sample reviewed @ 63.7%)
Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye 2021
We would like to thank Alberta Distillers and Multiply for sending us a sample to review.

What the Distillery Says

Alberta Distillers, Distillery of the Decade as named by the 2020 Canadian Whisky Awards, proudly announces its 2021 release of Alberta® Premium Cask Strength Rye Whisky into the U.S. market. Hitting shelves this month as a limited time offering, this premium whisky showcases Alberta Distillers’ expertise and skill in crafting true 100% rye whisky, which is a notoriously difficult grain to work with.

Made in Calgary, Alberta, Alberta® Premium Cask Strength Rye is crafted from 100% Canadian prairie rye grains grown by local farmers and nutrient-dense, glacier-fed spring water from the famed Rocky Mountains. The result is a perfectly balanced liquid that reflects the brand’s unique natural surroundings, Canadian heritage, and expert whisky craftsmanship.

“Following the success of Alberta® Premium Cask Strength Rye’s debut in the U.S. last year, we are thrilled to offer stateside whisky drinkers the limited 2021 release of our award-winning whisky,” said George Teichroeb, General Manager of Alberta Distillers. “When Alberta Premium debuted in 1958, we were one of the first distilleries to create a true 100% rye whisky, and this cask strength rye is the culmination of our hard work and dedication to crafting exceptional rye whisky.”

Highly revered by whisky enthusiasts, the 2020 release of Alberta® Premium Cask Strength Rye received numerous prestigious awards including Double Gold at the 2020 and 2021 San Francisco World Spirits Competitions, Double Gold at the 2021 SIP Awards, Best All Rye Whisky at the 2021 Canadian Whisky Awards and 1st Place Best Canadian Whisky at the 2021 International Whisky Competition. This special whisky is best enjoyed neat with a drop of water or on the rocks, and features the following characteristics:

Alberta® Premium Cask Strength Rye:
Proof: 63-67%
Taste: Exceptionally smooth with notes of caramel, vanilla and a hint of chocolate balanced with the spiciness of rye and black currant
Finish: Smooth and lingering with the complexity of spice, warm vanilla, and dark fruit
Packaged in an eye-catching, faceted glass bottle, Alberta® Premium Cask Strength Rye will be available in limited quantities in select U.S. markets beginning in October 2021 for an SRP of $74.99 for a 750ml bottle. With demand and popularity gaining for the distillery’s premium spirits in the U.S, whisky fans can rest assured there’s more to come from Alberta® Premium in 2022.

What Gary Says

Nose:  Vanilla buttercream frosting, soft oak, cedar, mint, nutmeg, hints of maple and cherries.
Palate:  Caramel and vanilla, milk chocolate, black currants, cinnamon, nutmeg, subtle mint, cracked pepper with a bit of clove.
Finish:  Moderate in length with cedar, mint and lingering baking spices.
Comments:  Another really lovely offering from the folks in Alberta! I tried this side-by-side against a bottle of the original 2020 release, and they were incredibly similar – which is great news for me as I really liked that one!  It also benefits from some time in the glass to let the alcohol vapors dissipate, and thickens up nicely with some water. A few dollars more (which given this environment is more than reasonable) but well priced and more than fair in my opinion. If they maintain the same profile, this would be an annual pick-up for me. Too few cask strength 100% rye whiskies out there. Plus – this lovely bottle has a lovely screwcap closure which I’d rather have on ALL of my bottles!

Rating: Must Try/Must Buy