I had thought I had already reviewed this one (as well as the 10-year-old) but I double checked and I couldn't find them anywhere on Connosr. So either Pam and I are nuts (she thought she remembered that too) or our reviews are disappearing! I'm sure it's the first one.
Glen Grant was the first distillery in Rothes, established in 1840 by James and John Grant. In 1872, James' son (also James, but known as "The Major") took over and was apparently quite the character (as legend has it but who knows). Seagrams bought it in 1977, then Pernod Ricard in 2001, then Campari in 2006 (which makes sense as Glen Grant is huge in Italy).
The colour is a pale yellow (surprisingly light for an 18-year-old). Super-fruity on the nose with banana, papaya, strawberries-and-cream with a light maltiness running through. Lemon curd, vanilla bean and macadamia nut round things out. Subtle oak as well, with light spice. A drop of water adds a hint of wood smoke. Beautifully done, very elegant.
On the palate we get more papaya, more spice and more citrus. Vanilla forms the backbone with light milk chocolate and flaky croissant. Water adds an herbal element with arugula, mint and sage. Mouth-watering, delicious with just the right balance between tropical fruit, citrus and spice.
The long finish is mouth-drying with lemon pepper, walnut skins and toasted oak. Really stunning single malt in the purest Speyside style. Jim Murray is a huge fan, awarding it Single Malt of the Year (Multiple Casks) and for once I kind of agree with him.