In 1961 Armando Giovinetti, Italian businessman and sprit distributor, and Douglas Mackessack, the owner of Glen Grant Distillery, developed a deep friendship.
Giovinetti wanted to import Glen Grant to Italy and initially decided for a young expression (five years old) as he was trying to challenge grappa. He was given 50 cases to start with and within a decade he was importing about 150,000 cases a year making Glen Grant the best selling malt in Italy, ranking it holds to this day.
The 5 years old was the core expression bottled for the Italian market but over time Giovinetti expanded his offer with several older bottlings. Back in the 1960s and 70s Glen Grant offered limited editions of Director’s Reserve, a whisky selected from the distillery director own special stock. The whisky destined for the Italian market was bottled in elegant dumpy decanters with long necks. Director’s Reserve bottlings were discontinued in 1977 when the distillery was acquired by Seagram.
We had no chance to taste that whisky, we believe it is heavily sherried malt, fruity and complex with subtle nutty and spicy notes and (likely) distant whiff of smoke.