So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Glen Ord 28 yo Special Release 2003 vs Glen Ord 30 yo Special Release 2005

I read with some interest that in Glen Ord’s long history of distilling, such was it’s quality that it was sold throughout the British Empire, including in Singapore, by the 1870s. Might there be bottles cheekily hidden in walls and attics of our heritage buildings yet to be discovered? This does show that despite what some think whisky is not a ‘modern’ thing, and it is many a merchant or intrepid bar that has sold the Scottish uisge beatha through the years.

Glen Ord itself had been in the hands of Dewars and then Distillers Company for a century now. To say it is an important site to Diageo is not overstatement. Glen Ord Maltings provides all the malt for all of Diageo’s Highland distilleries, including Talisker. If the math is correct both these Special Releases were distilled between 1974-5, with such a similar abv one might suspect they are actually the same whisky except with 2 years extra maturity on the 30yo, but we’ll see. By 1975 Glen Ord had already been expanded from 2 stills to 6 in 1966. 2014 saw new buildings and a doubling of capacity again. No doubt this is an important site for Diageo and its future.



Glen Ord’s stills and condensers are run hot to enhance the copper action on the vapours, resulting in a specific grassiness.


Glen Ord 28 yo Special Release 2003 58.3%

 Nose: Medium firm, in the sense it isn’t lush or soft like you expect from the caresses of a Speysider, but it is not quite boldly difficult like..  some of the Rare Malts. It needs to be approached then you’ll find horseradish, and a stewed mash of turnip and other fibrous root vegetables. Soot and charcoal, and cold grills. Old grease. Some savoury herbals too but there’s also soft leather and treacle pudding. A concise and narrower profile than broad and lolling, and it feels very old style to me.

 Palate: Bitter zests and a simmering vegetable stew. A host of savoury herbs and licorice, thin oils, caked grease. Quite a mouthful. Old wood and lacquer. Cold woks. A strong oxalic acid bite. Compost. Very interesting and educational. Always seems more front of tongue than a fat filling spirit.

 Finish: Long and dry. Savoury and thinly woody, old wax and singer oil.


Glen Ord 30 yo Special Release 2005 58.7%

 Nose: Similar and it still has this narrower, firmer kind of profile but much more ‘pleasing’. This has a much deeper dry oakiness to it, and lacquer. Notes of Oud, and other resin-y woods surely used in perfume. More leather and old greases with a big hint of fruity rancio running through. A pouch of dried clove, raw cinnamon bark and dried peppermint leaves. The vegetal notes seem present but are not so ‘boiled mash’ but more umami seasoning cubes now. Frankly quite delicious already.

 Palate: Lots of wax and grease, and a sink full of fruit skins. Good weighty presence, like cooking oil. Resin-y and again full of richly aromatic woods. Also dry woodspice and a cabinet of savoury herbs leading to some vegetal notes. Now getting drier and dustier. Great development. Great whisky.

 Finish: Long dry savoury herbs, dried barks, and that vegetal umami-ness.

I will say the Diageo special releases of 10 years ago truly catered for the enthusiast, each one being a statement piece about the distillery and its unique profile.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on November 28, 2017 by in Glen Ord and tagged .
Follow whiskyrific on WordPress.com

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 39 other subscribers
Whisky Advocate

So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes


So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

The Whisky Exchange Whisky Blog

A Whisky-Lover's Whisky Blog


So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

Whisky Science

So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes


So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

映画 一気見

So much whisky, so little time | Singapore | Tasting Notes

%d bloggers like this: