By Richard Thomas
I like to think of Grant’s 12 Year Old as the label’s middle of the road entry. In terms of both quality and price, it is a full step above the mass market Grant’s Family Reserve, but not as expensive or as rarefied as the label’s more aged whiskeys. However, just because Grant’s 12 Year Old is very middle of the road does not make it easy to find. The scotch is not in general international distribution. I can find it here in Portugal readily enough, and the same is likely true if you live in Continental Europe or South America. Locating a bottle in North America or the UK will prove more of a challenge.
Grant’s 12 Year Old is best identified by the blue-black label and the customary Grant’s triangular bottle. It is a half-and-half blend of grain and single malt whiskeys, individually aged for at least 12 years. After blending, the scotch is seasoned for another six months in first-fill American whiskey casks. It is then bottled at 40% alcohol.
The nose of Grant’s 12 Year Old scotch is something like a spicy Christmas fruitcake, with a full-bodied dose of vanilla. The vanilla and cinnamon come across very strongly on the palate, and the finish goes over warm, sweet and smoky.
I often see Grant’s 12 Year Old scotch priced in the 25-euro range, making it a real bang for the buck choice in whiskey.
Grant’s 12 Year Old won Best Scotch Blended Whisky (12 years and under) at the 2007 World Whisky Awards, and then landed gold at the International Spirits Challenge that same year. In 2008, the 12 Year Old went back to the World Whisky Awards and won Best Scotch Whisky, and then bagged the gold at the Scotch Whisky Masters. The 12 Year old then captured another gold medal in 2009, this time at the International Spirits Challenge.