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July 31, 2014


A session that does not make any sense, Glen Ord forty years apart

Glen Ord Carn Mor Samaroli

Indeed, this doesn’t make much sense, except if we manage to detect shifts as far as distillate profiles are concerned. Because the young one’s very young, and the old one’s not too old. Sadly, the latter is also extremely dark… Great news and bad news at the same time (great for quality – of course colours tell us something when the whisky’s not caramel-coloured – and bad for the original distillery profile.)

Glen Ord 2004/2009 (46%, Càrn Mor Vintage Collection, hogshead, cask #55, 1593 20cl bottles) Four stars Colour: very pale white wine. Let’s say last year’s Muscadet. Nose: new make, but that’s all cool given that this is Glen Ord. Glen Ord’s got a great personality, in this case I find tiny whiffs of smoke, maybe pinewood smoke, plus notes of graphite oil and paraffin. All the rest is ‘usual’, fresh garden fruits (pears ahead), sweet barley and all that. ‘Nice’ but rather uninteresting. Mouth: well, I stand corrected. The spirit talks, and in these days when many spirits are gagged with oak, this little baby tells us that when you have a great distillate, well, you have a great distillate (bravo, S.!) Perfect wax, fruits, oils, faint smoke again, notes of kiwis, citrons, nectarines… Finish: quite long, even a little hot at 46% vol. Peaches and wax. Smoke again in the aftertaste. Comments: not even sure this baby’s five, but it’s already lost its roughness and is perfectly enjoyable. Granted, not much was happening on the nose, but I loved the palate. SGP:642 - 85 points.

Glen Cawdor 1964/1983 (43%, Samaroli, sherry wood) Five stars This probable beauty is labelled as Glen Cawdor, but it’s well Glen Ord inside. Colour: mahogany. Nose: sherry matured whisky unlike any contemporary sherry matured whisky. Remember in the old days, they were using heavy sherry also to try to mimic brandy, and indeed this could as well be a very old cognac of very high quality, and even an Armagnac. It is stunning, I have to say, because behind the sherry heaviness, there are myriads of tiny organic and mineral smells. Marrow bouillon, parsley, cured ham, flints… And then pipe tobacco, dark toffee, menthol, camphor, chocolate, prunes… And then more and more freshly squeezed orange juice. This nose would beat many old Macallans, but styles are somewhat similar. You say paxarette? What paxarette? Mouth: exactly the same, only as flavours. It’s not that often that nose and palate just coincide. All right, maybe more coffee this time. Coffee with drops of triple-sec. Finish: long, and superbly dry. Amnesiacs could think they just crunched a square of chocolate with very high cocoa content. Comments: I’m afraid only Glendronach still make this style these days, even if they may not use exactly the same production methods. SGP:562 - 92 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Glen Ord I've tasted so far


Pete McPeat and Jack Washback in St Tropez - July 31, 2014



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