Alright, let’s keep highlands whisky week moving. My first review in February was of a Glen Ord and my first review of March is also of a Glen Ord. I rather liked that 11 yo from Cadenhead and am hoping this 9 yo from Signatory—bottled at an eye-watering 61.1%—will be as good. This one is from a bourbon barrel, and a first-fill barrel at that. Hopefully, that does not indicate very heavy oak influence. Let’s see.
Glen Ord 9, 2011 (61.1% Signatory; first-fill bourbon barrel 800324; from a bottle split)
Nose: Apple to start here too but much sweeter than in last month’s 11 yo and mixed with cereals, malt and candied lemon peel. As it sits some oak emerges as well and then it begins to get maltier and muskier with overripe pear joining the apple. With more time and air there’s some sweet melon and the malt expands as well, picking up some cream. With water the oak recedes and the malt and musky fruit expand; there’s some ripe berries in there too (for my South Asian readers: ber).
Palate: Sweet, malty arrival here as well, turning acidic as I swallow. Rich texture and more approachable than the high abv would indicate. More oak with each sip but the fruit remains in good balance with it. Okay, let’s add some water. The oak is still here with water but the fruit gains the ascendancy (more tart now).
Finish: Long. The acid (lemon peel) is joined by quite a bit of oak and there’s a slightly grainy bitterness as it begins to fade out. Water pushes the grainy bitterness back but the oak is still here.
Comments: A very Glen Ord mix of malt and fruit and oak—which is to say very good. I liked it better with water (no surprise).
Rating: 87 points. (Pulled up by water.)