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. Continue reading
Here is the first of two Glen Ord 15s bottled by the Whisky Agency under their Liquid Sun label. This is a year older than the one I reviewed last month. I really liked the classic Ord mix of fruit and austere notes that one presented. Will this be as good? Let’s see.
Glen Ord 15, 1997 (49.9%; Liquid Sun; bourbon hogshead; from a bottle split)
Nose: Bright fruit (apples, lemon, pear) mixed in with musky malt and some bready/yeasty notes. Very Glen Ord, in other words. With time that malty note moves a bit in the direction of putty. Water pulls out more of the malt and the smoke from the palate shows up here too now (a sooty, waxy outline around the malt).
Here is another Bowmore from the edge of the danger zone. There is no great tension in this preamble though as I’ve had it before and know it doesn’t have any of the dreaded soapy or perfumey notes that ran riot at Bowmore in the 1980s. This was bottled by Liquid Sun, which I believe is just another imprint of the Whisky Agency (the well-known German indie outfit). As to whether there’s some method to what goes under the main imprint and what goes under the Liquid Sun imprint, I don’t know–it may just be a way of getting large numbers of releases to stand out in the marketplace.
Bowmore 22, 1989 (50.7%; Liquid Sun; bourbon hogshead; from my own bottle)
Nose: Dry, minerally smoke with a fair bit of salt on the edges. Then some seashells and sweet iodine–quite coastal. There’s an almost earthy note too or maybe it’s wet sackcloth. With a little more time there’s some lime. Quite mellow, on the whole. With more time there’s a buttery quality and a touch of pepper too. With a drop of water the lime expands and becomes more zesty/bitter, indeed starts moving towards citronella, but then the butteriness comes back again. Continue reading