Glen Mhor 44, 1966 (Gordon & MacPhail for Van Wees)

This ancient Glen Mhor was bottled by Gordon & MacPhail in 2011. It was part of a legendary parcel of casks bottled for Van Wees in the Netherlands. The other casks in the parcel included a legendary quintet from Longmorn. One of those, a 41 year old distilled in 1969, was the recipient of the highest score I have yet given a whisky; and the others were no slouches either. I’m hopeful that this Glen Mhor will prove worthy of its company and signal a good start to the month in whisky reviews. Let’s see.

Glen Mhor 44, 1966 (52.1%; Gordon & MacPhail for Van Wees; refill sherry hogshead; from my own bottle)

Nose: Sweet orange, paper, old coins, brown butter, an old wooden box, just a hint of soot. The citrus gets brighter/more acidic as it sits and the softer notes expand as the brown butter is joined by some malt; a leafy note now too. As it sits the fruit comes to the fore and there’s pineapple and a bit of apricot now along with the citrus.

Palate: Comes in pretty much as advertised by the nose except the citrus is brighter here from the get-go and there’s a bit more oaky grip. Feels just a tad hot at 52.1%—that’s probably on account of the oak; nice texture. Some floral sweetness in with the fruit on the second sip and the oak blends wonderfully with it all. A little sweeter as it goes with peach and berries. Okay, let’s add a few drops of water. Water pushes the oak back a bit and emphasizes the fruit, with the sweeter notes in front and the acid behind. The leafy note from the nose shows up now as well.

Finish: Long. The fruit and florals crest and then the oak is the main note—which is not to say that it’s tannic or unbalanced in any way. As on the palate with time and water.

Comments: Very lovely indeed. A great decision, in my opinion, to not wait till it was 45 years old to bottle it. The oak plays very well with everything else right now but who’s to say what would have happened in a few more months? Maybe I’m only making the comparison because they were all released together but this tastes like a more austere cousin of that fabulous (and far more fruity) Longmorn quintet. I have it a little behind the best of those but that may change as the bottle stays open (I’ll report on its progress).

Rating: 90 points.



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