Head to Head: Wine Cask Finished Glenmorangie

LS: LasantaGlenmorangie 3 way

QR: Quinta Ruban

NO: Nectar D’Or

Maker: Glenmorangie, Ross-Shire, Scotland, UK (LVMH)

Age: 12 y/o

Style

LS: Sherry cask finish.

QR: Port cask finish.

NO: Sauternes cask finish.

Michigan State Minimum

ABV: 46%

LS: $52

QR: $53

NO: $62

Appearance

LS: Bright copper with thin sticky legs.

QR: Light auburn with thick legs.

NO: Pale copper with long thick legs.

Nose

LS: Roasting nuts, almond paste, alcohol. With water: Less alcohol.

QR: Alcohol, stewed prunes, oak. With water: A hint of fruit comes out but very little changes.

NO: Alcohol, golden apples. With water: Turns more grapey with light honey.

Palate

LS: Full bodied and soft. Hard caramel candy, toffee, then burn. With water: Brings out more sweetness. Apple sauce, butterscotch

QR: Heavy but light on flavor. Golden raisins, burn. With water: Velvety with mulberries, white currants.

NO: Medium bodied and sweet. Dried apricot, cane sugar, burn. With water: Clover honey, overripe peaches.

Finish

LS: Butterscotch, cashew brittle then burn. Lingers for a while. With water: Slightly rubbery, roasted almonds.s

QR: Raisins, oak, burn. With water: Dried figs, oak.

NO: Oak, sweetness, burn. With water: Tingles all around, angel food cake, golden raisins.

Parting words: This three-way was born out of a fun little four pack of 100 ml bottles of different Glenmorangie expressions. It includes the 10 y/o and these three expressions and sells for $32 in Michigan.

I wanted to do this tasting because I thought it would be a good opportunity to explore the influence of wine casks on malts because these are all the same age and from the same distillery. What was the most remarkable to me was how similar they actually were. The sherry cask in the Lasanta seems to have had the most influence on the final product. It had a clear, classic, nutty profile that screamed sherry. Nectar D’or also reflected its cask well, albeit subtly. The Sauternes showed up as a light, sweet grapey aroma and taste. Both were good and are recommended.

The only disappointment was the Qunita Ruban. Not to say that it wasn’t good. I liked it, but the port finish was much too subtle. If the bottle didn’t tell me it was finished in a port cask (or pipe, or whatever it’s called), I would never have guessed. I appreciate that they didn’t want to make it a strawberry bomb, and made sure that the malt character comes through, but when I see that a whisky is finished in a port cask, I go in expecting big fruit. This did not deliver. So why bother? Still, it tastes good and is not too expensive, and that’s more than one can say for a lot of single malts. Quinta Ruban is mildly recommended.

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3 thoughts on “Head to Head: Wine Cask Finished Glenmorangie

  1. Ha! I bought the same sampler pack back in November and a had very similar experience. I really like that GlenMo sells something like this and doesn’t overcharge you for it. Generous sample size too.

  2. Ha. I, too, snagged this sampler pack last November. Fantastic deal and perfect for a sampling experience. I very recently snagged an awesome Johnnie Walker pack as well. As for the Glenmos, the Quinta Ruban is not my favorite either, but I do still enjoy it. I have to say that I enjoy the Nectar D’Or the most out of the three – a well integrated expression. Great write up – cheers!

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