...where distraction is the main attraction.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Glen Ord 28 year old 1975 (thank you, MAO!)

Thank you to M.A.O., the guy who knows the guy who once talked to the guy who came up with the name for the blog called My Annoying Opinions, for this sample of Glen Ord 28 year old.

When I first started reading his online opinions he went by another nom de plume. Unless his real name is Mongo. Or Mao. Or Michael. At first he seemed like a particularly prickly pear about everything whisky-related. But then I started actually reading what he was writing and found it all......reasonable. Then one day, in a private group of whisky bloggers, MAO attempted to discuss "the soft corruption" in the relationship between whisky bloggers and the industry, resulting in a chorus of the self-unaware calling him a troll. Not only was MAO correct, but he was being gentle. The corruption was and is hardcore. (It's just accepted now, I guess.) And the fact that no one in the group could admit to the slightest snuggling up made it all very discouraging. Well done, MAO. Thanks to you I hate whisky.

But I like Glen Ord. The Tri-Ords (25yo, 28yo and 30yo) that Diageo released when we were all younger have become a piece of whisky history, with the beautiful whisky inside the clonky bottle inside the shoebox. I have a bottle of the 30 year old that will be opened when I turn 130-something. My wife and I had the 25yo at Fiddler's in Drumnadrochit. And here's the 28.

Thank you, Masked Man
Distillery: Glen Ord
Owner: Diageo
Type: Single Malt
Age: minimum 28 years (1975-2003)
Maturation: ????????????
Region: Northern Highlands
Outturn: 3600 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 58.3%

Oh my. The nose. An old musty wine cellar. Then fresh peaches and apricots. Moss and roses. Almond cookies. Hints of hot oregano, coastal peat and lemon cake. The palate is big and warm. Immense citrus levels. Spearmint gum. Vanilla cake, lemon candy, ginger powder and just a bit of fustiness. There's fruit (fresh and candied) in the finish. Some oak spice. Very warm.

Just a little bit of water here...

DILUTED TO 52%abv, or .75tsp of water to 30mL whisky
The nose is similar, with a little more citrus. Lemons, specifically. A bit chalkier, too. Lemon cake turns into angel cake. The hints of oregano and coastal peat remain. The fruit becomes more focused, more specific in the palate now. Think lemons and limes. A good tartness. More minerals, more chalk. Moments of coconut cream, vanilla pudding and nutmeg+molasses. That baking spice note continues into the finish, and leads to ginger snap cookies. Then lemons and a hint of vanilla. Great length.

The noses on the Tri-Ords exude near magnificence. They reveal levels and dimensions and themes and facets, and they also smell good. As MAO mentions in his review, dilution helps the palate out. There's a lot of citrus and (good) oak in the palate. Between that and the assertive ABV, perhaps the palate is held back — just a smidge — from greatness. But the nose can't be shackled. And that will push it up one point to 90, just so that I can be 1% more positive today.

Availability - Oddly not too difficult to find at online European retailers
Pricing - all over the place, but mostly $350-$500
Rating - 90


  1. Drinking this again tonight and I can report that with only abut a quarter of the bottle left this has now opened up very nicely on the palate even without water. I think I'm going to lay off on the Private Preserve and just finish this soon.

    1. Glad to read that time works in its favor. Have you ever tried the 28 and 30 head-to-head? Has anyone?