At the William Grants and Sons masterclass at Maltstock we had this whisky, from a series of semi-custom blends done for customers on request. Kevin Abrook told us this one was for The Netherlands and it was about to be released (right about now, to be precise).
So, we had a small preview of it at Maltstock during that Masterclass. Tony van Rooyen did a pyjama party at the closing night of Maltstock with another preview of this and this weekend was the Whisky & Rum aan Zee festival in IJmuiden which promoted it again.
They’re really pushing it, apparently, and there’s good cause. There aren’t many big fans of blended whiskies in The Netherlands, unless the whisky is from Compass Box, those always go well.
Luckily, I was able to bring a sample of the Ordha home with me from Maltstock. Kevin was nice enough to allow that (I was having a cold, big bummer). So, when I saw it popping up on the festival reports from IJmuiden I thought to give it a whirl again, to see if I was still as enthusiastic about it as I was at Maltstock. Back then I proclaimed I wanted a bottle.
What I was also told at the masterclass was that we can’t know the make up of this whisky since there’s a lot of casks in it that aren’t from William Grants and Sons distilleries.
On the nose I get a lot of woody spices. Also oak, and it’s quite sweet. Indian spices, in a very friendly way. Dried apple, some dried leaves and some light vanilla tones.
Oak and spices. Quite sharp from the spice flavors with wood spices. Slightly earthy and a rather weighty palate. Some vanilla, caramel, crème brûlée.
The lightness of the grain whisky is coming through more on the finish than before. Not that that’s a bad thing but it does show it’s a blend a bit more. With the malt whisky counterbalance it’s both heavy and light at the same time. Well balanced. The finish is long and focuses heavily on the spices.
While I can admit I’m loving this whisky, I barely feel this review does the whisky justice. I have a hard time identifying the spices I found (I’m not good at woody spices). There’s some hints of fruit and the oak is well balanced too. I feel they’ve created a really kick ass blend from our wee country. After trying it again this weekend I decided to order a bottle, so I’m picking that up this week.
I’m not sure it’ll go really fast since there are 4900 bottles available for just the Netherlands. That’s a lot in a small country, however big the whisky market is here. I do think that in a time of ridiculous overpricing the retail price of € 125 is quite friendly for a limited release at cask strength.
So, highly recommended!
Ordha, Rare Cask Reserves, 21yo, 47.4%, William Grants and Sons for The Netherlands. Available from Drinks & Gifts in Krommenie
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