“Ord Over 16”, Glen Ord, 16, 1998-2014, 42.5% – Dornoch Castle

Based on the label I was going for ‘That Boutique-u Whisky Company’, and based on the Dornoch / Thompson brothers I was going for that. Neither seems to hold any water and this is categorized as a random bottler on Whiskybase. Luckily, there was a vintage and an ABV on the label of my sample bottle.

Anyway, Glen Ord. In Muir of Ord. A distillery I sort-of visited in 2013, but which I didn’t tour. They didn’t allow my then zero year old daughter inside in a carrier, and I didn’t want to make my family wait for an hour and a half. It’s not like there’s a lot of entertainment in the direct vicinity of the distillery and my wife didn’t have her drivers license yet.

Diageo runs the place, with a huge maltings on the same premises, malting barley for various distilleries. The whisky from the distillery isn’t as available as it should, at least not from the distillery itself. It’s bottled under the Singleton label and exported mainly to Asia. Both are a shame since the official Singleton releases aren’t as good as the distillery is capable of, and the popularity that should exist doesn’t happen since no one ever gets to try more than the occasional Glen Ord.

Image from Whiskybase

Let’s see where this one sits, because I do have some expectations.

Sniff:
Very timid on the nose with some grass and, strangely, a whiff of leather. Some farmy notes in the background, even. With a minute or two in the glass more scents start to come up. Pears, apples, some earthy, decaying stuff too. A bit of a thick sweetness without it being like pastry or desserts.

Sip:
The palate continues down the strangely sweet, earthy road. Some vanilla in the background, but it’s mostly grass and hay, farmy notes. Green oaky notes too with moss, soil and mulch. Surprisingly autumnal for a distillery that I normally associate with a more summery style of whisky.

Swallow:
A rather long finish, with mostly the earhty notes that linger. Some sweetness, but less than before. A whiff of vanilla and straw.

Even though it’s not a very typical whisky for the distillery, it’s a rather gorgeous dram. A lot of things are happening and the notes of decaying stuff at a farm make for a far better drinking experience than the descriptors might suggest.

Of course this bottle is not really obtainable anymore, but it is a very good one.

88/100

About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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