The Scotch Malt Whisky Society‘s July Outturn was released a couple of weeks ago and the theme is ‘All that jazz’.

There are a few cracking looking whiskies in the list and we’re looking forward to tasting them this Friday at the Whisky and Jazz event where the traditional food and whisky serving is complemented by music from Stephen Duffy’s acoustic trio.

Although 9.89 was released in the August 2014 Outturn; the title ‘Balanced and Harmonious’ seemed quite appropriate for the theme. It’s a 25 year old Glen Grant from a refill Sherry butt, one of 516 bottles and was bottled at 57.5%.

Our notes are below.

Colour

Rich straw.

Nose

Full rich nose; plenty of dried fruit in there but it’s more golden currants than soaked raisins.

Apples and pineapple drizzled with honey, there’s some fresh tobacco, vanilla and I thought I detected a slightly grassy nose.

Taste

For a 25 year old whisky, it’s pretty spiky neat – alcohol heat is expected, but it’s quite spicy too. The dried fruit and honey from the nose are all present and correct but there is a lovely dark chocolate note which balances the sweetness well.

Very long finish with a dry peppery spice and bitter fruit lingering at the end.

Adding water softens everything really well and there’s a delicious creaminess to the flavour – the wood is more dominant since the sharp fruit has settled down but it’s still beautifully well balanced and the lovely long finish remains.

Overall

The title ‘balanced and harmonious’ describes 9.89 perfectly; rich fruit balanced with dark bitterness and just the right amount of wood in the flavour. In my opinion it needs water to tame the sharpness but it’s delicious and a great 25 year old whisky.

This bottle unsurprisingly sold out pretty quickly when released and I think the 1/4 bottle I’ve got remaining probably won’t be around for much longer!

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