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Archive for the ‘Highlands’ Category

Glenmorangie 12yr (The Quinta Ruban)

05 Jul

Whisky Details

Country: Scotland
Region: Highland
Distillery: Glenmorangie
Bottler: Glenmorangie
Years Matured: 12
Style: Single Malt
Alcohol:  43.0%
Price: $$

 Tasting Notes

Appearance: russet
Nose: sweet, fruitcake, chocolate mint, vanilla, hot on the nose
Body: firm, round
Palate: sweet, nutmeg, cherries, light peat
Finish: long zesty finish, bitter chocolate, peat, almond oil

Flavor Profile 

 glenmorangie12yrTheQuintaRuban

 Final Thoughts

Every now and then I like to enjoy a sizable bedtime dram.  When its been a long day and I am craving something rich and delicate I reach for this special bottling of Glenmorangie.  The Quinta Ruban is finished for two years in port casks.  When Brandy is added in the port making process it kills the fermentation process leaving a high amount of unfermented sugar.  When combined with the vanilla leached from the oak casks you get rich chocolate notes with a hint of mint, cherries, and other fruit.  The finish is long and will sticks with me as I slowly wade into slumberland.

Grade: A- (91)

 

The Glenlivet 21yr (The Archive)

05 Jul

Whisky Details

Country: Scotland
Region: Highland
Distillery: The Glenlivet
Bottler: Distillery
Years Matured: 21
Style: Single Malt
Alcohol:  43.0%
Price: $$$

Tasting Notes

Appearance: polished mahogany
Nose: sherried fruits, oranges, vanilla, sponge cake, heather honey
Body: firm
Palate: gently coats, starts sweet, light spice, butter
Finish:  dark chocolate, some sweet spices

Flavor Profile

Final Thoughts

This is Glenlivet’s second oldest bottling in their portfolio and is a great addition to the rest of the line.  While Glenlivet’s 12yr old can be found at nearly every bar in the United States, this bottling may be a little tougher to find out in the wild.  However, with Glenlivet being such a huge hit in the U.S. your local speciality shop should have a bottle or two in stock.

I was pleasantly surprised by the nose on this fill.  As with some older aged whiskies the sherry can overpower even the most robust house flavor.  It would seem that this particular bottling used second fill casks which imparted only a slight influence.  This is definitely to our benefit as other dimensions can really shine.  While the sherry remnants are fairly subdued, the vanilla notes from the old oak and renowned Speyside citrus are very apparent.  A slight hint of heather honey tops off the nose and adds a nice feinty balance.

The body and mouth feel are fantastic, definitely one of my favorites in this department.  It is firm and coats the mouth easily.  The palate is sweet but has a buttery richness that provides balance and class.  Some light spice notes are apparent but difficult to identify, I recommend a little water to open things up.  The finish has more sweet spice and a hint of dark chocolate (think >40% solids) that warrants another.  Overall a wonderful Speyside dram and a welcome deviation from the rest of Glenlivet’s lighter, bourbon aged portfolio.

Grade: B+ (88)

 

Glenmorangie 10yr (The Orginial)

05 Jul

Whisky Details

Country: Scotland
Region: Highland
Distillery: Glenmorangie
Bottler: Glenmorangie
Years Matured: 10
Style: Single Malt
Alcohol:  40.0%
Price: $$

Tasting Notes

Appearance: deep copper
Nose: floral, fabric softener, opening to citris, dried apricots, cream cheese
Body: light and fresh
Palate: vanilla, salty butter, dry
Finish: short, a little peat, herbal, lingering oak

Flavor Profile

glenmorangie10yrTheOrginial

Final Thoughts

As the most approachable, and youngest expression in the Glenmorangie line, the 10yr Original is a nice bridge to the distillers bolder expressions.  There is just enough house flavor in this bottle to hook you on the remaining portfolio.

The nose is rich with floral notes, a focal point of many Highland malts.  However, when enjoyed with a small amount of water, hidden feinty and fruity notes become much more apparent.  The body is light, much like other Bourbon aged 10yr olds.  The palate is sharp and reminds me of yogurt dipped pretzels and their sweet and salty contrast.  The final dry oaky notes drop off quickly…too quickly, leaving just a hint of flowers and peat behind. Overall a great introduction to the varied Glenmorangie portfolio but falls a little flat compared to other 10yr olds.

Grade: B (84)

 

The Balvenie 10yr (Founders Reserve)

05 Jul

Whisky Details

Country: Scotland
Region: Highland
Distillery: The Balvenie
Bottler: The Balvenie
Years Matured: 10
Style: Single Malt
Alcohol:  43.0%
Price: $

Tasting Notes

Appearance: light gold
Nose: honey, white ziffendal, fruit salad, vanilla
Body: light to medium
Palate: immedatly hot, mead, dry, chaff-like, iron tonic, spicy
Finish:  dry, husky, slight peat, spicy, sweet woody notes linger

Flavor Profile

theBalvenie10yrFoundersReserve

Final Thoughts

A solid young highland malt.  In an industry where the use of commercial maltings are common place there is something to be said about those who malt their own barely.  Balvenie has a strong tradition of such practices and their additional effort does not go unnoticed.

This malt, while younger, shows some real style.  The nose is extremely hot and I recommend a little water to kill the prickle.  Once mellowed, feinty, and fruit notes are prevalent.  Warming with the hand brings out a surprising amount of vanilla for such a young malt.  The palate is reminiscent of dry mead with a spash of iron tonic.  Wrapping things up is a great cereal finish with lingering spice and fleeting notes of peat.  Overall a profound expression from a young malt and historic distillery.

Grade: B+ (88)

 

Highland Park 18yr

05 Jul

Whisky Details

Country: Scotland
Region: Island (Non-Islay)
Distillery: Highland Park
Bottler: Highland Park
Years Matured: 18
Style: Single Malt
Alcohol:  43.0%
Price: $$

Tasting Notes

Appearrnce: tawny
Nose: balanced peat and smoke, cherries, sherry influence, fresh honey
Body: medium
Palate: round, smooth, light smoke and peat, toffee
Finish: long, peat and smoke, bitter chocolate, dry

Flavor Profile

highlandPark18yr

Final Thoughts

The team at this far northern distillery sure know how to battle the winter chill.  If a sneak peak of Spring is what your looking for, this malt delivers. 

The bouquet is rich with fresh clean notes and tempered by light smoke and peat.  Once on the palate, this dram is just mouthwatering.  There are very few Whiskies as well balanced and drinkable as this one.  Finally peat and smoke are immediatly apparent but quickly give way to a dry lingering sweetness and bitter chocolate.  The finish tapers off slowly and in balance.

Grade: A- (93)

 

The Glenlivit 12yr

04 Jul

Whisky Details

Country: Scotland
Region: Highland
Distillery: The Glenlivet
Bottler: The Glenlivet
Years Matured: 12
Style: Single Malt
Alcohol:  43.0%
Price: $

Tasting Notes

Appearance: deep copper
Nose: fresh fruit, pears, apples, slight vanilla
Body: crisp, light
Palate: sweet, cookies, citrus, flowery
Finish:  oak, malty, vanilla, drying, clean

Flavor Profile

Final Thoughts

When most Americans think of single malt scotch it’s likely this particular malting is the first one to come to mind.  As in most bars around the world, The Glenlivet is an extremely common whisky in the U.S., especially this 12 year old expression.  This malt is the cheapest, youngest, and most advertised spirit in The Glenlivet’s portfolio and as such is often thought of as a lower quality single malt, but this is certainly not the case.  In addition to winning a silver medal at the 2009 World Spirits Competition this whisky is well respected among connoisseurs and bar patrons around the world.

The Glenlivet house style is attributed to the large volume but small necked copper lantern pot stills.  The large stills allow The Glenlivet to keep up with high worldwide demand while the stills narrow neckscool the distilled vapor quickly creating a light, fruity house flavor.  This is readily apparent in the nose and body of this bottling.  Fresh fruit, pears, and a hint of vanilla are all present and in good balance.  The mouthfeel is as light and as crisp as the freshly picked apples you swear they tossed in the pot still alongside the wort.  The palate is not overly sweet and has great cookie-like  notes reminiscent of malted barely.  The finish is clean and matches the nose and palate very well, a very predictable but balanced bottling for sure.

Grade: 86 (B)