Adult giraffes
I wanted to do something different from what I normally do, so I decided to have a small nosing and tasting on my own, with a set of four 10cl. samples we had purchased in Scotland, at the Glenmorangie distillery.

With their over 5 meter tall necks, Glenmorangie is known for having the tallest stills in the Scottish industry, what makes the new-make spirit one of the purest spirits dripping from the stills in Scotland. Some of their whiskies are chill filtered, others are non-chill filtered in order to maintain taste and texture. About adding caramel we received no information during our visit.

The four tasted whiskies can be found in the standard Glenmorangie range.

the Original
Glenmorangie - the Original
40% abv

It starts with a fresh nose, with a tiny bit of sourness, honey, vanilla and some apple. There is a little bite on the tongue, over the honey-sweet, vanilla-like softness, reminding me of melting marshmallows. It ends with honey glueing on your palette, clinging to your throat.

It has been matured for ten years in both first- and refill bourbon casks, after which they are married together prior to be bottled.

Very nice to drink every once in a while, I could even recommend having it in the standard collection, for whenever you feel like something gentle and not too difficult.

Quinta Ruban
Glenmorangie - Quinta Ruban
46% abv, non chill-filtered

Beginning with a sweet somewhat dusty nose, where herbs and the influence of port are very noticeable. A sharp, sweet taste, less dry then expected from the nose is in contrast with a very dry finish, reminding me more of wine or port then whisky.

She has matured in ex-bourbon casks during the first ten years, after which these casks are collected in ex-port casks during a period of two years.

Very nice. I have once poured this at a party with non-whisky drinkers. This was not a great example of what whisky could also be and most people turned quickly back to their original drinks. A shame, but mainly a poor timing from my side, because this whisky feels much better at home with a good slice of old cheese and a warm hearth.

Glenmorangie - Lasanta
46% abv, non chill-filtered

This has a lovely honey-sweet, flowery nose and a soft and sweet palette, that gets a bit fat after a couple of seconds followed by a spicy - like white pepper. The finish is slow and sweet accompanied with a hint of metal.

This one has also first been matured for ten years in ex-bourbon casks and received a finish of two years in ex-oloroso-sherry casks. Whiskies that have been matured in ex-sherry have a strong personal preference lately, so it is no surprise for me that this was my favourite of the evening.

I would not have a problem having this bottle in my standard assortment.

Nectar d'Or
Glenmorangie - Nectar d'Or
46% abv, non chill-filtered

At first there are overripe pears, white fruit, sweetness, gingerbread and dark chocolate on the nose, then it is sharp on the tongue, leaving more pears and honey-flowery sweetness. It finishes with even more pear, fruity sweetness and the same sharp final touch.

I like it. I hate pears, but the sweet, fruity, firm presence gives this a little extra. That probably has to do something with the finish it has received on French Sauternes casks. Lovely.

pre 2007 "Original"
Glenmorangie - Ten Years Old 
43% abv

On the start you will encounter a hard, fresh Granny Smith apple, after that there is a clear scent of vanilla and tangerine, accompanied by some butterscotch. A sweet, honey-like, fat layer of marmalade on the tastebuds with a strong, slightly bitter (marmalade again) finish.

This pre 2007 version of what is now the Original isn't that different from its successor. Maybe there is a little bit more bitterness in this version, but all in all it is pretty much the same to me.

Very capable
Glenmorangie - Ealanta
46% abv, non chill-filtered

When opening the bottle, it immediately gives you vanilla followed by oak. On further investigation the nose also reveals cookie-dough, orange-zest, anice, hazelnuts, almond and a hint of beeswax. The sweet vanilla continues in the taste, revealing violets, brier, honey, white chocolate, but is sharp on the tastebuds and palate. The finish is slow and long and gives you more vanilla, honey, several flowers and the dry aftermath of tannins, making me realise it is bottled right on time.

The Glenmorangie Ealanta (Gaelic for skilled and ingenious) has matured for 19 years in virgin American white oak casks that have not been used for maturing any drinks before. The oak-trees have been hand selected from the Mark Twain forest in Missouri, USA in the beginning of 1990 and were filled with the Glenmorangie new-make spirit in 1993. Bottled in 2012, she is fourth in Glenmorangie's annual Private Edition series, after the Sonnalta PX, Finealta and Artein.

We have tasted this first at the Hielander Whisky Festival in Alkmaar, February 2013 and were convinced to purchase a bottle straight away. I am afraid it will not last very long in our cabinet.

My overall conclusion is that all these bottlings have a soft, and sweet nose, taste and finish, where I noticed that all whiskies had a slight metal taste after a couple of minutes. I am not sure this was because of what we ate, or that it is a characteristic of Glenmorangie. The need for a re-taste is herewith approved.A very nice drink and I would not hesitate long if I were looking for a bottle with a similar tasting profile.

One of many bourbon labels
Like many in the industry, Glenmorangie also knows that the wood has the most influence on the eventual taste of the end product. Because of this Glenmorangie have chosen to manage and hand-pick their own American white oak from the Ozark mountains in Missouri, USA. After a resting- and drying-period of two years in open nature, the oak staves are made into barrels that are leased to several different Bourbon or Tennessee-whisky distillers, to hold their product for four years. After that, the casks are shipped to Schotland, where they will be use - only twice - for the maturation of Glenmorangie spirit.

The story goes that mid-1990, a broken ex-bourbon cask holding Glenmorangie whisky was "accidentally" transferred into an ex-sherry cask, that was only noticed after a while where the result was approved enough to experiment further. This makes Glenmorangie one of the pioneers when it comes to finishing whiskies.

Glenmorangie website

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