Comparing whisky to children is perhaps a simile on steroids but listening to Dennis Malcolm talk about the Glen Grant 50 year old Single Cask whisky is like to listening a father talking about his Nobel Peace Prize winning eldest child. There is modesty and pride and a sense of contentment that comes from seeing ones creation doing well in the world.Dennis is the Glen Grant Distillery Manager who laid down a cask of whisky more than 50 years ago. He nurtured it, then, at the perfect time, he let go.
Releasing ones children into the world can be a harrowing experience. Ask a mother dropping off her son on the first day of school, or a father dropping off his teenage daughter at a party. With dancing. And boys. We nurture and then we let go. And letting go is the natural step we have to take to allow children to flourish.
A few weeks ago at The PotLuck Club, the coolest spot in Cape Town, Dennis let go of his eldest whisky and released it to an enthralled collection of media folk and whisky lovers.
So – what’s it like? The whisky is superb. It entices with a colour of of an antique hand-polished mahogany desk and invites with an aroma of toffee, chocolate, orange zest. A word of warning. The whisky was bottled at 54.4 ABV, straight from the barrel, through muslin cloth, to the bottle. It is a big whisky, but balanced. Layer upon layer of deep, rich complexity, a beautiful sherry, toffee, coffee, and remember the Beacon Superfine orange peels dipped in dark chocolate? Yes, those. The taste took me back. The finish is long and lingering, to be expected, but surprisingly sweet.
The fact that Dennis came down from Scotland to present the whisky shows how seriously importers Edward Snell are taking the Glen Grant brand. Local brand manager Craig van der Bergh shared the pride he has representing the brand, with regular expressions, The Major’s Reserve, (the best value for money Single Malt on the market today), award winning 10 year old and my regular after dinner choice, the 16 year old.
The whiskies are becoming more and more popular in our whisky loving South Africa, and that makes me happy. It was great to see the dynamic Kellee Hodges, the junior brand manager and most energetic person I know in the whisky world, sharing her knowledge and passion, and the new national brand ambassador, Muzi Mathe, looking forward to talking whisky around South Africa.
What about the food? The PotLuck Club is such a special spot and it was a treat listening to master craftsmen Dennis and Luke Dale-Roberts explaining the interplay between food and whisky, intensity and delicacy, working in harmony.
Now, where to get the whisky? While the Glen Grant range is available at most liquor outlets, the 50 year old is only available at Makro, (check out their new online store) and there are just two left in South Africa. It retails at R 169 000.00. If you have the funds…buy it. Call me. I’ll help you open it.
A final thank you to the PR team that organised the event, Magna Carta, who were there in full force.