“Should’ve Grabbed the JWB”: Grant’s Family Reserve

As an all-important first admission, I am not a fan of blends. However, this is not to say I dislike all blends, but rather that I haven’t met a blend thus far that I have truly enjoyed. Admittedly, I haven’t tried any of the Compass Box blends, and I hear they are very good, so I am clearly missing out. I have also heard great things about Douglas Laing’s “Big Peat”.  This review is on a blend that I didn’t particularly like, which is done, in part, to show the reader that there are whiskies I don’t like. Recently, the evidence has been strongly against such a statement, and that is because, when spending what little of my good, hard-earned money that I can actually set aside for Scotch, I tend to research each purchase thoroughly, and usually end up with something B or higher. With the holiday season approaching, however, I am likely to get a gift bottle here and there, so in those cases, we may get something I don’t particularly enjoy. On to “Grant’s”.

I purchased a 20cl bottle of this whisky when heading off to a party about a year ago. I scribbled some notes throughout the evening, and found them this week. With my recollection of the event, I concur with my past self.

Nose: (undiluted) Alcohol. Maybe some cinnamon or nutmeg, but for the most part, malt, grain and alcohol. Dilution cuts the alcohol a bit, and the cinnamon and nutmeg come through some more, but not much. Really nothing here.

Palate: Just malt and alcohol, with sprinkles of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Those kind of christmas spices, but if you really want to taste those on a budget, buy your self some Aberlour 10.

Finish: Nothing but blech.

Grade: D

Well, this is a mixer if I’ve ever tasted one. Of course, that’s not to say it would make a particularly good mixed drink, but that pairing it with something else would make it more tolerable. In this price-range and volume (20-37.5cl) Johnnie Walker Black all the way. Heck, I’d even take Ballantine’s Finest. You may wonder why this doesn’t get an F. An F is reserved for a whisky that is not just unremarkable water and alcohol, but is actually offensive. Adam and Chris @ LAWS have noted some whiskies that actually smell and taste like soap, varnish, garbage, rotting food, and yes, vomit. We must reserve a grade specifically for those abominations.