I’ve previously reviewed the excellent Glen Ord 30; today, the Glen Ord 25 which was released a couple of years prior. The actual bottle is far more attractive–and identical to that of the 30 yo–than this repurposed miniature in which I received my sample from another whisky geek. Back in the mid-2000s Diageo released a number of these Glen Ords in their annual special releases–in addition to the 25 and 30 there was also a 28 yo. I guess the 30 yo (released in 2005) really didn’t sell well; there’s been nothing from Glen Ord since then (other than the regular younger entries in the range).
Glen Ord 25 (58.3%; from a sample received in a swap)
Nose: Bright and acidic at first but then sweet malty notes emerge. Quite a lot of honey too, and some pepper and brine. Gets quite lemony with some hints of ripe peach and apricot. And with more time it really gets quite briny and then later still, the lemon takes over again, bringing more pepper with it. Gets a little maltier and dustier with water, and the lemon gets a little pickled (my few Indian readers are the only ones likely to get this reference: it reminds me a little of Fabindia’s antique lime pickle).
Palate: Sweet, malty and peppery. Lot of tingling wood spice (nothing tannic though), almost creating a sense of a sparkling white wine. Not as much fruit as on the nose. With more time there’s a nice lick of polished wood and some warm vanilla. And the lemoniness seems to keep increasing. Quite drinkable despite the high strength but let’s see what water does. Not a whole lot, I don’t think; I think the flavours might get a little more integrated but for the palate, at least, water is entirely optional, I think.
Finish: Long. Lemony and peppery. Not much change with water.
Comments: Very close to the 30 yo. I think what I really like about these older Ords is the interplay of lemon with the lovely woodiness, which is not tannic or harsh in any way and, indeed, doesn’t even feel oaky. Still, there’s more fruit in the 30 yo and that elevates it over this one for me. Now, I really need to do something about tasting the younger official Ords (a couple of young indies will be reviewed in the next month or two).
Thanks to Steven R. for the sample.
Rating: 88 points.