I really appreciate when a whisky presentation includes adequate tasting notes and interesting facts about the whisky-making process. From Auchentoshan’s triple distillation, to the history behind Laphroaig’s use of quarter casks to the in-depth description of what to expect from a Highland Park experience, well done cartons and canisters have kind of become a grown-up replacement for the back of a cereal box.
Glenmorangie is another example of a presentation that offers plenty of reading to be contemplated while enjoying a drop. Among the information on the carton, the distiller boasts that their use of the industry’s tallest stills ensures that only the lightest and purest alcohol vapours make it into their casks. According to the notes, this imbues their whiskies with a particular floral character and an unmatched elegance. There’s only on thing to do with this bottle, Glenmorangie “Original” 10 Year Old Highland Single Malt… put the claim to the test!
Glenmorangie 10 is bottled at 40% abv and will run you about $60 CDN where I live.
If elegant means delicate, then Glenmorangie 10 is starting out on the right foot. This whisky is a bright but very pale gold. I actually kind of like it when a whisky is on the pale side since, correctly or not, I take it as assurance that no artificial colouring has been added.
In the Nose
Sweet. Honey, mandarin oranges, and Lucky Charms cereal jump out at me. (I hate that cereal – even though my kids think it’s a great treat – but that sweet, malty aroma is terrific here.) A definite floral presence lingers, along with some red licorice and a subtle smidgen of oak. It’s a very nice nose!
On the Tongue
What smelled like honey tastes much more like crystal Brewers malt, giving this whisky a toasted, biscuity character. It’s less sweet than I expected and the creaminess and body of the dram add to the idea of a chewy oatmeal cookie. The floral presence noticed on the nose comes across the palate much more clearly as heather, a flowering plant very common in Scotland. There is a definite caramel flavour that somewhat adds to the sweetness, however it is all very nicely balanced by a citrus pith and oak tannin bitterness. On the medium-long finish, that toasted malt turns into banana chips with vanilla, white pepper and ginger encouraging me towards another sip.
I’m not sure how to characterize elegance but I am sure that this whisky is very good! It is smooth drinking, with enough complexity to be interesting, while remaining approachable for a wide range of whisky enthusiasts. I really enjoy highland malts, since they seem to do such a good job of creating well rounded, approachable whiskies. Glenmorangie 10 is a whisky that delivers!