The thing about proper whisky tasting evenings is there should be “left overs”…. which typically the contributor takes home. However from time to time, it is good to share “cleaning out” with others, particularly if it means a whisky others have not sampled.
That was exactly the case with this Glenmorangie 19 year. First opened in January 2018 with the Whisky Ladies, it made its way to an evening with the Bombay Malt & Cigar gents in June 2018.
And how did if fare oxidation for nearly 6 months?
Actually… rather well.
Glenmorangie 19 year 43%
Nose – Started with varnish but then quickly morphed into sweet, creamy, soft citrus, Swiss milky toffees, some lovely light florals – delicate white flowers
Palate – Most pleasant, no wow factor but still rather nice, lots of fruit, a dash of salt mixed in with the melons
Finish – Nuanced
In short, we found it had a classic Glenmorangie style. Nothing dramatic but exactly what you would expect from a properly matured highland dram.
Duty free releases can sometimes surprise you… They can be terribly average, a marketing dumping ground to see what sticks. They can also be a rather fine example of the best a distillery has to offer… or an interesting experiment in a new direction.
For this age statement Glenmorangie, I have to admit I was expecting it to take a rather “classic” take on the Glenmorangie style, an evolution from The Original like the classy 18 year rather than shifting into heavy play of finishes like with Amontillado Sherry Casks with The Tayne.
When it showed up fresh from London to Mumbai at the hands of a welcome visiting Whisky Lady as her contribution to the evening, curiosity was indeed sparked!
Nose – Surprising sea salt, perfume, restrained, nuanced, honey, with a hint of rancio, a bit musty, old cheese, damp after the rains, then keeps getting sweeter and fresher revealing a soft citrus
Palate – Very peppery at first, citrusy, intense and so unexpected after the aromas, oily, bittersweet
Finish – Sea salt, iodine, metallic
Water – A few drops really opens it up and brings out more of the typical Glenmorangie 10 floral honey aromas, the peppers on the palate into balance and rounds it out beautifully
Quite subtle with some lovely notes… And a surprising saltiness for a Genmorangie.
How it blossomed with a bit of water surprised most of us who thought at 43% should be zero need to add. We had a debate on its impact on the finish – with some finding it made it even saltier and others thought sweetened it.
But the best way to have it? With sea salt dark chocolate caramel. Which we just happened to have from the US, courtesy our contributor who brought the Glenmorangie.
Aroma – This bright sparkling golden whisky is fresh and zesty on the nose with suggestions of mint and eucalyptus, intensifying into candy, peaches and vanilla. A drop of water releases floral notes and honey.
Taste – A complex and creamy balance of vanilla, tangy oranges, apricots, apples, butter candy and a hint of menthol.
Finish – In the aftertaste, there is a strong suggestion of mint toffee alongside oak tannin and Glenmorangie’s celebrated lingering, bittersweet citrus fruit.