In 2011, Grant’s Whisky archivist, Paul Kendall, made a pretty fascinating discovery while sifting through the Grant family archives. He came across an old blending book used by distillery founder, William Grant. Inside was the exact recipe he used to create the original Grant’s Stand Fast Whisky in 1912.
After some internal discussions, and armed with the exact whiskies, their ages and their proportions, the company decided to recreate the original blend. However, because some distilleries William Grant would’ve used back in 1912 are no longer in production, and aging techniques would’ve been different back then, Grant’s had to take some liberties with the recreation. But after a few trials, Grant’s finalized a blend that’s believed to be extremely close to the original Stand Fast Whisky.
Fast forward one year, and Grant’s filled 100 bottles of Stand Fast to commemorate the whisky’s 100th anniversary. Rather than releasing sums for public consumption, Grant’s produced this whisky for special tastings and to keep in their archives for the future generations of master blenders.
So I felt very fortunate to sample Grant’s Stand Fast for myself recently when Grant’s global ambassador Ludo Ducrocq came through town with a mostly-empty bottle in tow. After a quick history lesson and some details on the recreation process, we sat down to taste Stand Fast side-by-side with the current Grant’s blend.
The result: a wonderful mix of malt, light smoke, fruit and honey. Stand Fast has a silkier mouthfeel and is a touch smokier than the Grant’s of today. It’s a shame this isn’t readily available, but I felt fortunate to sample the stocks before they’re all packed into storage.
Oh, here’s a fun fact. The back of the Stand Fast bottle says “contains eggs.” That’s because in making Stand Fast, Grant’s used the little-known technique of egg white filtration. By cracking one egg white into about 20 liters of whisky, the egg absorbs the fatty acids within the liquid that cause cloudiness. Once the egg is removed, the cloudiness is removed, and you’ve got a process similar to today’s chill filtration.