Here at Barrel and Brew, we have a love-hate relationship with Scotch. There are some we really like and some that we just really don’t. We haven’t quite acquired a taste for Islay/peated scotch, such as Laphroaig or Ardbeg, but we do tend to like Highland and Speyside whiskies. So, in this review we are going to take a look at Grangestone Scotch Whisky – a twelve year Highland single malt.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the basics of scotch whisky. What are the regions, what does it mean to be single malt, etc? We’ll also cover the specifics of Grangestone scotch. How much does it cost? What proof is it? What’s its profile and is it good? If you’re interested in any of these answers, just keep on reading.
Grangestone Whisky History
The Grangestone scotch brand is surrounded by some smoke and mirrors, so we really don’t know much about it. Here’s what we do know. Grangestone is owned by Quality Spirits International, which is owned by William Grant & Sons. Their whiskey first popped up around 2014, and they don’t distill their own whiskey.
That’s essentially it. That’s what we know. However, there are some things we can infer. Grangestone is owned by William Grant & Sons, so we can assume it’s distilled at one of their distilleries. It’s also distilled in the highland region of Scotland. The people of the internet and forums seem to believe Grangestone is distilled at the Kininvie Distillery.
I like knowing everything there is about a company. I want to know who’s distilling it, where it’s being distilled, I want to know the mashbill, the aging, and so on. But, sometimes you just don’t get that. So, we move on to the important things, namely, the liquid inside the bottle. What kind of whiskey is it? Is it good? Let’s jump into it.
Grangestone Scotch Whisky Overview
- Spirit: Single malt scotch whisky
- Region: Highlands
- Owned By: William Grant & Sons / Quality Spirits International
- Distillery: Undisclosed. Thought to be Kininvie
- Aged: 12 Years
- ABV: 40%, 80 proof.
As we mentioned, we’re going to focus on the things we do know about this whisky. This is a 12 year Highland single malt scotch. Okay, well what exactly does that mean? For those new to the world of scotch, we’ll cover it below.
What Does it Mean to be a Highland Scotch?
It is generally accepted that there are 5 Scottish regions of scotch whisky production – Campbelltown, Highlands, Lowlands, Speyside, and Islay. Each of these regions is known for it’s own style. Speyside is known for being much more fruit forward while Islay is known for its peated scotch.
The Highland region, however, is by far the largest whisky producing region of Scotland – from a size perspective and a production perspective. Because of this, it’s the most diverse of all the regions. Highlands scotch can offer peated and salty scotch, as well as one with a fruitier profile.
Some of the most popular examples of Highland scotch whiskies are: Ardmore, Dalmore, Aberfeldy, Oban, and Glenmorangie, though there are many more.
What is Single Malt Scotch?
A single malt scotch is quite simple. It is scotch whisky distilled from 100% malted barley and must come from a single distillery. This does not mean it’s a single barrel. The whiskey is blended from different barrels – just barrels that are 100% malted barley and from the same distillery.
A blended malt scotch would refer to blending 2 or more single malts from different distilleries together.
Grangestone Scotch Whisky 12 Year Tasting Notes
Alright, let’s put all this talk to the side. I’m ready to pour myself a glass and discover what this whisky is all about.
Nose: The nose is quite light with some honey and floral notes being most dominant. Smells a little sweet and sugary, too. Perhaps some brown sugar.
Palate: The palate is equally light as the nose. There’s really no ethanol notes on the nose or palate. Honey, lemon, and pear are the most consistent. More floral neat, a little more of the brown sugar with ice, but fairly similar.
Finish: short to medium in length. The finish is quite easy. not super long or strong. No burn or heat. There is a slightly lingering flavor that is interesting. it’s perhaps a little tart, but not so strong as to be off-putting.
This seems to be an inoffensive, middle of the pack whisky. It’s not super complex, but it’s smooth and very easy to drink. Lemon and honey seem to come off strongest on both the nose and palate. There are floral and sugary undertones that add a little extra to the flavor. It’s soft on the palate, and an overall decent experience.
The nose is above average. The taste and mouthfeel is slightly above average, or solid. The finish is the only questionable part to this whisky. I’m not sure whether to call it a little bitter or a little tart, but there is a lingering taste on the finish. It’s not my favorite, but as I mentioned, it’s light enough and quick enough to not cause any real problems.
Grangestone 12 Year Scotch Price
Price is always an important factor to note in a review or when purchasing a bottle, but it’s really something to look out for when buying scotch. The price of a bottle of Scotch can go up quickly. Often times when we discuss a good bottle of bourbon or rye, we are talking about bottles around the $30-50 range. At least for us and your average consumer. When someone discusses a good bottle of Scotch, you can quickly find yourself looking at hundreds of dollars.
Grangestone 12 Year 750ml: $38
Grangestone scotch whisky works with Total Wine through Spirits Direct, so the price is consistent across nearly all Total Wine stores at $37.99
$38 can seem a little pricey, but when we are talking about a 12 year single malt scotch, it’s quite cheap. Overall, I’d say this is a pretty solid everyday sipper, starter scotch, or gift. Even if it’s not someone’s favorite, it’s inoffensive enough to be enjoyed and drunken by most whiskey and scotch drinkers.
The experienced scotch enthusiast may not find this the most complex and exciting, but at $38 its something to enjoy without breaking the bank.
Grangestone 12 Year Single Malt Scotch Whisky Summary
Grangestone scotch may not be the most forthcoming about where there whisky is distilled, but the label tells us almost everything we need to know. It’s aged 12 years, distilled in the highland region, and is a single malt, meaning it has a 100% malt barley mash bill and comes from a single distillery.
As for taste and price, Grangestone scotch is very friendly, offering light notes of honey and lemon. There are floral undertones and sugary sweet notes as well. It makes for a good everyday sipper or an entry level scotch, as well. It’s not the best scotch out there, but I won’t pass up on drinking it.
If you’re interested in Grangestone, I’d say go ahead and give it a shot as it’s a price-friendly 12 yr scotch. If you have any thoughts on Grangestone Scotch Whisky, let us know in the comments. Or feel free to give us recommendations for other scotch whiskies to try.