The number of Glen Ords I’ve tried does not pass single digits but I’ve liked every single one I’ve tried (the only ones I’ve reviewed so far are two of the older official releases, here and here). Will this 12 yo from A.D. Rattray keep the streak going? Let’s see.
Glen Ord 12, 1998 (60.1%; bourbon cask #24; from my own bottle)
Note: This review was written up when the bottle was freshly opened. The accompanying photograph of the bottle was taken a couple of days later. In the intervening period it was the star of our local group’s most recent tasting, and hence the much lowered level.
Nose: A little spirity and closed at first–not surprising given the strength and the fact that this is a freshly opened bottle. I’m going to let it sit for a bit. With the benefit of air and time there’s some grassy citrus and some vanilla and oak, but this is still pretty tight. With a lot more time this begins to open up, and now there’s teasing hints of tropical fruit along with some stewed apple and pastry crust. Water brings the fruit out to the front, and it’s not tropical fruit as much as it is good old lemon, and mostly lemon peel/preserved lemon at that. Some malty sweetness to go with it too. A little later the hints of tropical fruit are back.
Palate: Intense malty sweetness along with citrus and polished wood. Some light hints of tropical fruit too and then a tingling pepperiness. Gets fruitier and creamier (with a big dollop of vanilla) as it goes. With water the fruit is out in front on the palate too: lemon again but here it is mixed with apples and pears and more of that creamy sweetness. A little later the apples and pears recede and now the citrus is mingled with something more tropically acidic/musky: pineapple? maybe just the faintest touch of tart mango?
Finish: Medium-long. The fruity quality lingers and there’s a fair bit of salt and pepper too. At the very end the wood is more apparent.
Comments: My positive Glen Ord streak remains active. This is very pleasurable stuff. Nothing overly complex but very nice. In some ways this is between the Auchentoshan Valinch, 2011 and the Rattray Auchroisk 20 I reviewed recently in terms of its profile. I like it a lot better than the Auchentoshan and just a little better than the Auchroisk.
Rating: 87 points.