Glen Ord 15, 1996 (Liquid Sun)


Day two of 1990s week is here and today I have a Glen Ord 15. (Yesterday I had a Laphroaig 19.) No, you’re not experiencing deja vu: I did recently review another Glen Ord 15 bottled by Liquid Sun. But that one was distilled in 1997, and this one in 1996. I liked that one but wasn’t blown away by it. Will this be better? Only one way to find out. Oh yes, you may think this is another untimely review but news broke yesterday that a Glen Ord is part of this year’s special release slate from Diageo. Therefore this is highly relevant content.

Anyone have any thoughts by the way on this year’s special releases? I was struck both by how few will be even sold in the US (an effect of the Scotch tariffs?) and by the fact that Diageo seems eternally committed to seeing if it can get people to shell out large sums of money for Mortlach: $2000 for a 26 yo Mortlach? I salute their shamelessness, I mean, their chutzpah! Meanwhile a 29 yo Pittyvaich produced in the exact same convoluted way will sell for $430. (Or will it? Only time will tell.) Meanwhile the Singleton of Glen Ord 18 begins to look like a bargain at $170. Almost. Well, since no one is likely to have anything to add about this Liquid Sun Glen Ord 15, I invite you to weigh in instead in the comments on Diageo’s latest excesses.

Glen Ord 15, 1996 ( 53%; Liquid Sun; bourbon hogshead; from a bottle split)

Nose: Lemon, malt, wax. On the second sniff there’s some dried leaves as well. Muskier fruity notes (overripe pears, cider) begin to come out from underneath as it gets some air and there’s some soot too. Water knocks out the wax and pushes the fruit back and makes it generally less interesting.

Palate: Starts out a bit sweeter but all the stuff from the nose is here. Nice texture at 53%. On the second sip the musky fruit and the wax are to the fore. As it sits a note of candied pineapple begins to emerge and the dried leaves recede. A bit more time and there’s a metallic thing too. Okay, let’s see what water does. It pushes the wax back here too but the fruit’s still here.

Finish: Long. The sweetness expands here. The dried leaves pop out again at the end along with some oak spice. The pineapple that shows up on the palate with time persists into the finish. Less spicy and leafy with water.

Comments: This is very drinkable, a very good malt for the summer, and very close to the others of similar age/vintage I’ve reviewed.

Rating: 85 points.

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