Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Malt Mission 2007 #167

Glenmorangie Sherry Wood Finish
Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky
43% abv


The folks at Glenmorangie are seen as pioneers of the 'wood finish' trend that has come to the world of whisky over the past decade plus. For more than 20 years, Dr. Bill Lumsden and his team at Glenmorangie have been studying the behaviour of oak from seed to cask, with an obvious focus on the wood's effect on whisky in maturation.

This is part of the old wood finishes range (burgundy, madeira, port, sherry) that has been replaced in recent months by a new trio of finishes. Port is now called "Quinta Ruban", sherry finish is "Lasanta", and a Sauternes finish called "Nectar d'Or" joins the range as well. They are all priced differently, unlike the old wood finish line. If you are getting nostalgic, go shopping; not for collecting or investment, purposes but because you wont be paying £22 for the 10 yo(now known as "The Original") for much longer, and the old finishes are likely to be seen at clearout prices at supermarkets and booze-chains here in the UK. The standard LCBO price is actually pretty good, too.

The new wood finish trio comes with entirely new packaging. I quite like it, but to each their own. This is all part of Glenmorangie's first ever global brand and marketing strategy headed up by their ambitious owners (since 2004), Louis Vuitton/Moet Hennesey(LVMH). The brand has been #1 in the UK for many years and now wants to crack the top 3 single malt brands globally, seizing the emerging markets in Russia and China, in particular. They have always fared well in Scotland and at Duty Free (Cellar 13, Traditional, etc.) and with the quality of the new drops I tried at recent whisky fairs and at Duty Free in Edinburgh this past weekend, Glenmorangie's new look and campaign will certainly make an impact.

We will be saying farewell to this vanishing line by having three Glenmorangie wood finishes over the next 3 days. For more distillery info and other Glenmorangies had on the mission, click HERE.


Sweet barley/nuts with a delicious bourbon oak vanilla perfume effect that is typical of Glenmorangie. Apricots and chocolate covered raisins. The sherry balances some appetizing sourness against the sweetness. Very appetizing and showing a lot of depth.

Soft and rich, some marzipan, but it is really cocoa and toasty sherry oak that lead with this whisky. Deep and extremely satisfying. The flavours last and last with slow development, turning wonderfully salty towards the very end.


This is my mate Ran's favourite of these wood finishes from Glenmorangie (we spent part of an evening tasting the range in Bennets pub in Edinburgh a couple of years ago) and today I would be willing to say that it was mine, too. Sexy, charming and rich, the kind of man every woman wants to bring home... or vice versa.

Malt Mission #166
Malt Mission #168
Malt Mission #169
Malt Mission #170

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