Gotta hand it to LVMH. Their bottles are sexy. Nice contours…nice labelling…nice colors in the glass. But, hey…this is malt whisky, not handbags, luggage or jewellery. Since I’m not one of those folk who think presentation amounts to extra points when assessing or scoring whisky, let’s get on to the stuff that actually matters.
Just an introduction: Glenmorangie is a Highland distillery from the Northern reaches of Scotland that boasts some of the tallest stills in the industry. Possibly the very tallest. This, by nature, lends the spirit a lighter, more estery profile (think fragrant and sweeter on the fruity notes). The distillery is also famous (or infamous, perhaps, would be a better word?) for their bold pioneering of whisky ‘finishing’. They have taken the concept to an extreme art form. Rather successfully too, I might add.
Speaking to this, the 18 year old, in particular…
It’s a rather sad fact that there is not a lot of aged Glenmorangie out there, ergo the ‘Extremely Rare’ on the label. Hmmm…not sure if that quite aligns with my idea of extremely rare, but…for the sake of getting along…we’ll give ’em a pass, I guess.
This malt whisky spent the first 15 years of its life in bourbon casks, before being re-racked into ex-Oloroso butts, rounding out the light floral nature of the spirit itself with a bit more depth from the sherry influence.
I hate to say it, ’cause it feels kinda like a cop out, but there’s really not a lot more to talk about with this one. A rather nice whisky with not a lot of fanfare, backstory or personality.
Nose: Florals up front. White chocolate sauce. Kinda perfume-y. A touch of dust. A rather blunt dough note. Ginger. A touch of peach and mandarin orange. Vanilla cake with cream icing. Almost Lowland-ish.
Palate: Some weedy notes, and rather sharp for an 18 year old. It’s kinda fruity on the palate, but I’ll be f*cked if I can pick ’em out. Not as smooth the nose hints at. Unsweetened grapefruit. Barleys at the end. Fades into a slightly bitter grassy note with some over-steeped tea. Somewhat surprised there is Oloroso at play here.
Not bad, but rather boring. Would never peg this as an 18 year old either.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt