Grant's Triple Wood Scotch Whisky Review

Originally known as the “Family Reserve”, we’ll be reviewing Grant’s Triple Wood blended scotch whisky using the following considerations:

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Drink Overview

  • Distillery: Girvan Grain Distillery
  • Expression: Triple Wood (Family Reserve)
  • Variety: Blended Scotch Whisky
  • Region: South Ayrshire, Scotland
  • Age: NAS
  • Casking: Virgin Oak, American Oak, Ex-Bourbon
  • Cask Strength: 40% ABV
  • Pricing:
  • Parent: Independent

What Is Grant’s Triple Wood?

William Grant & Sons is one of Scotland’s oldest family-run and independent whisky companies. Founded in 1887, it built the Glenfiddich and Balvenie distilleries within just a few years. Specializing in both single malts and blends, Grant’s is one of his most well-known labels, which is also, incidentally, also one of Scotland’s oldest family-owned Scottish blends, too.

Grant's Triple Wood Scotch Whisky Sky Background

Until 2018, the Triple Wood was known as the Family Reserve and was one of the longest-running blends in the range. While the new name has completely replaced its predecessor in Europe, it often goes by its old one in the USA. Therefore, you may still struggle to find it under the “Triple Wood” name.

Nevertheless, the contents are identical and the name change was a rebranding project to illustrate the benefits of the blend’s production process. As the new name indicates, its aged in three different barrels: virgin oak for spice, American oak for vanilla, and Bourbon barrels for sweetness.

The majority of the blend’s whisky is sourced from its own Girvan distillery. This whisky acts as a base, which is then blended with others that are mostly owned by William Grant, too.

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Grant’s Triple Wood Robe

Grant's Triple Wood Scotch Whisky In Glass

  • Hue: Amontillado
  • Clarity: Mostly Clear
  • Viscosity: Moderate

Triple Wood has a slightly Amontillado sherry colour. It’s not quite as clear as I expected and there is a slight haziness. You occasionally can also get a little bit of sediment.

In terms of legs, they’re a little thin and quite fast to run down the sides of the glass. However, it doesn’t seem chill-filtered as you’ll notice whirls when adding water.

Grant’s Triple Wood Nose

  • Notes: Toffee, Pear, Bread & Butter Pudding
  • Nosefeel: Unctuous

Triple Wood is quite intense with a nice unctuous nosefeel and a diverse variety of notes. It’s lively and lucid and predominantly dominated by toffee.

However, expect notes of fresh pear as well as bread and butter pudding. The latter note is more like an accord as it consists of vanilla, bread yeastiness, and creamy butter.

Grant’s Triple Wood Palate & Mouthfeel

Grant's Triple Wood Scotch Whisky Bottle & Glass

  • Primary Taste: Sweet
  • Mouthfeel: Fiery
  • Opening:  Toffee, Grapefruit, Walnut
  • Heart: Lemongrass, Red Apple, Shortcrust Pastry
  • Finish: Medium [Caramel, Vanilla, Malt]

We have an overall fiery mouthfeel but it’s pleasant nonetheless. The primary flavour is very sweet. In the opening, it produces toffee, bittersweet grapefruit citrus as well as fresh walnut.

When those notes subside, it reveals a heart of lemongrass, which continues the zest, red apple, and shortcrust pastry. These last two notes evoke a freshly-baked apple pie.

It has a velvety mouthfeel and the overall whisky is quite complex. For a blend, it’s quite impressive. It isn’t as youthful as other blends like J&B or Famous Grouse. Indeed, you can tell that time has been taken to produce it.

However, the finish doesn’t linger all that long on the palate. It fades after just a few seconds, leaving a sensation of malt at the centre of the tongue.

The finish’s aromas consist of caramel, soft vanilla that adds a soft and sweet spice, and the aforementioned malt. You may also experience overripe banana or another fruity note, too.

How To Drink Grant’s Triple Wood

If you’re a regular reader of our reviews, you may be growing tired of our incessant statement that the best way to drink something is the way that you enjoy it. Nevertheless, we strongly believe it to be true and wish to underline it in each review for new readers.

Grant’s can be enjoyed in either a tumbler or Glencairn glass and you can see our recommendations in our guide to the best whisky glassware. It tends to be particularly pleasant when chilled and you could certainly have it on the rocks. Indeed, if you do wish to add ice, consider using a tumbler rather than a narrow Glencairn glass.

Otherwise, it’s perfectly drinkable neat and you can always add a drop of water to make it slightly smoother.

Finally, Grant’s Triple Wood is an excellent blend to use in whisky cocktails such as a Scotch Sour or Rob Roy.

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Best Pairings With Grant’s Triple Wood

Grant's Triple Wood Scotch Whisky & Plasencia Cigars

Dark chocolate really brings out the gourmand properties of this whisky. Similar, fresh walnuts or dried fruit will marry well with its opening. Dried fruit like raisins, figs, or dates will help bring out some new nuances.

And at Bespoke Unit, we also love cigars. In this case, consider something around the medium to full-bodied territory. A medium-bodied cigar will be less likely to overwhelm the whisky’s profile. However, if you’re feeling adventurous, consider a Plasencia Alma del Fuego.

It’s a spicy cigar with a rich character. However, if you’re concerned that it’ll be too heavy, Plascencia’s Alma Fuerte or an Oliva Serie V Melanio Maduro would be both slightly milder.

Overall Experience & Value For Money

Grant's Triple Wood Scotch Whisky & Cigar

The distinctive grant’s bottle was created in 1957 by Hans Schleger who developed the unique triangular-shaped design. The concept is still used today but was slightly modernised in 2002.

It’s iconic, stands out, and comfortably fits in the hand when serving. The family coat of arms are pressed into the glass at the back and there’s a distinctive red label at the front. As for the cap, it’s just a regular screw top.

In terms of value, expect to pay somewhere between $22 and $27 in the USA. In Europe, it costs around 15€. It’s quite affordable and offers great value for what it is.

As blended Scotch goes, it’s very versatile. You can drink it quite casually, but don’t be afraid to enjoy it in more formal occasions or even serve it when you’re going to have some guests over. It goes down very nicely and its stylish presentation perfectly suits most occasions.

Closing Thoughts

Grant’s is something of a standard-bearer in the blended Scotch whisky market. While there are other contenders like Ballantine’s, Grant’s reputation as one of the oldest remaining indie distillers has earned it a strong position. Affordable, versatile, and pleasant, it’s a great reference in the affordable blended Scotch range.

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"Easy to drink and looks the part, Grant's may not be the most sophisticated blend but it's certainly one of the easiest to choose."
Bespoke Unit Rating: ★★★★

Further Reading

Once you’ve finished reading our review, feel free to peruse our wide range of related content such as the following resources:

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