husband, father, whisky lover, blogger, freelance whisky writer, and head of the New Jersey Whiskey Society & leading the USBG NJ efforts...currently the New Jersey Whisky Ambassador for Diageo & therefore leave the recent writing duties to guest bloggers, primarily that Bourbon loving fella named Gerard

average Joes on a whisky journey...all views are our own

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Glen Grant 28 Yr 1979 Speyside Single-Barrel Bottling

One of the best kept secrets in New Jersey (in my humble opinion) is a Restaurant called Catherine Lombardi in New Brunswick.
It looks even better in person

It boasts a number of accolades, from having an extensive spirit collection that you have to page through, to achieving a higher Zagat rating than any cocktail bar in Manhattan or Chicago!  (yes, you read that correctly)

Sticking to the spirits aspect of this fine establishment, I have found one thing particularly interesting.  It is the brainchild of Owner Francis Schott, and it is called ‘The Spirits Project’.

Essentially, every Thursday, this restaurant opens one rare bottle at precisely 6:30pm, and sells one ounce portions (at cost!) until the bottle is gone.  Once it is gone, it is gone.
Now, sometimes it is Scotch, sometimes it is Bourbon, sometimes Cognac, etc…but regardless, it is always a well thought out selection worthy of a trip into Rutgers Nation.

There she all her glory...
Just last week my buddy Dimitri and I couldn’t pass up a chance to try the Glen Grant 28 Yr 1979 Speyside Single-Barrel Bottling from The Malt Trust.  (Especially at only $8 an ounce!!)

It was absolutely fantastic.  (Plus I got to try another Independent bottling of Highland Park that I will have to post about later…)

From the top-flight atmosphere, to the fine staff, to meeting Mr. Schott himself, we couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

Part of me was torn about this post…my friends were struck with fear that it could lead to larger crowds at the restaurant, and a pack of people jockeying for position to get samples every Thursday.  However, I look at this two ways:

First, they are giving me too much credit.  Sure, if every twitter and blog follower showed up, the bottle would be gone in minutes…but that is not likely to happen.

Second, the whole point of my whisky journey is to SHARE and EDUCATE as many people as possible…plus, I want to turn as many people on to this fine spirit as possible.

As my Uncle used to say, “I don’t have a dog in this fight”.  I have nothing gain by recommending this restaurant, and frankly may have something to lose by giving away such precious information to the whisky loving masses.

But, what I do stand to gain is that raw satisfaction that comes with steering people in the right direction, and spreading the ‘gospel’ of whisky!  I know some local people that would likely cut off their own leg to try rare Scotches at these prices…I want to let them know. (think of all the legs we could save!)

Plus, when there is a fine restaurant owner sticking his neck out to do something unique in this cookie-cutter society, they should be acknowledged as well.  Kudos to the team at Catherine Lombardi!

Many folks have referenced the phrase ‘Whisky Fabric’ when discussing all the people in the Industry, and I take that to heart.

I want to spread the knowledge, and spread the love of whisky.

Enough rambling though…let’s get to the Tasting Notes!

Glen Grant 28 Yr 1979 Speyside Single-Barrel Bottling from The Malt Trust
Bottle # 176 from a Single Barrel of 1979 that was dumped in 2007 - 55.6% ABV

Tasting Notes:

Appearance:  Very light, Pale Gold, Straw

Nose:  Very approachable, floral and gentle, a little fruity…peaches?

Palate:  Drying and crisp, malt & heather, fruit again…more citrus flavors

Finish:  Medium-long and enjoyable, slightly spicy


I just love it when you taste a whisky nearly 30 years old and it doesn’t taste like a pile of wet sawdust!   I am pretty blown away at how crisp and fresh this whisky tastes despite its age.  I can see why Glen Grant has been such a hit with Independent Bottlers over the years.  Their product is just as pure as the land it comes from, and at the end of the day that is what you want out of your whisky.  You want it to not only reflect the region and Distillery it comes from, you want it to take you there.

Score:  90 

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