As a valuable public service, we crack open spirits from B.C. to Bahrain and beyond, and then give you a highly opinionated, pocket-flask-sized review.
Today’s free pour
Glen Grant Dennis Malcolm 60th Anniversary Edition
“An extremely rare and precious liquid, The Dennis Malcolm 60th Anniversary Edition is a luxurious, aromatic spirit, exuding an elegance that can only be achieved with time and dedication. The result is—quite simply—a sublime masterpiece. With only 360 decanters available, this complex alchemy of spirit and time is a rare specimen and a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Some stories are inarguably more interesting than others, and with Scotland’s Glen Grant distillery dating back to the mid-1800s, there are definitely tales to tell. Start with cofounder James Grant not only spearheading the last clan revolt in Scottish history in 1820, but dabbling in moonshining during his early years. In the decades that followed Grant—along with his brother John—went legal, eventually building a local railway to help with distribution, thus opening up the country in a way the original Picts and Gaels never dreamed.
The Grants’ descendents revolutionized single malt whisky production with elongated stills and water-cooling purifiers, pioneered the generating of electricity during the distilling process, and, well, you get the idea. Flash forward—or back—to 1946 and Dennis Malcolm was born on the distillery grounds. Starting out as a third-generation barrel maker in 1961, he’s today, 60 years later, revered as Glen Grant’s master distiller.
Given that backstory, it’s only fitting that Dennis Malcolm 60th Anniversary Edition is not only a whisky, but in many ways an event. A big tip-off there is the $37,000 price point—yes, you read that correctly—with special touches including that every one of the 360 bottles available worldwide are hand-blown from crystal glass during a 15-hour production process. Sometimes it’s good to be a Lotto Max winner, and if you are there are two bottles of Dennis Malcolm 60th Anniversary Edition whisky available for purchase in Vancouver, with one at the 39th and Cambie BC Liquor store, and the other at the Park Royal branch.
Once the chestnut-coloured liquid, um, gold, is in the glass, the goodness starts with the smell of freshly peeled Italian Gargano oranges, charred pecans, and sweet Oloroso Sherry from casks dating back to Malcolm’s first days at Glen Grant.
At 52.8% ABV, the Dennis Malcolm 60th Anniversary Edition packs a velvet-hammer punch, all smoked dark São Tomé chocolate, caramel-dipped figs, jammy apricot, and plump Turkish raisins. Satiny and complex at first sip, things are just as pleasing on a back end that brings briny sea-salt, soft tobacco, and spiced oak. Savour this one, which is not only the oldest whisky ever produced at Glen Grant, but one of the oldest Scotch whiskies ever released.
As famously gracious as Dennis Malcolm is reported to be, what do you think his answer would be if asked how to best enjoy his 60th Anniversary Edition? With pomegranate-sage syrup and a splash of soda? Or......? Exactly.