Supporting your local businesses is a worthwhile cause. The decline of the high street seems to have taken root with various big names falling by the wayside. The spotlight might fall upon the brand but it’s easy to forget that the little guys are struggling as well with the cheapness and inventory of the internet.
For whisky we have the big names that often we link to here on MALT because they offer that price and convenience. Commissionable links as well, but we do like to highlight other sources where possible and support the greater community. The more retail choice you have then the greater the competition, opinion and range of goods. Whenever possible we try to highlight a local store whether it be Phil’s preferred shopping destination for canine accessories or Alexandra’s vanilla emporium. Local things deserve support; a local shop for local people.
Distilleries need your support as well. For a time unless you lived in the vicinity of such a producer this may seem a peculiar statement. Scottish distilleries are long established and the communities around them have expanded and engulfed many over time as we’ve seen with Oban and Highland Park. Now in the midst of the whisky boom that never seemingly ends, the chances have multiplied that you may have a local distillery on your doorstep.
We all feel an affinity with a nearby place, especially if it is trying to produce a tangible product that has value. Doubly so if the distillery is using a more traditional or hands on approach and offering transparency. I feel this with the Fife distilleries especially Daftmill and this hit home with the 2006 Summer Release and a moment when everything came together.
Glen Ord or Ord as it was commonly known, is a massive producer for Diageo nowadays and their Singleton range. Before the dawn of this multi-distillery malt onslaught, Ord had a niche market for a tasty whisky often in a funky bottle. Both somehow worked when on paper you’d think it wasn’t possible. I won’t talk about those bottles as I still intend to purchase a couple on the secondary market sometime soon, but even a humble 12 year old Glen Ord which is now discontinued, offers satisfaction. Much like an old bottle of Glenfiddich Pure Malt that destroys the current Glenfiddich 12 year old; go back in time and discover.
The Thompson brothers who released this Glen Ord have a soft spot for the distillery and a real appreciation for its bygone whiskies. It was several years ago now that I took in a special Ord tasting with them that highlighted the quality this distillery was once capable of decades ago. Nowadays Ord still produces a solid whisky but one that’s tightly orchestrated and controlled by its parent company. The sense of wackiness in liquid or bottle form has been relegated to the history books.
We need to do more Ord and Singleton here at MALT alongside the supermarket releases that are appearing on a regular basis. Not everything is fine and rare, or European or Japanese. There’s a need to highlight the good, the bad and the ugly – see the Jura Seven Wood – and offer an opinion. Plus keeping it local.
This Glen Ord was distilled in 2006 before being bottled in 2018 at 12 years of age. It was finished for 6 months in a 100L Koval bourbon cask before being bottled at 58.3% strength with an outturn of 144 bottles. Just 48 of these are destined for Europe – we’re still members just now – priced at £55 per bottle. This Ord as far as I’m aware is their first attempt at finishing a release. The Dornoch distillery use slightly smaller Koval casks as part of their ongoing Crowdfunding efforts, of which I personally have a cask, or 2. You can discover several of their previous releases which generally are good to very good with a real highlight from an unexpected distillery.
Dornoch Glen Ord 2006 – review
Colour: dried straw
On the nose: a citrus arrival followed by a strong sense of coconut and vanilla essence. Marshmallows and a rich toffee character that leads into a buttery aspect. Water brings out a diluted orange, pear drops and a vibrant freshness.
In the mouth: an appealing texture and plenty of creamy vanilla emphasis. Sherbet and then a chalky mineral aspect with some apples and cinnamon. Simple and inoffensive. Water I felt is not beneficial and sands it down too much removing the edges of detail.
My least favourite of the Dornoch releases in all honesty. It’s ok, but nothing more and the cask finish has been implemented for a reason. Shame, as Ord deserves more of the spotlight and they’ve released an Ord several years ago that was worthy of your time. A challenging dram in some senses to really get into and we’re left with the score for an average whisky.