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Jono
02-10-2008, 20:38
I have not yet tried this and was surprised to learn it is so highly regarded by Jim Murray....looking up the company website I see it is the same company that produces Gledfiddich and Balvenie..both of which go into the blend: http://www.grantswhisky.com/making_grants/taste.asp

"It is the Master Blenders’ special recipe, a blend of the finest single malt and grain Scotch Whiskies – including the company's own Glenfiddich and The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whiskies and its renowned Girvan Grain Scotch whisky – that creates the magical taste of Grant’s. When blended together, the malts and grains produce the deliciously complex, long, smooth taste that is known and loved throughout the world."

Sounds like a pick-me up. Any first hand experience with Grant's?
Binny's online shows it for 12.99....for Scotch, even blended, that seems very cheap.

Also, which of the Grant's is suggested...Family Reserve, Cask Reserve and Cask Selection?

Barkley
02-11-2008, 01:02
I had some of the bottom shelf Grant's Scotch. It was about what the price indicated. Drinkable but that's it. I have since read somewhere (Malt Maniacs?) that the Grant's we find in the U.S. has little in common with their better offerings in The U.K.
The web address for M.M. is www.maltmaniacs.org (http://www.maltmaniacs.org).

whiskydude
02-11-2008, 09:15
My only experience with Grant's was a positive one. A nice blend that had us rechecking the receipt to verify how inexpensive it was in relation to the taste. However, it was a bottle from the UK. I don't recall which of the 3 selections it was. It is on my list to purchase but I haven't done so yet. I hope not to be disappointed in the US offering.

Jono
02-11-2008, 10:25
Hmm...will have to look for their special bottlings.

ThomasH
02-11-2008, 16:21
I have 2 different bottles of Grants, the Family Reserve and the duty free 100 proof bottling. The 100 proofer has a much more smoky taste than the regular. Grants also has sherry and ale cask versions. The website says these that these are sold primarily in the UK, France, Australia and New Zealand as well as in a few other select markets. One of these markets happens to be Ontario, Canada. I plan to get a bottle of each on the next trip to Windsor if still available. Overall, Grants is a quite good Whisky!

Thomas

Jono
02-11-2008, 16:51
Sam's lists the Blended Scotch...bottom shelf?...$13.99.

Also, the "Sherry Cask Reserve"....$13.99.??

That price seems very odd.

Frodo
02-11-2008, 23:03
The regular Grant's to me is rather pedestrian, but the Ale/Sherry Cask versions are more than worth the cost in my book. A rather soft blend that is a bit too young in the standard bottling. Would like to try a 12yr version...

Megawatt
02-12-2008, 05:53
Grant's Family Reserve was the first Scotch that I was able to drink neat. I would not call it an oustanding blend, nowhere close to Johnnie Black or Dewar's 12, for instance, but for the price it's certainly not bad. I could see myself buying it again.

William Grant's Ale Cask is an interesting blend. Very creamy and light-tasting, with a definite malty beer flavour. The nose reminds me of root beer. Not much complexity, though.

texascarl
04-13-2008, 11:13
Based on this thread, I picked up a handle of Grant's Family Reserve on sale. Glad I did. Not 'spectacular' but a tasty dram and at quite a nice price. It's fine as is on ice - a bit of smoke, not much. Rather sweet. I prefer most
'middleshelf' blended Scotch doctored up a bit, and this one works well as a Rob Roy - very well, in fact. It's fine as a "Scotch & tea hot toddy" and it made for a good Rusty Nail...but it won't replace my Teacher's Highland Cream for that particular cocktail. I've been using Teacher's to make Rusty Nails since I could buy my own whusk, and 32 years of tradition is pretty hard to overcome.
That said...if you find the Family Reserve at a good price, buy it. I'd say it's a worthy addition. While I spend most of my money on bourbon, I try to keep a bottle of Teacher's, J.Walker Black, Blackbush, Powers, and now this on hand.

Gov
04-13-2008, 11:56
Based on this thread, I picked up a handle of Grant's Family Reserve on sale. Glad I did. Not 'spectacular' but a tasty dram and at quite a nice price. It's fine as is on ice - a bit of smoke, not much. Rather sweet. I prefer most
'middleshelf' blended Scotch doctored up a bit, and this one works well as a Rob Roy - very well, in fact. It's fine as a "Scotch & tea hot toddy" and it made for a good Rusty Nail...but it won't replace my Teacher's Highland Cream for that particular cocktail. I've been using Teacher's to make Rusty Nails since I could buy my own whusk, and 32 years of tradition is pretty hard to overcome.
That said...if you find the Family Reserve at a good price, buy it. I'd say it's a worthy addition. While I spend most of my money on bourbon, I try to keep a bottle of Teacher's, J.Walker Black, Blackbush, Powers, and now this on hand.

Did you try it neat? I bought a bottle awhile back, but have not cracked it open yet. I got it for $10!!

texascarl
04-13-2008, 17:28
Yep, I tried it neat but decided it needed an ice cube. Your $10 were well spent, but don't expect it to be Johnnie Walker Black for $10.

Frodo
04-13-2008, 18:35
Just a thought, but the regular Grant's doesn't so it for me at all. However the Grant's Ale and Sherry Cask bottlings (finishes of the regular Grant's) for about $2 more are very acceptable sessional drams IMHO...

Gov
04-13-2008, 21:22
Just a thought, but the regular Grant's doesn't so it for me at all. However the Grant's Ale and Sherry Cask bottlings (finishes of the regular Grant's) for about $2 more are very acceptable sessional drams IMHO...

Thanks, I'll keep that in mind

Gov
04-27-2008, 10:44
Well I finally got around to opening a bottle of The Family Reserve. I sampled this whisky neat in a Glencairn glass, having no other whisky before it. The nose was very good for a cheap blend. The whisky tasted good as well, and far exceeded my expectations for something that is $9.99 a bottle! This is truely an excellent value for what it is. I would say just as good a value as "Teacher's" and "White Horse" and "The Famous Grouse". Very tasty blends for very good prices. All four have something different to offer.

Dranac Lihp
05-16-2008, 23:18
Gov, I also thought GFR was a good cheap scotch blend, but after my third bottle I was deathly sick of it. After my third bottle of White Horse, which came to an end embarassingly soon after I picked up the case, I was liking it more than at the start. I also liked Famous Grouse extremely well for the first bottle, but after another bottle or two, it was lacking that "something" that I get from island based blends. Even JW Red can grow on you a bit when you are belting it down at a party, and that's why I guess the folks at Johnnie Walker blend it as a party mixer scotch. I generally sip my scotch, so I guess that's why I'm a bit hard on JW Red and the blander blends based on Speyside malts. It takes STRONG malts to resist losing their character when mixed one part malt to two parts grain whisky. A lot of the cheap blends aren't even close to 1/3 malt whisky it seems. When you drink GFR and Clan MacGregor, you are probably drinking very little besides Girvan grain whisky which the Grant family owns.

If judging the value of a blended scotch whisky by how soon you go through a case quantity of it (or any other everyday drinking whiskey for that matter), you will get an idea of how good it SHOULD be rated. It would be like a game of golf (another Scottish invention) in that the low score wins. Since I wrote a check for the case of White Horse, I will soon have a "standard" score that I can judge other everyday whiskies against. Higher cost will tend to make you drink less, and that will worsen (higher numerical number) the score. Lower cost will tend to have you drinking more, and that will improve (lower numerical number) the score. Like in billiards, the striped or solid balls that get sunk in the pockets first declare the winner. The case of scotch that contributes more empty bottles to the garbage can sooner also declares a winner.

If higher numbers seem a better way of judging whisky, then start on a particular day of the year, save all the bottles you empty that year, then line them all up in groups and count them one year later on the anniversary date. For you, that should be the number rating you give a scotch you drink regularly. It should be based on whole liters, so a 750ml bottle would get counted as 0.75, a 1.75L bottle as 1.75 and a liter bottle as 1.0, etc. That makes it fair when you buy whisky in different sized bottles and then compare.

I have found this phenomenon of changing my opinion of a blended scotch after extended use a lot more dominant than in any other type of drink. I bought a 1.75L bottle of Cutty Sark, and it took a while to get up the nerve to finish it off as I had plenty of other scotches to drink. I liked it even less at the end than when I started. Island based blends tend to have an opposite effect. Go figure. I end up spending a lot more hours in front of the stereo (I have a nice C-J tube amp and VPI turntable based outfit) and playing more vinyl than digital when I get deep into a bottle of island scotch. That increases the consumption of the scotch as well, when tends to keep the stereo blasting into the wee hours of the morning. It's close to midnight now, and I have been drinking White Horse again, and I have a craving for some early Rod Stewart played rather loudly to match his style.

Gov
05-17-2008, 00:44
Interesting post ^! I agree, I like the smokey peaty scotch blends much better. So far, for a Speyside blend, I really like The Grouse Finest. I can do with or without Grants. Maybe I will try the Grants Sherry Cask?

Dranac Lihp
05-17-2008, 12:08
I am with you on that one, Famous Grouse is the best "Speyside" based blend I have found for under $30. However, it is based on Highland Park as well as MacAllan, so it has some island character as well. Johnnie Walker dumps a lot of Cardhu into their blends, since they own that Speyside distillery. It's the island malts they use that brings their blends up to par for me.

BTW, Teacher's uses Scapa in their blend which is an unpeated island malt. They get their smoke and peat from their highland malts, then tone it down with an island malt, which is exactly the opposite of what the other blenders do. Nice trick, I guess. No other blend I have tried is quite like Teacher's.

Gov
05-17-2008, 13:06
Yes, I love Teacher's and Islay Mist then best followed closely by White Horse and Black Bottle. JWB is very good also, but much more money than the others listed. Also, Dewars 12 is very good as well.
I have a bottle of Scapa 14 at home and really like it! Did not know that it was in Teacher's

Dranac Lihp
05-20-2008, 17:51
Yep, I knew Scapa was used in Teacher's. Evidently they wanted an unpeated island malt with a honey/heather taste to offset the highly smoked Ardmore malt. Scapa has been known as the island malt for those who don't like island malts.

Scapa uses the work crew from Highland Park for their whisky production now, and the distillery only runs a few months out of the year. They must have a significant store of malt in their warehouses to only run part time. The distillery has recently been taken out of mothball status.

I'll have the local store special order me a bottle of Islay Mist and Black Bottle.

Gov
05-20-2008, 18:20
I'll have the local store special order me a bottle of Islay Mist and Black Bottle.

You won't be dissapointed. Islay Mist is a wee bit better of the two.

Martian
05-29-2008, 15:23
Grant's Family Reserve is definitely a best buy.

Jono
06-12-2008, 23:12
Great comments...for whiskeys I have never considered in the past I will certainly experiment...for the $ it would be hard to go wrong. Teachers, Grants Sherry or Family Reserve, White Horse etc....

Megawatt
06-13-2008, 06:01
I'm still thinking that I won't bother with Teacher's again.

Jono
06-13-2008, 09:50
Teachers relies upon Ardmore as its "fingerprint malt" flavor (45% malt - 30 different single malts used in the blend)....assume peaty?

Grants Family Reserve...Glenfiddich, Balvenie and Girvan - assume honeyed, not real peaty, spice?

White Horse - Lagavulin, Caol Illa....assume heavy peat?

So, would it be fair to say that if you like the underlying malts...the blend will be just a lighter, slightly different version, in taste?

Gov
06-13-2008, 12:28
So, would it be fair to say that if you like the underlying malts...the blend will be just a lighter, slightly different version, in taste?

Yes, but depending on how much grain and what kind it uses, that will have a large impact on the taste as well. Usually, it brings out more sweetness.