Score: 7.7 / 10
Distillery: Diageo London
Type: Blended Scotch
A while back my dad called me to discuss bourbons that he just bought a tried. He was excited to try a fresh bottle Evan Williams Bottled in Bond (white label). This bottle has long been my favorite budget bourbon and you’ll be hard pressed to find a better bourbon for $14. Curious? You can find our full discussion of EW on episode 2 of the Po It Up whiskey podcast here.
so I spent some time talking to him about whiskey and catching up. Along the way he mentioned his spirit reserves were running low, so I asked him what he had left on his shelf. He had a couple bottles of bourbon and a bottle of Scotch. I asked him which Scotch he had and he grabbed the bottle, paused and then said “Grand Old Parr”. I had never heard of the bottle and he admitted that he was never going to drink it and it sat on the shelf for about 4 years. Well I love all types of Whisk(e)y so he packed it up and sent it to me.
I got the bottle last night, and proceeded to do some research on Grand Old Parr. It is a Diageo sherry cask blend mostly consisting of Cragganmore and Glendullan. Named after Old Tom Parr, who was reputedly the oldest man to have lived (Born 1482/1483, Died 1635). The back of the bottle has a picture of him and says, “Thomas Parr Lived for 152 Years” with nothing else. If anything I feel like 12 yr Scotch doesn't cut it. It should be 150 year Scotch!! You might be down to exactly one bottle per 53 gallon barrel when you pull it lol.
Grand Old Parr comes in a very distinctive black dimpled bottle. The blend is very popular in Japan and South America. In fact, from 2009 to 2012 Grand Old Parr held 52% of the Scotch market in Colombia. Enough about the fun facts – let’s sit down and try it out!
Nose: Strong raisin funk exploded from the bottle when I unscrewed the top. The nose opens up with a dark plum, plum wine and brandy notes. Honey, sherry and faint peat linger in the background.
Palate: Oiliness opens up into a malty mouth feel that boasts robust sherry flavors, dried fruits and particularly a lot of raisin. Some vanilla, cinnamon and clove hide behind other robust flavors. On the second half of the drinking experience a sour citrus note appears (almost like lemon drops) then lingers on the side of my mouth.
Finish: Fairly short. More dried fruits couple with a dry palate (mildly tannic), leaving a tart marmalade, oak, dry cinnamon and a touch of earth peat.
S+ Sensational - The Pinnacle (9.5+)
A - AXEceptional (astounding) (9-9.5)
B - bravo (step aBove average) (8-8.9)
C - competent (7-7.9)
D - disappointing (6-6.9)
F - flush it down the toilet (fail) (5.9 below)
Notes: Availability? Common. You can try a medium to large store for this one. It's a bit on the cheap side for a Scotch. Especially with the current Tariffs from Grand Old Trump. Which coincidentally also acts about 12yrs old.
Bottom line? I thought it was enjoyable. My girlfriend HATED it. It has a pungent nose which translates to the palate. It packs all sorts of strange flavors which makes for a fun drinking experience.