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Malt vs Malternative


A brace of luxury


Now this is what I call special! A while ago I received two samples from those rather selective folk at Wealth Solutions in Poland. I'd describe them as a kind of modern-day Gentleman's club seeking out luxury items for their members to savour. Each year they tend to bottle one rather special whisky which so far have included a 1953 Glenfarclas followed by a superlative 1964 Karuizawa, each of which carried a price tag of £9,999. This year they're really excelling with two bottlings, or should that be decanterings? Firstly a 1948, 66 year old Glen Grant bottled by Gordon & MacPhail, followed by a L'Esprit de Tiffon cognac from the house of Tiffon's private cellar. The price? This year the prices of these masterpieces have not been disclosed. Well, if one has to ask the price ..........





This Glen Grant is a single cask, number 1369 of 1948, 66 year old whisky, bottled at a cask strength of 46.6% abv and limited to 160 decanters exclusively offered to Wealth Solutions' own members. The L'Esprit de Tiffon is limited to only 150 decanters, also exclusively for Wealth Solutions' members. This cognac is truly unique in that it is a blend of various cognacs from the private cellars of the house of Tiffon and although no specific age or dates are given, it is stated that all the elements of the blend pre-date the onset of phylloxera in France's vineyards. Phylloxera is a tiny insect which is a pest specifically to commercial grapevines worldwide. It originated from North America but was introduced to Europe when botanists in Victorian England were collecting specimens of American vines around 1850.

Welcome to today's challenge; a 66 year old malt whisky from the house of Glen Grant alongside, dare I say officially an NAS? Malternative 'blend' from the house of Tiffon, whose components are known to be from no later than 1850 and, in some cases as early as 1805.




Glen Grant, Cask No. 1369, 1948-2014, 66y, 46.6% This has a wonderful deep golden colour. The nose hints at some very aromatic floral delights like an English cottage garden in late spring or early summer. Creamy vanilla begins to develop after a couple of minutes followed by a little woodiness which slowly expnads further. The palate just reflects everything from the nose as suggestions of creamy vanilla and wood overlay that delicately floral background. The finish is medium to long. My overall impression is of an amazingly light and delicate whisky, especially considering its age but also, when considering the age, the gentle woodiness is no surprise and probably to be expected. In fact one would probably expect more woodiness than is there. This really is a magnificent whisky, an absolute 'Great' which I consider to be well worth 93 points.




L'Esprit de Tiffon cognac The colour here is one of rich oak. The nose immediately offers a medley or cocktail of fruitiness with oranges, or perhaps even mandarins in the foreground, then a hint of plum briefly appears to really confuse the senses. WIth the plum-iness comes something just a little musty but again in a really kind of fruity way. The palate offers a really unexpected intensity, again concentrating on orange, perhaps even oil of orange considering the intensity. This is just so vibrant, öuxurious and yes, delightful. Can this really be 200 years old? Unbelievable. That finish is to die for, it just goes on and on and on ........... My overall impression is of a truly amazing experience. It's delightful, vibrant, so alive .... bloody 'ell, it's four times as old as I am and I'm in love with it. "Great"? You bet, 95 points worth of greatness.




Two magnificent experiences, two well-deserved and well-earned magnificent scores, what more can anyone possibly say other than magnificent and possibly, for the slightly more financially-challenged amongst us "how much?"







A selection of previous Dram-atics highlights

This section is a work in progress and will eventually replace the textual 'recent features' below.



St. Magdalene / Linlithgow

Islay Revisited

Autumn 2013 Speyside

MMA 2013 Unplugged



An annual Pilgrimmage

Limburg Crooks & Nannies

Limburg - Whet Dreams

Class of 64-65







Debussy plays Pitaud







Recent major features (A full list of all Dram-atics articles may be found in my ToC)  
May 2013 Duelling Drams - Man vs Clipper,  
April 2013 100 points - Perfect Percy, Eggs-otic Isles Egg & Mug, Sixy bunny  
March 2013 International Whisky Day - Raise a Glass & Raise Awareness  
February 2013 A Horse, A Bow & a Dear  
January 2013 Fab Fo(u)rties  
Autumn 2012 The Olympkins, Getting old and Grainy  
July 2012 Motor Maniac meets Malt Maniac, Nosing New Make  
May-Jun 2012 Dalmore Constellation, Independence? MM 15y Scotland, Blend of Maniacs  
Mar-Apr 2012 Investment grade madness, Glenglassaugh, 5th IWD, 1000th Review, April Fool, Going dotty, age verification  
Feb. 2012 It's a rum old do, Growing old gracefully, Four Imperial sisters  
Jan. 2012 Onwards & Upwards, Canadian Whisky Awards  
Dec. 2011 MMA 2011 Winners, HP 70's Orcadians, Elementary my dear Sukhinder  
Sept-Nov 2011 Malt Maniacs Awards 2011 - A weekend in the life of a Postmaster General  
June-Aug 2011 Bits Bytes & Drams, Glen Garioch 1994, Angela D'Orazio - Mackmyra, Trinity of Two Earls, Drams at Dawn
May 2011 Don't bug me with ads, A dram fine evening
April 2011 Cry me a River, Golden Oldies, The Shackleton Legacy, Two Weddings and a Whisky
March 2011 Masters of Photography, Memory and the Middle Cut, Sampling again, Dave Stirk 5, Choosing choice Choices
Feb. 2011 Festival time again, Spam Galore!, Drams & Trams

Jan. 2011

Lookback at 2010, New Job? Three Thirties, ToC, Overdosing on sherry casks






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