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- Brand: SMWS 9.157 - Glen Grant
- ABV: 60.9%
First off, big thanks to @Wierdo for the sample! He reviewed this here on Connosr (connosr.com/glen-grant-smws-9-157-i-drambl…) and wasn't that impressed, to put it mildly, but I'm informed that he did warm to it as time went by. Always a little nervy when reviewing such a malt, in such circumstances, but here goes . . .
Review is from a 20 ml pour with half a teaspoon of water left for half an hour or so. I did try this neat but, frankly, it was just too tart and sour and desperately needed some water, at least for me.
Nose - Much better with water. Light and fresh but still tart and sour, with gooseberries, Granny Smith apples and under-ripe kiwi looming large along with a sprinkle of coconut flakes. Getting too close to the glass isn't advisable as the alcohol comes to dominate but there is also a little fudge, marzipan and a soft almond note. Despite the relatively sweeter notes it's got a dry, mineral edge to it that I quite like.
Taste - Creamier than expected on arrival with more almonds and some vanilla, then the tart fruits from the nose join the fray. Pickled lemons as it develops.
Finish - Imagine some Jasmine tea with a splash of rice wine vinegar and a slice of lemon and you're there. A little heat prickle right on the tail as well but not too off-putting. Dry.
Time and water definitely help this as, being completely honest, neat this was not at all enjoyable. It's had about an hour in the glass now and it's at its best by far. I have to concur with @Wierdo as the alcohol for a 22 year old is more prominent than you'd imagine, and I expect, want. Still, it's lively, different and it's always good to try something that isn't in your usual 'wheelhouse'. A good one to try for sure but I just don't see how anyone could easily find this delicious - it's hard work. My score is going to reflect this last sip but had I paid over £100 for this . . .