This masterpiece shows a more robust expression of the classic Glenmorangie, bringing forward dark candied fruit, honey and lots of oak spices. The malt spends 15 years in American white oak casks before rounding up in ex-Oloroso Sherry casks that bring caramel and fruit notes to the already complex expression. Very well-aged malt, meticulously crafted to bring hours of pleasure in every glass. It has won several gold medals in the category, and that’s not a surprise.
Figs and dates are deep and intense, supported by malt and its underlying raw honey, but the Oloroso brown spices, cinnamon, clove and vanilla shine through. So do the roasted nuts in a pleasant combination reminiscent of fruitcake and winter baking treats.
A dark malt permeates the palate with brown flavors of dried fruit and brown spices while a molasses-like sweetness dominates the mid-palate. An abundant, profuse palate with exuberant Oloroso spices complementing the old malt.
The finish is long and persistent, dominated by roasted nuts, brown spices and caramel, but no sweetness. Just a dry aftertaste infused with smoke.
Sip or skip?
A solemn expression for the otherwise summery Glenmorangie. The cask maturation really turned a rich, honeyed malt into a black beauty of warm flavors and aromas. Despite the in-your-face spiciness, the malt supports the expression for a balanced mouthfeel that surprises with every sip in what could be very well a top five in the 18-Year-Old category. A fantastic effort by the distillery.
Other Glenmorangie expressions to try
Glenmorangie’s The Quinta Ruban 12 Years Old, the fullest and most intense malt in the distillery’s repertoire, has a similar burnt profile featuring spices and oak rather than fruit freshness. Both expressions show Glenmorangie’s dark side, which is astoundingly pleasing despite taking the back seat against the distillery’s young malts. Ideal for cold weather rather than summer.