You (and by that I suppose I mean I) don’t tend to see a lot of Glen Ord around (although I note that Signatory have just recently released another single cask), the bulk of the 162 independent bottlings listed on whiskybase coming from Signatory and SMWS, with Cadenhead a distant third.[This, incidentally, will be the second of Cadenhead’s gold-labelled Single Cask series that I’ve tried, the first being this really bloody good Glen Keith.]
I have, though, never actually tried a Glen Ord before this, but from what I’ve read of the profile, it should fit comfortably up my alley – amongst other euphemistic mixed metaphors.[For the record, I’m sticking with the more recognisable “Glen Ord” in the title rather than Cadenhead’s Glen-less “Ord” – the arcane and eccentric distillery naming system that Cadenhead utilise for their labels goes way above the head of one such as myself, so I wont even bother trying to work this one out.]
Glen Ord 1983, 31 Year Old, Cadenhead Single Cask, 51%
Nose: Sweet honeyed barley at first, soon becoming quite waxy. After a little while some fruits gather – rock melon, kiwi and a hint of orange citrus. Oak spices emerge after even more time.
Water accentuates the fruit a touch, bringing in some sweeter stonefruit like peaches and nectarines, and after a while some less sweet stuff like papaya and cocoa.
Palate: Powerful, mouth-filling arrival, with lots of spice, malt, wax and salt. A touch of Clynelish about it. Something herbal – rosemary? – along with vanilla, passionfruit and milk chocolate.
Water turns down the heat a fraction and releases a whole lot more fresh fruit – orange, peach, melon, mango, pineapple – along with honey and maybe cinnamon. Beautiful bourbon cask notes. The mouthfeel remains creamy yet prickly and lively as it expands across the palate. Maybe a touch of smoke here, too, now?
Finish: It remains quite spicy as it develops, with the salt lingering into the chocolate-laden finish.
Water sees the fruit – oranges, clementines, mango – extend further into the long salty finish with the chocolate now prominent only right at the very death.
For me, an absolute highland classic. Salt, bucket-loads of (tropical) fruit, spice and a hint of smoke.
The kind of whisky I wish I could drink forever.
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