Glen Ord SMWS 77.42 “Portuguese Custard Tarts”

Thanks to Tim for this sample.

I’ve said it enough times, but it bears repeating: No, I don’t know the final resting place of the Magna Carta that happens to have the treasure map to Alaric’s Treasure, nor do I know anything about the reporter who was looking into it, and no, my family’s riches were in business and stocks and other totally legit things, we just lost the paperwork.

Oh, and I was late to Glen Ord reviews and I’m a bit sick of mentioning it. So I’m gonna stop.

Way back when I decided I should try Glen Ord, and started talking to friends who had bottles and had drank it. One of the first samples I picked up was Glen Ord SMWS 77.42 “Portuguese Custard Tarts”. You know, an entry level whisky, right?

Wrong. It’s a 14-year-old whisky from my favourite punching bag of an independent bottler that was then finished for 1 year in an ex-Sauternes cask.

Insert rant about SMWS going downhill here, insert rant about finishes, insert rant about… I don’t know, how about something about my genitals or the current state of musicals to throw you off. Or how Squid Game is a parody of North American views of class warfare.

Look, it’s a single cask of Glen Ord, and I’m excited to put it in the larger of the face holes and see how it tastes. I don’t expect much, but I’m a bitter jaded Millennial in a pandemic, so let’s get to it to avoid reality for a second, shall we?

Price: € 107

Region: Speyside

Vintage: April 3 2001

Bottled: 2016

Cask Type: 13 years in ex-Bourbon Hogshead / Finished for 1 year in 2nd Fill Sauternes Hogshead

Number of bottles: 270

Abv: 58.4%

Colour: 5Y 8/10

Nose: Pear, brown sugar, pineapple, funk, mint

Nice fruitiness on the nose. Delves into very sweet territory, however water balances that out with some mint and… funk?

Wait, funk? Really? Now you have my attention sir/madam/whatever-you-designate-whiskies-as! Granted reviewing other Glen Ord reviews I’ve found that before, so I shouldn’t be totally surprised, granted the last time it was a much older Glen Ord, so maybe I should be surprised?

The reason I was most likely surprised is this whole thing hides it’s secrets like it’s handing out rings to little people.

Taste: Pineapple funk, lime JELL-O, floral, cereal, raisin

Yeah, that’s funk alright! Similar to the nose you have a mixture of tropical funk, strong sweet/fruit notes, and then this floral/cereal add-on. Wish some of the mint had come along for the ride. It’s a bit front loaded, with the latter flavours being less complex though still strong.

But wow is it hard to pick apart. The taste is like a kid who doesn’t want to present: It gets the idea done asap and then bolts itself out of there.

Finish: Custard, pear, lime zest, white chocolate, marzipan

Creamy, good balance of acidity and fruit. Holy damn this finish is way better than the rest. Interesting flavours, complexity, balance. Nothing hidden either.

It’s like an open book of flavour, and it’s free, and it’s not going to sell your private data for using it!

Conclusion: The Finish steals the show. The rest is very tropical/funk driven, and I have no issue with that. That said, other than the finish it felt like pulling teeth to get the flavour on this one.

So let’s get down to it: Yes it was nice, no I don’t think you should get it if you’re a funky whisky loving person. As the funk is buried way down deep.

On the other hand if aftertaste is your thing then this whisky is a must buy. The finish has no right to be this good. It’s like watching a beat up POS towing a really nice camper.

80/100

Scotch review #1440, Speyside review #407, Whisky Network review #2127

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