Grand Old Parr (Men behind the brands)
Grand Old Parr is a blended Scotch whiskey which was introduced in 1909 by Greenlees Brothers of London. It takes its name from the reputed oldest man in Britain, Old Tom Parr. The name emphasised the maturity of the product. Old Parr or Thomas Parr apparently was born in 1483 and died 14 November 1635, was an Englishman who was said to have lived for 150 years. A portrait of Parr hangs at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, with an inscription which reads “Thomas Parr died at the age of 152 years 9 months”.
Records vary, but Parr was allegedly born around 1483 in the parish of Alberbury, Shropshire. As news of his reported age spread, ‘Old Parr’ became a national celebrity and was painted by Rubens and Van Dyck. In 1635, Parr visited London to meet King Charles I. Then Parr was treated as a celebrity, but the change in food and environment apparently led to his death. As a result, the king arranged for him to be buried in Westminster Abbey on 15 November 1635.
Old Parr is mentioned by the famous author in their literary works such as Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, James Joyce and Bram Stoker who made a reference to Thomas Parr in Dracula.
The square brown bottle appears unchanged in years and Old Parr whisky has a loyal band of followers who appreciate its distinctive, old-fashioned style. It is found in export markets such as Japan, Mexico, South America and in The United States of America and ironically is not longer distributed in the United Kingdom. It is owned, distilled and distributed by Diageo.
Grand old Parr 12-year-old Blend 43% ABV. Pronounced malt, raisin and orange notes on the nose with some apple and dried-fruit undertones and perhaps a hint of peat. Forceful on the palate with flavours of malt, raisin, burned caramel and brown sugar.