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1991 Ord 16 Year Manager's Dram Single Malt Scotch Whisky Review: A Beastly Proof Leaves No Evidence

Updated: Jul 3


Glen Ord Distillery
Photo Credit: Joshua Feldman, the Coopered Tot

Also called Glen Ord, this is a whisky distillery in the Scottish Highlands, the only remaining single malt scotch whisky distillery on the Black Isle.


Harkening back to the mid-13th century, the MacKenzies of Ord were granted lands in the west of Scotland by King Alexander III. In 1820, Thomas MacKenzie of Ord inherited the estate embarked on rejuvenating the area. A large portion of MacKenzie's land was devoted to the cultivation of barley; as such, he decided to lease the land for a distillery to be built. This would also provide year-round employment for locals.


Glen Ord Distillery
A rare back label in the Manager's Dram Series can be found on this Ord bottle

Today the distillery is part of Diageo, the same conglomerate we've been talking about from evolving from DCL to United Distillers to present. Glen Ord notably supports the Johnnie Walker blends, an obvious recurring theme throughout this tasting.



At the latest Whisky Legends tasting, hosted by Gregory Cloyd, the Amongst the Whiskey Team (Nick Anderson & Jes Smyth, respectively) were fortunate enough to enjoy his beautiful garden during an evening of legendary tasting. It was a privilege to taste such rare whisky, and we are honored to share our tasting notes with you today. And tomorrow. And the next day until the lineup has been completed.


 

Company on Label: Ord Distillery

Whiskey Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Mash Bill Percentages: 100% malted barley

Proof: 132.4°

Age: 16 years (distilled in 1975 and bottled June 20th, 1991)

Further identification: On the front label: A 16 Year Old refill cask specially selected and bottled at natural strength for malt distillery managers within United Distillers.


 

Nick's Thoughts


Nose: Eyes widen at this change of pace in the tasting. Black pepper leads like punk rock wearing a choker, wood spice prevalent in classy layers. Milk duds, vegetable oil, and chantilly cream can all be found. This is an oily dram, but adding water flattens it into a piece of paper.


Palate: My first taste is like getting dunked unexpectedly underwater in the ocean. Bits of inhaled seawater are choked up as the lungs wiggle in fear. I get the feel of old, natural rope being tied up in a marina. There is perfumed raspberry and tons of effervescence. Raspberry parfait, raspberry tea, yep, raspberry all the way down. There is a pop of shishito pepper in the finish. The linger is infinitly long but I must admit I do enjoy the nose more than the palate.


Jes's Thoughts


Nose: What is this spice rushing into my nose? According to the host, it's none other than "Highland wood," oh my, this pepper is not shy. It's confident and well-balanced, like someone wearing "a paint suit and shoulder pads" —an ever-popular 90's fashion trend (thank you to Jacob for his colorful commentary throughout). Past the robust pepper is a land of soft serve vanilla & chocolate swirled ice cream covered in caramel sauce. It's a familiar landscape as this nose and its shoulder pads march toward bourbon notes.


Palate: Smoke leads the way across my tongue. Like wisps of a bonfire from the night prior, the smoke is content to sit back now and let other tastes lead the way: white pepper, bursts of split-apart vanilla bean, and cracks of sea salt. The oiliness in my mouth reminds me of a ceramic glaze on a piece of cherished clay pottery; it's coating every inch. My goodness, the mouth tingles, though. Wow. This sip is intense!


 

Rating: 4/5


This got better and better with time, but didn’t stand up to water. A beast of a dram that commands your attention and makes you feel an array of emotions you were least expecting.


 

Written by: The Amongst the Whiskey Team


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