Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Glenmorangie Nectar D'Or

This is my fourth Glenmorangie review in the past three months. This is the last one I have planned for a while, unless I bump into a bottle of Sonnalta PX or Finealta. If anyone would like to see a review of Astar, please let me know.

For more info on Glenmorangie please see my review of Glenmorangie Original. Links at the end of the review. On to the review!

Nectar D'Or is Glenmorangie's Sauternes finished whisky. It is a twelve year old, spending the last two years in Sauternes casks. The production of Sauternes is quite interesting, and if you are not familiar with Sauternes and how it is produced, I recommend clicking here.

Nose: Honey, and fruity - apple, pear, pineapple, and grapes. In the background - spice, vanilla, light oak

Palate: Honey, fruit

Finish: Grape with toffee and almond in the background

Overall: I was not quite sure what to expect from this expression after not being very impressed with Lasanta, but really enjoying Quinta Ruban. This is a very easy drinking, sweet, complex expression - very nice. This is the expression for the person who enjoys The Original, but wished it were sweeter. This would also be a good choice for someone just learning about Single Malts or Whisky in general.

There is no doubt that this is a high quality expression, but it is a little sweeter that what I typically prefer, but good for a change. However, if you have a sweet tooth, this is highly recommended.

For my review of Glenmorangie Original, click here.
For my review of Glenmorangie Lasanta, click here.
For my review of Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban, click here.

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P.S. Have a Happy New Year! I am planning some changes for the New Year, maybe even some pictures! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Highland Park 12

Highland Park is generally regarded as a single malt Scotch that has a little of everything. It is lightly Sherried and lightly peated as well. If you have never tried this, and are thinking of picking up a bottle, or are just getting into Single Malt Scotch, I highly recommend giving it a try. This is a staple daily dram for many Scotch enthusiasts.

Nose: Sweet and fruity - Apple, orange, maple syrup, raisin, finishing with a bit of earthy peatiness

Palate: Apple follows through along with cinammon, caramel, a slight oakiness, vanilla

Finish: More of the earthy peatiness from the nose, and quite drying

Overall: There are not many Scotch whiskies that start sweet and finish dry, and pull it off as nicely as this one. Highland Park has really done a nice job of balancing the flavours into a very well balanced Scotch. One of the best of it's style, and certainly one of the best values around. Of course, if you are in the mood for a true peat punch or a sherry bomb, there are other choices out there, but this is a really good middle of the road whisky, and a nice choice for an everyday dram. Availability of the 12 and the 18 years old is good in stores, but I would like to see more special editions available in the U.S. (What's up with distillery only editions anyway?) Also, if any bar owners read this, please make sure you have this one in stock as it is a go to for many Scotch drinkers.
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Happy Holidays!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban

Quinta Ruban is Glenmorangie's Port finished whisky. After spending 10 years in American Oak, it spends the last two in Port pipes. Port finished whiskies are not as common as Sherried whiskies, and this one seems to be one of the easiest to find in the United States, at least in the same price range.

Nose: Raisin, caramel, apple, orange, light oak, mint

Palate: Plum, grape, mint, cinnamon, light oak

Finish: Chocolate, coffee, mint, orange, Glenmorangie almond, toffee

In my review of Lasanta, I said the nose was great, but it fizzled out from there. This is not the case with the Quinta Ruban. It is a lush, decadent, full flavored whisky. The Glenmorangie website describes this one as "The darkest and most intense whisky" of their finished whiskies, and I certainly agree with this. I am a big fan of dark, intense whiskies so I really enjoy this one. The Lasanta is dark, but lacks the intensity that the Quinta Ruben pulls off so nicely. Also, the Quinta Ruben is more complex than Lasanta. In other words, if given a choice between the two, I would go with Quinta Ruban.

For my review of Glenmorangie Original, click here.
For my review of Glenmorangie Lasanta, click here.
For my review of Glenmorangie Nectar D'Or, click here.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

SMWS 3.160 - Bowmore 10

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I've been lucky enough to sample another offering from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. This one is numbered 3.160, is 10 years old and is called Islay Beach Scene. A little investigation reveals this one is from Bowmore. Here is what the bottle has to say about this one: "The nose evokes pork chops and lemony prawns on a beach barbeque, then hints of buttery mint; fruitier with water, it also finds coconut and perfumed smoke. The palate has burnt heather and barbequed meats with fruit." To find out more about the Scotch Malt Whisky Society please read my earlier review here.

Nose: Sweet, floral, pineapple, smoke (barbeque), peat, butter, mint, pine

Palate: Burning heather, fruit, sweet BBQ, oak, mint

Finish: Long - peat smoke, almond

As you can see, their notes and mine are fairly similar on this one, except of course, theirs are much more poetic. I guess that is an area where I could stand some improvement. There is definitely something BBQey going on here, and that is not one of my typical descriptors.

Overall, this is another very well balanced, very enjoyable offering from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. However, I still can not get over having to join a club to purchase Scotch. Then again, maybe it is the $230 it costs to join the club that I have an issue with. Then there's the whole mail order thing - which is not even legal in all states. I just wish they would change their business model so I could purchase their offerings at the local shop (i.e. Signatory, etc). However, if you ever get the opportunity, I highly recommend giving one of these a go - I have very much enjoyed reviewing them here. Are any of you members?

As always, please follow me on Twitter - @USScotchReview