Monthly Archives: May 2013

Glenmorangie 10, 43%ABV, Highland Single Malt

Since I like the Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban so much, I wanted to check out where the OG whisky came from. The Quinta Ruban is finished for two years in ruby port pipes, but it spent 10 years in white oak barrels: Glenmorangie 10. Here’s my experience:

Glenmorangie 10, 43%ABV, Highland Single Malt, $39 USD Glenmorangie 10

  • Color- This one is a wan piss yellow of what I assume is all natural coloring. What I imagine it to look like aged in white oak.
  • Nose- Playful, floral, vanilla toasted meadow flowers, light coriander
  • Palate- At first: BIG disappointment. I like Islay/smoke/peat and all that. This one went in smooth, wet, uninteresting. The mouth-feel was what you would expect, light and uncoating. Then: WOW! This little fucker did not mess around. The vanilla exploded with almonds and a floral wave (in a good way) engulfed my senses. I could taste the wood from the barrels.
  • Finish- This one was not as long as I would want, but it is along. I’m just greedy. There is a burn here and I attribute that to the youth of the scotch.
  • Overall – I really like this one. I like the Quinta Ruban from Glenmorangie and would love them to come out with a Fine Oak version of their double aged varieties. I would highly recommend this to anyone getting into Highland scotches. A staple for the cabinet.
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Old Pulteney 12, 43% ABV, Highland Single Malt

Keeping with the maritime theme, my next review is for the official maritime malt, Old Pulteney 12. Distilled in Wick, Scotland, Old Pulteney easily marries the heritage of a bygone fishing industry into the spirit of their scotch. The 19th century saw a boom in herring fishing and with it came a seafaring burst of thousands of workers to Wick. The Pulteney distillery rode the wave (so to speak) and was founded at the same time. If you’re interested the Old Pulteney site  has a great lode of information.

Old Pultneney 12 – 43% ABV, Highland Single Malt, ~$40 USD Old Pulteney 12

Color: E150, brown/amber, new leather

Nose: Briny, fresh sea air, wet minerals/rocks, seaweed, wafting smoke, later a sweet and caramel malt

Palate Thin, brisk, airy, light, salty kelpy brine. Truly delightful and crisp with a tendril of smoke from an extinguished bonfire at low tide.

Finish: medium, smoky again and still light, hint of floral begins to play with this maritime heavy wind theme. enjoyable, but left me wanting

Overall this is truly a delicious dram worth repeating, you know, to compare your previous notes.

Talisker 10, 45.8% ABV, Isle of Skye Single Malt

The wife and I went to OBX for a long overdue vacation. I needed something special and searfaring to take and sip in opulence as I wasted away 6 days and 7 nights in relaxation. Enter Talisker 10. This little beauty hails from the Island of Skye and is the only distillery on the island. The water, sourced from Cnoc nan Speireag (Hawk Hill), flows over peat which adds additional peatiness to the whisky. You may find more of the storied history of Talisker here. For me, I wanted something that bold, briny, and worth of ocean air sipping.

Talisker 10, 45.8% ABV, Isle of Skye Single Malt, $70 USD Talisker 10

Ambiance: Sitting on the top deck of our cottage by the sea with the sounds of waves crashing not too far off, the constant breeze playing all around, the open sky with cluster of stars showing up in the absence of light pollution, and sitting on a rocking chair after a long day basking in the sun.

Color: Had to look at it in the light before going outside, Amber +1/2 and deep. I could look at it all day. I know it is probably artificially colored, but it is quite attractive and gives the scotch a “heavy” feel before even quaffing it.

Nose: kippery sea salt affronts the senses, then gentle smoked peat that is deeper than other Islays I’ve had. Hint of vanilla and toffee.

Palate: coating. Reminded me instantly of the mouth feel of HP 12, the taste however, WOW! A cacophony of juxtaposing flavors, salty maritime that is light and airy like the breeze, and heavy, rich earthy, peat bog runoff. There was a sweetness that I can only liken to toffee, but I’m not sure that’s quite the description.

Finish: Smoky sweet that is warm to a burn at first, goes away, but by the time you lick your lips (you have to as this scotch is so rich) the warmth rises from your belly into your core. Very long and comforting. I know some don’t like this on a warm/hot day, but it does not in any way detract from the experience, in fact, it played very well with being at the beach.

Overall this dram perfectly accented a beach vacation. Warm outside from the sun and warm inside from Talisker, couldn’t be a happier dude.

Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban, 46% ABV, Non Chill Filtered, Highland Single Malt

Getting a little bit adventurous here. I’d started to read a lot about how the maturation process can affect the final product of a single malt. Aside from all the flavors gained principally from the source of water, the malt, and process of peating if any, the wood it’s set to age in has a huge impact on the final flavor. For instance, the Laphroaig Quarter Cask is aged in barrels 1/4 the size of a normal cask thereby imparting wood flavors and complexities at a greatly accelerated rated due to overall surface area of whisky in contact with the barrel. It’s amazing because of simple wood contact at a higher level. Some scotches are aged in used American white oak bourbon barrels, others in Oroloso sherry casks left over from aging sherried Spanish wines, and so on and son.

My curiosity was piqued so I looked a little bit into this world of aging scotch in different barrels and came across the Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban. This 12 year old Highland scotch is aged for 10 years in American white oak barrels then is matured and additional two years in specially selected ruby port pipes from the Quintas or wine estates of Portugal. You can find more information here: Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban Home

Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban 12 year, 46%ABV, non chill filtered

glenmorangie-the-quinta-ruban-highland-single-malt-750mlfile_13_32

  • Color: Dark ruby mahogany, rich with depth and complexity. 
  • Nose: Big sherry notes, mint, hint of malt, slight vanilla, toffee, and chocolate, truly delightful
  • Palate: chocolate, orange zest, sweet warming sherry, vanilla and bright mint background
  • Finish: long, pleasantly warming, sherried chocolate again without being sweet, woody spices of cinnamon and allspice

Overall: Complex and decadent. Borders on the dessert variety, but easily enjoyed on its own accord. Quite a little jaunt into the adventurous side of single malts!