I only got this sample of ‘Fine Old Highland Malt’ yesterday from whisky buddy BvdP. He told me to taste the whisky before looking up what it was, and on the label it only had the Whiskybase ID of the bottle.
So I did just that, I only just looked it up now and tried it yesterday. Maybe not very surprisingly, there’s some names I recognize in the list of member ratings on Whiskybase.
Glen Mhor is one of the three distilleries that used to grace Inverness (the other two being Glen Albyn and Millburn). All of them have been closed down and either demolished or turned into something else. A shame for such a city to have no distilleries. Maybe even more surprising is that no one has tried to cash in on the ‘proud distilling history of Inverness’ by opening a new 13-to-a-dozen distillery yet.
Anyway, a 1963 Glen Mhor, at 25 years old. It makes for a bottling around 1988, which means this is an oldie in both ways that can be interpreted. Quite some age, and bottled a long time ago.
The nose first has a rather heavy scent, but that’s mostly OBE (Old Bottle Effect). It’s gotten a bit musty over the decades it’s been locked up. With a bit of oxygen it gets a lot more fresh, with a hint of star anise. There’s lots of old oak, barley and a whiff of smoke. Tropical fruit too, lots of it.
The palate continues the fruitiness with some oak and a herbaceous edge. Oak, and herbs like thyme, but very gentle. Barley, with a creamy texture, crusty bread. Even though there’s no vanilla it does have that custard like texture and creaminess.
The finish is, not surprisingly, very smooth and gentle. Fruity with some barley and herbs. Very light with pear and papaya.
Unfortunately I have very limited experience with Glen Mhor, especially from this era. After tasting this I can’t help thinking that’s something I should remedy (this is the second on the blog, I think). This is a very impressive dram, with lots of different flavors going on.
Keep in mind that this is ancient and only 40%, so if you’re one that generally goes for bit whiskies with big flavors and big ABVs, you won’t really enjoy this one, I think. It’s an exercise in subtlety, with all flavors sticking their head out every now and then. One that needs attention but doesn’t demand it. An introvert whisky, if you will.
Glen Mhor 1963, 25 years old, 40%, Sestante