Glenmorangie is a Highland distillery situated in Tain. For some interesting reading, do some research on the 16 men of Tain. I can’t do all of your homework here, so go have some fun. Think Highlander. Anyway…the distillery boasts the tallest stills in Scotland. If you are not too familiar with stills (either having read the articles here on Liquorature or elsewhere), let me explain what this means. As the spirit condenses in the stills it travels up and out the lyne arm. The extra height in Glenmorangie’s stills ensures that much of the distillate runs back down before exiting the lyne arm. This is known as reflux, and means that said spirit will benefit from longer distillation, giving us a more pure spirit.
Generally this means that the end product will be lighter and smoother. This is most certainly the case with Glenmorangie.
Historically this whisky has often been considered as an entry level malt. Though I understand why it is a great gateway, the negative connotations associated with this are unfair and unwarranted. The Glenmorangie Original is my ’house’ bottle at the moment. One I find myself going back to often, and consequently have just opened my second bottle of the year.
This is truly an easy drinking whisky. It is a beautifully balanced dram that is complimentary to any situation and any drinker. Great for breaking in the novice or for those with a somewhat more refined palate. I find I most enjoy this early in the evening or before dinner. There is no specific note that leaps out as a dominant flavor, but hints of fruit, oak and mild spice vie for the senses, both nose and taste. It is creamy and syrupy across the tongue, with a thin to medium body. It is full of sweetness and warmth which make up for any lack of density.
There is a subtleness here that belies the depth of this whisky. Spend some time with it. I find dissection of this one to be a little difficult to be honest. Enjoy it as the sum of its parts. We don’t always need to know how the motor works to enjoy the ride.
My harshest criticism would be that the finish here doesn’t linger as long as I would hope for, but I suppose that means one need sip a little more frequently . There is a bit of heat that comes along towards the latter part of development, but when it fades…it’s gone.
I should note that this is the 10 y.o. It has since been re-branded as ‘Original’.
A final note from the reviewer:
Please, folks…if you take anything form this site, these whisky reviews or any of my thoughts or opinions here…let it be this:
Let your nose and palate guide you. Do not be fooled by packaging, marketing, age, abv, or anything other than what your senses tell you.
I have conceded many time that I have a preference for cask strength whiskies which are neither colored nor chill-filtered. These are personal preferences, but in no way stop me from enjoying a great whisky that doesn’t fit this profile.
There are countless whiskies on the market that fit into the branded mold. They are bottled around 40-43%, tend to have E150a coloring added, and are chill-filtered to ensure clarity and consistency. This allows for simplicity in marketing and a level of consistency otherwise lacking.
Do not EVER discount these whiskies without trying them.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Pat at www.standstillphotography.ca