Glen Mhor 22, 1979, Rare Malts

On Monday I had a review of the recent Glentauchers from Archives. I noted there that I had very little experience with that distillery. Well, I have even less experience with Glen Mhor, a closed distillery. I’ve previously reviewed one Glen Mhor—a Scott’s Selection release that hung around in the US for a long time—and my spreadsheet tells me that’s the only I’ve had until now (though it must be said that my spreadsheet has become a little shaky/unreliable in the years since I started the blog. That was a 26 yo, distilled in 1978. This is a little younger and was distilled a year later—it was bottled in Diageo’s Rare Malts series from the early 2000s, a series that included some legendary releases but also some less than legendary ones. Where will this one fall? Let’s see.

Glen Mhor 22, 1979, Rare Malts (61%; from a bottle split)

Nose: An interesting mix of floral, leafy and mineral notes; some peppery peat too and some lemon and sweet pear. Gets sweeter as it sits and a malty, cereal note emerges. More expressive with a few drops of water with the floral notes expanding along with the cereal; some vanilla too now. After a minute or two there’s more fruit: sweet cherries and lemon peel.

Palate: Comes in (indistinctly) sweet with the pepper behind. Nice oily texture. Very closed at full strength and doesn’t really uncoil very much with time. Let’s add water. Ah yes, now we’re talking: loads of zesty lemon along with peppery olive oil and sweet floral accents. Gets more bitter with time but it’s a bracing bitterness.

Finish: Medium-long. At full strength it’s too tight—the alcohol makes the biggest impression with some citrus and grainy notes under it. Water knocks the grain out and the notes that emerge on the palate hang out a good while.

Comments: This is very good in that austere old-school Highlands way. A nice mix of peppery, mineral peat and restrained fruit. Very much like the Cadenhead’s Ardmore 18, 1977 I really liked. Not legendary in my book and not worth what’s probably being asked for it at auction but still very good.

Rating: 88 points.

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