The late whisky writer Michael Jackson once described Glen Ord as 'perilously drinkable'. The distillery can be found on the Black Isle, which – contrary to what the name suggests – is not an island, but an area about 15 kilometers northwest of Inverness. In 2014 Signatory bottled this 17 Year Old from 1997 in those wonderful decanters in their Cask Strength Collection. The ABV is higher than 60%, which makes me wonder if it has not been put to sleep at a strength that is higher than the industry standard of 63.5%. I usually do not add water to my whisky nowadays, but for this Glen Ord I will gladly make an exception.
The nose is very malty, that’s the least you can say. But I would not call it fruity as such. Grains and some toffee, dried flowers and a hint of peach. Unripe strawberry. Alas, not much else. Water makes it a tad sweeter, but still not very outspoken.
The alcohol is a serious kick to the teeth, but luckily it does show some fruit now. It even turns tropical. I get peach, pineapple and a hint of coconut. This is lovely. Much more outspoken than the nose promised. Diluted with a teaspoon of water, it becomes a lot sweeter and turns into a wonderful tropical lemonade on steroids.
The finish is long and spicy sweet, even diluted.
Closed nose, but on the palate this turns into a fruit bomb! Great spring whisky. And I can warmly recommend a bit of water. It turns quite summery then.