...where distraction is the main attraction.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Glenmorangie 18 year old "Extremely Rare" (current bottling)

As I write this the fourth day of spring comes to a close, yet this grim winter refuses to piss off. But I'm going to pretend the sun is warming the ground, leaves are beginning to peek through the branches and my HVAC system is getting a rest. And I'm going to review three whiskies from Glenmorangie, a distillery that produces a light fruity malt that suits warm weather.

I've devoted too many posts decrying the utter silliness of LVMH distilleries' (Ardbeg and Glenmorangie) limited releases. So this time I've chosen three 'Morangie malts that (I hope) are some of the more thoughtful Lumsden productions.

To begin the week, I am reviewing the current official 18 year old. It's officially called "Extremely Rare" because it is available at every specialty liquor retailer in the world. But aside from the name, there's a minimum of goofiness going on in this single malt.

Its contents are pretty straightforward. 70% of the whisky spent all 18 years in American oak, while the other 30% spent 15 years in American oak and 3 years in "Spanish Oloroso" casks. I'm pretty sure "Spanish Oloroso" is redundant, but it may be a way to distract from the likelihood that the Oloroso-seasoned casks were also made out of American oak. I really cannot make it through a single paragraph without this cynical flatulence, can I?

Yes, I can. See.

Distillery: Glenmorangie
Ownership: Louis Vuitton Moet-Hennessy (accents and umlauts still not included)
Region: Highlands (Northern)
Age: at least 18 years
Maturation: see above
Alcohol by Volume: 43%
Chill-filtered? ???
Colorant added? ???
(Thank you to Monsieur Brett for the sample!)

Hmmmm, a happy >1 ratio of spirit to wood in the nose. Dried apricots, peach candy and a little bit of lawn. Very moderate vanilla. The subtle sherry element is MUCH better integrated than Lasanta. In fact it's a mild nutty thing that weaves amongst the rest of the characteristics. The nose improves with time, picking up more lemon, apple, honey and grapefruit.

The palate starts off with tangy citrus and tart stone fruit. The sherry wood is toasty, as opposed to grapey. A peppery oomph makes the whole thing a little brisker than expected. Apples, pears, a whiff of flowers. Its citrus side expands with time.

Its finish has a tart, but not acidic, bite. White fruits and almonds. Limes and grapefruits.

Gotta say, this is tremendously pleasant. And well made, especially compared to almost everything else by Glenmo. It also fits in with the other two Big Glens, Fiddich and Livet, whose 18 year olds are (or at least were as of three years ago) the best part of their regular ranges. If you don't go into this whisky expecting bags of complexity, you may just find it terribly nice.

Availability - Nearly every specialty Scotch retailer in the known world
Pricing - $85 - $125
Rating - 86