Gordon & Macphail Glen Grant 1949

A Tasty Dram Whisky Blog tasting notes

This Glen Grant 1949 is the only vatting in the Speyside collections. All casks contained spirit from 1949.

The distillery was founded by John and James Grant. John Grant's nephew and James Grant's son James junior made Glen Grant Thrive. The NAS The Major's Reserve is named after him. He also took part in building the Strathspey railway through Glenrothes.

The Major as he was also known, went on expeditions to India and Afrika. On one of this travels he found an abandoned boy, Biawa Makalage. He came back to Scotland with James Grant and became his page boy. Biawa lived on the Glen Grant house long after the Major had passed away in 1931.

Identity Card Glen Grant 1949

  • Glen Grant 1949

  • Gordon & Macphail distillery label

  • Bottled 6th June 2014

  • 64 year old single malt

  • 600 bottles from

    • first fill sherry hogshead #30, distilled 6th January 1949

    • first fill sherry butt #2200, distilled 3rd June 1949

    • refill sherry hogshead #2764, distilled 29th October 1949

    • first fill sherry butt #3182, distilled 24th November 1949

    • first fill sherry butt #3185, distilled 24th November 1949

  • Alcohol: 40%

Tasting notes

Colour: Almost identical to the 1948 Glenlivet. It literally sticks on the glass.

Nose: Rich and dark. Fig jam. Old leather. Cough drops. Christmas pudding with dried fruits. Sweet coffee and vanilla syrup. A cigar club's meeting room the day after. Hazelnuts. Toasted  beech wood.
With water: Old fashioned Christmas tree aroma. An extinguished cigar. A chalet in the woods. Dark chocolate.

Taste: Sweet pepper and light smoke. A texture that's almost chewable. Coffee and malt. Nutty. Walnut. The cigar club is in full swing now.  A slightly sour citrus aroma and edible flowers. Bitter beech nuts.
With water: Delicious coffee with a light bitterness. Nutty. Nut oils with earthy flavours. Furniture polish. More smoke and rich fudge.

Finish: Smoked nuts, sour citrus and cigar ash.

What did happen in 1949?

  • January 20: Harry S. Truman becomes president of the United States

  • March 2: Cpt. James Gallagher lands the B-50 Superfortress after the first non-stop around-the-world airplain flight.

  • May 11: Siam changes its name to Tha├»lande

  • August 29: The Soviets test their first atomic bomb Joe 1.

  • The curry wurst is invented in Berlin

This Glen Grant is the oldest entry in Gordon & Macphail's Speyside Collection. Only 75 boxes are available of this premium collection of vintage malts comprising amongst others a 1948 Glenlivet and 1954 Mortlach.

Another glorious malt from the forties. I'm fairly sure we'll never see malts of this caliber within sixty years. Production methods have been altered too much and true sherry casks (not the seasoned ones) became a rarity these days.

A sample of this whisky was provided by Gordon & Macphail. Opinions expressed in this review are of course my own.