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Grand Old Parr 12 Year Old

12 Minis! - Part IX

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@talexanderReview by @talexander

20th Oct 2014


Grand Old Parr 12 Year Old
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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  • Brand: Grand Old Parr
  • ABV: 43%

The Greenlees Brothers were two famous blenders who, in 1871, launched Grand Old Parr. But who, you may ask, is Parr? Well, they just stole the same from this guy named Thomas Parr (1483-1635). Those dates aren't typos. He is said to have lived for 152 years. If you don't believe me, check out his tomb in Westminster Abbey.

I would like to think that it was whisky that kept him alive for so long, but alas that is probably not so. Besides having this venerable blend named after him, he really doesn't have anything else to do with the water of life.

This mini is the standard 12 year old (I love the dark brown, dumpy bottle); the back label indicates it was exported to Guam! Which makes a bit of sense as the brand is really only available in Mexico, Central and South America and Japan. I believe other bottles may be at 40% ABV (this one is 43 and I don't know when it was bottled).

The colour is a deep gold. On the nose we get a huge amount of fruit and malt. Juicy and scrumptious! Oranges, raisins, dates - nicely sherried. Very reminiscent of fruitcake. Some green banana in there too. Yet another old-school blend that harkens back to days of yore. Go easy on water, if at all: it tames everything down.

On the palate, there's some caramel and vanilla, along with more spices such as nutmeg and chili (it's surprisingly hot). Retains the notes on the nose, but in the mouth they are even bigger. Extraordinary. Water makes things a little peatier, which is great (too bad it doesn't help the nose).

The finish brings forth some peat, citrus and pepper. What a fascinating whisky! I love this. It shares some qualities with those older bottlings of its Diageo stablemate Johnnie Walker Black (the malt anchoring Old Parr comes from Cragganmore). It's beautifully done. If you can find a bottle (good luck with that), grab it!


Pudge72 commented

This whisky will always have a deep meaning to me. A friend of mine gave me a bottle (the 40% version) for Christmas about three years ago (alas, the bottle is on its last 3-4 pours). I believe he sourced it through a friend of his in Texas (Dallas, iirc). In July 2013 it was available, in one litre, 40% abv,format, in the Duty Free shop in San Francisco, flying to Toronto.

The 40% version is thinner. I often picked up a "Raisin Bran" or raisin bread (cereal flakes, sugar, raisins, butter) notes, but not the full set of sherry notes that you observed, @talexander. Thanks for a great write-up!

9 years ago 0

talexander commented

Thanks @Pudge72! Good call on the Raisin Bran note - that was definitely part of the profile.

9 years ago 0

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