Maker: Macduff International, Glasgow, Scotland, UK.
Distillers: Unknown (Seems to be Highland-centric, though)
Style: Blended Scotch whisky
Michigan state minimum: $19
Appearance: Pale copper.
Nose: Sweet malt, apricot, old leather.
Palate: Medium bodied and light. Saltwater taffy, clotted cream.
Finish: Malt, vanilla, oak, burn.
Mixed: Good with club soda, on the rocks and in everything else I tried it in: Rob Roy (sweet and dry), rusty nail, Scotch Orange Fix.
Parting words: Grand Macnish was founded in 1863 by a man named Robert Mcnish (the a was added to aid in pronunciation). McNish is a sept of the MacGregor clan which explains why the MacGregor motto, forti nihil difficile*, appears on the cap. Corby purchased the brand in 1927. Grand Macnighs has been owned by Macduff International (owner of Lauder’s and Islay Mist) since 1991. Three other iterations of Grand Macnish are available in Michigan, the standard, bottom shelf Macnish ($9), the 12 y/o ($25) and the smoky black edition ($35). The 150th (released in 2013) and the 12 y/o are the most highly regarded among the four, which is not saying a lot, it must be said.
There’s nothing too interesting happening in this bottle but there’s nothing offensive either. It’s much better than similarly priced blends from Dewars, Cutty Sark or J & B, but it’s not quite as much of a value as Grant’s. What it has in common with Grant’s is a weird bottle that draws attention to itself on the bar. $19 is a good price for “inoffensive” so Grand Macnish 150th anniversary edition is recommended.
*To the strong, nothing is difficult.” This was also Benjamin Disraeli’s motto for some reason.