Old Orkney Review

Hi everyone, after a week holidays in the mountains I'm back with the first Review of the New Year. But first of all I would like to wish all my readers and their families a very Happy and Healthy 2015. Over the last 3 years you have supported Best Shot Whisky Reviews with your visits, questions and comments. I sincerely hope that you will continue to accompany my Journey through the Land of Single Malts and Blends from all over the world in 2015! The interest you have shown is a huge driver for me to try and improve with every new review. Please feel free to leave your comments, questions and suggestions. They are more than welcome! And now let's continue with the first Review of 2015!  

“A Weak Revival of an Old Name”

Country: Scotland
Region: Islands - Orkney
Brand: Old Orkney
Bottled by: Gordon & MacPhail, Elgin
Type: Blended Whisky
Age: 8 Years
ABV: 40%

Colour: Full Gold

Nose: A quick Floral brush is followed too rapidly by Caramel, Grains, Young Oak, Malt, light Peat, light Cold Smoke, lightly Buttered Toast, Peanuts, Dried Apricot, light Citrus, light Acetone and a sprinkle of Salt. The Alcohol stings a little. All in all, it doesn't seem to go in any specific direction and I miss a bit of balance and purpose. Still, at this Price Level I have nosed far worse.

Taste: Thin, Edgy and slightly Bitter Arrival. The Alcohol is quite present. I find some Toffee, Caramel, Refill Oak, Wood Spice, Licorice and the Smoke of a cheap Menthol Cigarette.

Finish: Bitter-Sweet and Short with Grains, Alcohol, Spices, light Salty Peat, Sea Water, Sugar, Menthol, Refill Oak and a vague Floral note.

I added a few drops of Water and the Nose gets a little extra Fruit. It almost doesn't smell like Whisky anymore. It's more like a Banana-Rum Cocktail. Still, it's not bad. Try it out! Palate and Finish however do not accept the added Water. 

Rating: 72

Nose: 19 - Taste: 17.5 - Finish: 17.5 - Overall: 18

The Gordon & MacPhail Shop in Elgin

General Remarks: Gordon and MacPhail is an Independent Bottler and Distiller founded in Elgin in 1895. Currently the company bottles over 350 expressions from around 70 Distilleries as well as Blended Whiskies. Originally, Old Orkney or "OO" was a Single Malt produced in the 1920's at the Stromness Distillery on the Isle of Orkney. This Distillery closed in 1928 but "OO" remained available into the late 1930's, firstly as Single Malt and later on as Blended Whisky. The name Old Orkney was revived in the 1990's by Gordon & MacPhail. Next to the 8 Years you can find a 12 Years Blended Malt Whisky. Old Orkney 8 Years sells at an average 26 US Dollars. I bought the miniature on the spot at the Gordon & MacPhail shop in Elgin. The light Floral Smoke suggests the presence of young Highland Park in the Blend.

Drinking Experience Neat: The Nose is okay but the rest is below average.

Conclusion: The Label states that this Old Orkney is "The Islands Peedie (Small)
Dram". But if I lived on Orkney I would go for a Highland Park instead unless I would be totally out of cash. Because the "OO" is a simple bottom shelf Blend, be it with a reasonable Nose at this price level. Other than that there's not a lot to enjoy and if I was either Gordon or MacPhail I'm not sure I would want to commercialise this type of Blend as it does not seem to fit in their well known range of quality whiskies. In any case I won't dream of the Old Orkney 8 Years tonight!  

Jan van den Ende                                                             January 4, 2015


Anonymous said...

Dear Jan,

a happy new year to you.
All the best!

Jan van den Ende said...

And My Best Wishes To You and Your Family As Well Bjorn. And Many Thanks for Your Ongoing Interest. Really Appreciated! Cheers, Jan.