Showing posts with label Glenmorangie Tarlogan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Glenmorangie Tarlogan. Show all posts

Glenmorangie A Midwinter Night's Dram Review - Glenmorangie Tarlogan Review - Glenmorangie Spios Review - Glenmorangie 18 Years Review


"Glenmorangie Special"

Most of you know that I mainly use samples and miniatures when preparing my Reviews. At the request of many of my readers I give preference to more recent expressions. As a result, my backlog of older samples has increased quite a bit. To do justice to those samples I will review them in the format of Specials. These specials will either deal with a specific distillery like today or with specific bottlers, countries or regions. The reviews in these Specials will concentrate on the Whisky and won't touch too much details about distilleries, maturation etc. I do hope you will like these Specials just as much as my regular reviews and I look forward to your reactions and suggestions. In this special I will review four random Glenmorangie Single Malts. Enjoy!
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Whisky Review # 782

Country: Scotland
Region: Northern Highlands
Brand: Glenmorangie A Midwinter Night's Dram (Winter Edition 2017)
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 43%
Maturation: Bourbon and Oloroso casks, partially finished in PX Sherry casks
Chill Filtration: Yes
Price Range: US$ 55-70 (December 2018)
Buying Advice: 😐Average Young Malt. Okay. P/Q ratio: Borderline acceptable

Colour:

Golden Amber (Artificially Coloured)

Nose:

Young and a bit Thin but very Fruity. Lots of Orange and Dried Fruit. I'm pretty sure some New Wood was used for maturation. The PX Finish certainly provided a little more depth. The Alcohol is noticeable. Quite Sweet but not in an annoying way.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Butter Kekse (German Butter Biscuits), Dried Fruit like Raisins & Apricots, Caramel/Toffee, Orange, Sweet Apples, Banana, Walnuts, Cinnamon & Milk Chocolate.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Heather Honey, Vanilla, Burnt Grass, Dusty Track, Red Berries, Mandarin, New Oak, Spiced Wine, Cigar Box, Wet Paper, Ginger, Cloves, Caffe Latte & Dried Herbs.


Palate:

Bitter-Sweet & rather Thin. Despite the 43%, there is an unmistakable Watered-Down feeling to this Glenmorangie. A bit Dry towards the end. The Fruitiness of the Nose remains. This Fruitiness is the best part of this Glenmorangie. It's a Young Whisky and the Alcohol is noticeable.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Toffee/Caramel, Brown Sugar, Dried Fruit like Raisins & Apricots, Orange, Banana, Nutella, Milk Chocolate, Cinnamon and Pepper.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Vanilla, Treacle, Red Apples, Honey, Oak Char, Burnt Grass, Nutmeg, Ginger, Mint and Cloves.

Finish:

Middle-Long. Initially Sweet but with increasing Bitterness towards the end. A bit Watery as well. The relative youth of the Spirit becomes clear. I would not give it much more than 6-8 Years. After a while a Rubbery off-note appears. It is not really bad but I could do without it. I also find Sweet Barley, slightly burnt Buttered Toast, Toffee, Seville Orange, Dried Fruit like Raisins & Apricots, Peach Jam, Honey, Marzipan, Nuts, Milk Chocolate, Oak Char, Peanut Butter, Pepper, Ginger, Clove and Nutmeg. The Alcohol is quite noticeable here.


Drinking Advice:

This Glenmorangie does not accept added Water very well. Better sip it neat.

Rating: 81 

Nose: 21 - Taste: 20.5 - Finish: 19.5 - Overall: 20 

Drinking Experience:

Okay. Nothing Special.

Conclusion:

The production at this Tain based Distillery started in November 1849. By the end of the 1930's, the McDonald family took control of Glenmorangie. They only sold the distillery to Vuitton/Moet Hennessy in 2004. Since 1994, Glenmorangie has been very actively experimenting with different Wood Finishes. The current core range includes the Original 10 Years, the 18 years, the 25 Years, the Signet and three 12 Year old Wood Finishes i.e. the Quinta Ruban (Port), the Lasanta (Sherry) and finally the Nectar d' Or (Sauternes). In the last years however, Glenmorangie launched a large number of Special editions and Travel Retail specials. Currently, around 5.5 million litres of Spirit are produced. We visited the distillery in May 2017. The whole place looks impeccable and the Still House (Cathedral), VC and Shop are a true feast to the eye. It's almost a bit too polished for my personal taste. I'm more the Springbank type of guy!

A Midwinter Night's Dram 2017 celebrates a long gone tradition at Glenmorangie where the staff (The Sixteen Men of Tain) were treated by the Master Distiller with a special Whisky during in the days before Christmas to show appreciation for their work during the year. As usual, this Single Malt was created by Dr. Bill Lumsden.

This is by no means a bad Single Malt despite its apparent Youth and it does remind me of X-mas time with all the Dried Fruit, Nuts and Spices. But if I had been one of the Sixteen Men of Tain back in the old days I would have asked the Master Blender if my hard work wouldn't have deserved a bit more punch! Because despite the nice Fruit, this Glenmorangie really makes a Watered-Down impression. And the weak Finish did cost it a point or so as well. As such, the price is also a tad too high. 

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Whisky Review # 783

Country: Scotland
Region: Northern Highlands
Brand: Glenmorangie Tarlogan
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: NAS
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 43%
Maturation: Mix of Bourbon Casks and Virgin Oak Casks
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 70-90 (December 2018)
Buying Advice: 😑Average Single Malt - Price/Quality Ratio: 😡

Colour:

Golden (Natural Colour)

Nose:

Young, Light, Floral and Green. The first thing I notice is the Virgin Oak.  It's not one of my favourite Aromas as it tends to overpower other components. On the Nose, the Tarlogan is quite simple really. Not too much going on I'm afraid.

Main Aromas:

Toasted Cereals, Caramel, Vanilla, Honey, Virgin Oak, Straw/Grass, Wax, Yeast, Unripe Pears and Green Apples, Orange, Banana, Pineapple and Bounty Bars.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Burnt Toast, Dried Fruit like Raisins and Apricots, Butterscotch, Wet Leaves and Earth, Fresh Herbs, Varnish, Almonds, Cinnamon and Ginger.


Palate:

Bitter-Sweet, Light, Young and Edgy. There's an unfinished Feeling to this Malt. Almost like Work in Progress. Lots of Green and Unripe components.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Cereals, Caramel, Vanilla, Bounty Bars, Honey, Cherry-Flavoured Cough Pastilles, Seville Orange, Unripe Green Apples and Pears, Floral notes, Virgin Oak, White Chocolate, Caffe Latte and Pepper. 

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Butterscotch, Lemon, Banana, Papaya,  Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Ginger.

Finish:

On the Short side and a bit Young and Nervous. Sweet at first but with a little Bitterness towards the end. The Alcohol is noticeable. I find Toasted and Malted Cereals, Vanilla, Almonds, Cherry-Flavoured Cough Pastilles, Raspberries, Oak, Caffe Latte, White Chocolate, Varnish, Dried Apricot, Pepper, Ginger & Nutmeg. The Green Apples return after a while.


Drinking Advice:

The Tarlogan does not accept Water very well. Better sip it neat.

Rating: 80

Nose: 20.5 - Taste: 20 - Finish: 19.5 - Overall: 20

Drinking Experience:

Okay. Again, nothing special.

Conclusion:

The Tarlogan was released in 2016, originally for Travel Retail only. It's part of the Legends series alongside the Duthac and the Tayne. It's named after the Tarlogie spring that is the mineral-rich Water source of the distillery since 1843. Tarlogan was a King of the Picts from 653-657.

I don't want to go into history as the Eternal Enemy of Travel Retail Exclusives but hey, what can I do? The Tarlogan is another one of these nicely presented but ultimately Young whiskies that receive a Face Lift with Fresh Wood. I would not complain too much if this type of Single Malts was priced reasonably. But to ask around US$ 80 for such a Young Whisky is ridiculous. Just leave this stuff alone and buy the 10 Years Original if you're into Young Glenmorangie. Let's hope the two following expressions are better!

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Whisky Review # 784

Country: Scotland
Region: Northern Highlands
Brand: Glenmorangie Spios - Private Edition # 9
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: NAS (Probably 8-10 Years)
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 46%
Maturation: American Ex-Rye Whiskey Casks
Chill Filtration: No
Price Range: US$ 80-100 (December 2018)
Buying Advice: 👍Interesting Experiment - 👎Way too Expensive

Colour:

Golden Straw (Artificially Coloured)

Nose:

Certainly different when compared to your average Glenmorangie Malt. The Rye is clearly noticeable but does not really convince. The Aromas are a bit too Light for that. On the Nose, the Spios is mainly Sweet and a little Dusty with lots of Herbal, Grassy and Buttery notes. Relatively Young and not very complex.

Main Aromas:

Rye, Slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Toffee/Caramel, Grass/Straw, Bread Dough, Orange and Mandarin, Banana, Dairy, Cherry-Flavoured Cough Pastilles, White Orchard Fruit and of course Spices like Nutmeg, Cloves and Cinnamon.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Honey, Vanilla, Toasted Grains, Dusty Track, Nuts, Peach/Apricot, Aniseed, Mint and Licorice.


Palate:

Light, Relatively Young, Bitter-Sweet and quite Dry.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Cereals, Rye, Toffee, Dough, Grass and Straw, Sour Berries, Orange, Banana, Red Apple, Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg and Fresh Mint.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Honey, Vanilla, Caffe Latte, Cocoa Powder, Green Tobacco Leaves, Aniseed and Herbal Tea and Dusty Oak Char.

Finish:

Light, Short and Bitter-Sweet. Quite Dry towards the end. I find Rye, Vanilla, Toffee, Butterscotch, Grass/Straw, Orange, Red Apple, Dusty Oak, Caffe Latte, Almonds, Cigar Box, Cocoa Powder, Dough, Sour Berries, Pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Aniseed, Licorice and Menthol. A light Metallic Off-Note.


Drinking Advice:

I added a few drops of Water and the Nose becomes rather Floral. Quite some Citrus and perhaps Honey-Melon as well. Palate and Finish do not respond very kindly to added Water though. Better sip it neat!

Rating: 81.5

Nose: 20.5 - Taste: 20.5 - Finish: 20 - Overall: 20.5

Drinking Experience:

Okay. Interesting Experiment.

Conclusion:

The Spios (Gaelic for Spice) was released this year as the 9th Limited Edition in the Private Edition Series. It is also the first Single Malt that matured a 100% in American Rye Whiskey casks. Dr. Bill Lumsden designed the Spios to honour America's Golden Whisky Era when Rye Whiskey ruled the saloons. He only used casks that had aged Rye Whiskies made from a 95% Rye Mash Bill during at least 6 years.

First of all I would like to congratulate Glenmorangie on the concept of the Spios. Without trying out new things we will never know what might have been. Having said that I must admit I was disappointed with the Rye cask maturation. I had expected a much stronger Spirit in the style of the American original. But it's all very light and harmless. A Diet-Rye so to speak. I can only imagine that more cask time could solve the issue. As presented it's not comparable to good Rye Whisky and it also doesn't highlight the qualities of the Glenmorangie Spirit.
I'm yearning for a good Glenmorangie so let's hope the last one will do the trick.

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Whisky Review # 785

Country: Scotland
Region: Northern Highlands
Brand: Glenmorangie Extremely Rare
Type: Single Malt Whisky
Age: 18 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 43%
Maturation: Bourbon Casks - 30% Finished for 3 years in Oloroso Sherry Wood
Chill Filtration: Probably
Price Range: US$ 80-95 (December 2018)
Buying Advice: 😁Nice but not very complex Malt. Price/Quality ratio: 👍

Colour:

Golden (Artificially Coloured)

Nose:

A combination of Sweet and Sour Notes with lots of (Dried) Fruits, Orange and Pastry. The Sherry influence is noticeable but not overwhelming. The ABV is not very high but the Alcohol is there nevertheless. The Nose is pleasant but a bit Edgy at the same time. Something I wouldn't have expected given the age of the Spirit. Is there some New Wood involved in the maturation? Could Be! The Nose is quite straight-forward and not very complex.

Main Aromas:

Sweet Barley, Butterkekse (German Butter Biscuits), Butterscotch, Vanilla, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Plums and Apricots, Honey, Straw and Grass, Floral Perfume, Orange, Puff-Pastry filled with Peach Marmalade, Grapefruit, Nutella, Red Apple, Freshly Cut Wood, Cinnamon and Mint.

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Caramel/Toffee, Brown Sugar, Stewed Pears, Floral Tea, Gooseberries, Banana, Strawberry, Nutmeg and Ginger.


Palate:

A combination of Sweet, Bitter and Sour Notes. Quite Dry. The Wood appears more strongly now. A pity it was only bottled at 43%. An 18 Years old deserves at least 46%. That would have enhanced the Creamy character of this Malt.

Main Flavours:

Sweet Barley, Butterscotch, Dried Fruit like Raisins, Figs, Apricots and Plums, Orange, Red Apple, Peach, Grapefruit, Milk Chocolate, Honey, Oak, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Pepper and Menthol.

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Toffee/Caramel, Pear, Lemon, Banana, Papaya Cream, Blackberries, Tangerine, Nutella, Ginger and Cloves.

Finish:

A little Light and Medium-Long. Sweet and Fruity at first but with increasing Sourness and slightly Bitter Wood and Wood Spice towards the Dry end. The 18 Years shows its age here! I find Sweet Barley, Toffee/Caramel, Vanilla, Dried Fruit like Figs and Plums, Banana, Orange, Red Apple, Mandarin, Grapefruit, Dried Herbs, Milk Chocolate, Oak, Honey Glazed Nuts, Menthol, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger and Licorice.


Drinking Advice:

No need to add Water to this Glenmorangie although it does accept a few drops.

Rating: 84.5

Nose: 21.5 - Taste: 21 - Finish: 21 - Overall: 21

Drinking Experience:

Good

Conclusion:

Today, the 18 Years is part of the core range of the distillery. So it's not really Extra Rare!

This is without any doubt my favourite of today's Glenmorangies. It's a well-made and pleasant Single Malt. A drinking Whisky rather than a sipping one. It has two main flaws though. The ABV is too low and that really hurts this Malt. This would be a great Whisky at Cask Strength! My second issue is the fact that it's quite simple for an 18 Years old. I would have expected a bit more complex Aroma and Flavour profile. Still, it's a nice Single Malt and reasonably priced when compared to other Malts of this distillery, especially those that carry Gaelic names and started their career in Travel Retail😜!

Jan van den Ende                                                             December 12 , 2018

All pictures were taken during our visit to Glenmorangie in May 2017