William Grant began working as a bookkeeper for a whisky company in 1886. Just a year later, aided by his seven sons and two daughters, he built Glenfiddich distillery in Dufftown and began making malt whisky. When the cataclysmic events of the Pattison Crash of 1899 brought the industry to it’s knees, Grant saw an opportunity and launched his own blend to fill the hole left behind by the collapse of Pattison’s whisky.
Grant was a wiley businessman and, perhaps seeing change on the horizon, put a particular emphasis on aging his whisky. So, when the law changed in 1915 to state that all whisky must be matured for a minimum of two years Grant’s stocks were well ahead of his competitors and by the time he passed away in 1923 the family business was a well established success story.
Today, Grant’s is the oldest family-owned blended whisky. Current CEO Peter Gordon, is the fifth generation of the family to lead the business and the brand is sold in over 180 countries making it the third largest scotch brand in the world.
Grant’s and indeed Glenfiddich, are bottled in a distinctive bottle that was first designed in 1957 by Hans Schleger who came to Britain as a refugee from Nazi Germany. Hans was tasked with creating a unique design that would stand out from the competition as well as being easy to stack and ship. Thus the famous triangular bottle was born.
The core Grants range comprises of Family Reserve, Ale Cask Finish, Sherry Cask Finish, Grant’s Signature and Grant’s 25 Year Old.
The Scores: About the Scoring…
Smell: 15 / 20. Vanilla, Orange and Lemon, Cereal and Fudge and just a touch of Sherry. Surprisingly complex for such an affordable blend.
Taste: 15.5 / 20. Caramel, Apple, Cream, Cinnamon, a little bit of Sherry and a wee touch of Peat. For a blended scotch bottled at 40% abv there is surprisingly good weight to it.
Value for Money: 8 / 10. Costing somewhere between £15 and £20 this isn’t going to break the bank and you’ll get a decent quality dram for your money.
Total: 38.5 / 50. I admit this was my first time trying the Grant’s Family Reserve but I have to say, I liked it a lot more than I expected to. There’s enough character and weight here to stand against some single malts while being a far more affordable whisky. It’s certainly not going to be my last time enjoying a dram of Grants, that much is sure.