2019 Diageo Special Release #7 is this 18 year old malt from Highlands-based Glen Ord, which is part of the Singleton collection of three distilleries. This expression is unusual in that it is aged in freshly charred American oak hogsheads — in other words, recharred bourbon casks, essentially simulating new oak.
The nose is pretty but straightforward with malt. Some notes of peanuts, a squeeze of orange, and some smoky bacon character are evident on the nose, striking a nice balance between a traditional bourbon cask-aged single malt character and the wood-forward pungency driven by the recharred barrels.
Given the relatively restrained nose, the palate surprises with a bold sharpness that offers notes of fresh tangerine and peaches, before enduring notes of smoked meats, burnt caramel, and sultry Asian spices come to the fore, all notes largely driven by the recharred barrels. The finish is a bit brooding but never short of engaging, a classically Highlands mix of sweet and savory in delightful balance.
A- / $170 / malts.com