A while back friends and I sat down to an assortment of Scotches and bourbons to taste and sort out our likes and dislikes, which really just turned into a ranking of which ones we liked better than others. We didn’t find any in the bunch we couldn’t tolerate putting past our lips time and again. That was months ago and it just seemed time to sit down with a few more Scotches. This time something a bit more civilized seemed to be the order of the day. Rather than take in the full range of the liquor cabinet, this tasting had a theme: Glenmorangie.
Overall the Glenmorangie Original makes an excellent Scotch for anyone dipping their toes into the water for the first time. The Original is mellow, yet full of layered flavor without the long-established expression of heavy smoke or iodine that distinguishes other celebrated Scotches. Enjoying Glenmorangie Original neat warms the soul to the spirit quickly. Adding an ice cube or distilled water opens the Original’s bounty up in a way that satisfies more completely as this allows the senses to take in additional underlying tones that may have otherwise been missed. Get to know Glenmorangie Original. Once you do, take a walk around the countryside and get to know a few other Glenmorangie Expressions.
All the traditional scotch characteristics one would expect. Straw color, light in flavor, no smokiness. Delicate without being overstated. An easy sipper. Perfect for someone starting out. Water pulls the sweetness out of this scotch more than if left to its own devices, yet it I would not classify this as sweet in a sugary sense. The citrus is faintly recognizable with almond barely in the background.
“Like dew on the heather.” – Tory, tasting participant
Original Official Site Tasting Notes
Aroma – ripened mandarin, lemon, apple, pear and peach. Vanilla ice cream with herbal aromas of geranium and wild mint. With water added: lemony bergamot, apricot and mandarin with notes of geranium, sweet honeysuckle and piquant narcissus mix with mint and the herbal essence of eucalyptus, nutmeg and ginger.
Taste – liquid silk, creamy vanilla, peaches and cream, mandarins and lemons. Essences of fennel and nutmeg tantalize with crumbly almond and coconut giving way to the nectar of fruit, spice and nut wrapped in a honeyed caress.
Finish – charming sweetness of delicious juices
Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban
Amber color, heavier in taste than the Original with a hint of smoke, but it is faint. Slight sweetness. The sense of scotch is deeper, more robust here. While not a “starter” scotch, this is still quite pleasant. Light hint of floral without being overwhelming, but only after the addition of water did the bouquet open up fully.
Quinta Ruban Official Site Tasting Notes
Aroma – just peeled mandarin oranges and Belgian chocolate mint crisps. Roasted walnut shells mixed with the lingering aroma of nutmeg from Christmas pudding and the warm musky scent of sandalwood that emanates from a wood-paneled room. With water added: icing sugar-dusted pink cubes of rose-scented Turkish Delight, mint fondant, crystallized orange segments and candied peel. Honeysuckle and geranium lends a clear, aromatic pungency to the air.
Taste – caress of silk velvet on the tongue gives way to a swathe of rich, dark chocolate-enrobed walnuts and lemony-rose jelly textured Turkish Delight. Then sugar-coated crystallized orange segments emerge, countered by crisp mint chocolate, adding a chiffon like texture.
Finish – Lingering memories of dark minty chocolate with effervescent orange
Glenmorangie Nectar D’or
Gold, smooth like honey, almost too sweet. Difficult to find the “scotchiness” in this one. If there were sugar added it would almost be a liqueur. The addition of water pulls out the honey flavor even more to the extent it seems more like watery honey with a back splash of weakened scotch. It seemed nearly nondescript with none of the usual scotch burn one comes to wince at and enjoy at the same time. But what is truly missing is the layering of flavor that causes one to savor the scotch on the tongue to thoroughly take pleasure in it.
Nectar D’or Official Site Tasting Notes
Aroma – Tangy tarte au citron with crisp pastry case and smooth lemony cream topping. Fluffy sponginess and milky vanilla aroma, Genoise cake with crystallized lime and orange peel frosting. The aroma of plum juicy sultanas, dates, warming ginger, coconut and nutmeg. Gingerbread baking in a wood-burning oven in the background. With water added: releases the frothiness of lemon meringue pie and the rich aroma of baking fruitcake and warm gingerbread drizzled with crème anglaise.
Taste – smooth, melting creaminess of lemon tart leaves the mouth full of citrus tang and crème caramel and zesty lime. This is replaced by warming ginger coupled with mellow nutty flavours of nutmeg and toasted almonds that add warmth and chewiness that melt into oozing lemon meringue and melting honeycomb.
Finish – languid and sweet with lemon zest, vanilla cream and delicate hints of ginger and nutmeg.
Intoxicologist Note: Sounds like someone needed a bite to eat with their Nectar D’or. But honestly this is nothing in comparison to what Kindred Spirits 2 by F. Paul Pacult says about the Nectar D’or: “…rub-my-body-with-it sensationally delicious and utterly decadent.”
There are some things I’ll do and some I won’t. I won’t be rubbing my body with Nectar D’or.
- In 1967 Brigitte Bardot ordered ten cases of Glenmorangie to be sent to her Swiss home and another ten to her French chateau. This came immediately after sampling the deliciously alluring and delicate malt, Glenmorangie, while visiting at a well known Scottish inn. She had ordered “the best whisky in Scotland.”
- Did you know a portion of Glenmorangie is American made? It begins in Missouri, USA in the Ozarks with the white oak. This particular oak yields the perfect wood for making Glenmorangie casks, which have been seasoned with Bourbon for four years prior to being used for maturing the Glenmorangie.
- Synaesthesia – In Glenmorangie our senses are stimulated, heightened and deliciously mingled. We see aromas, feel colour, hear flavours, smell music, taste textures. This experience is called synaesthesia – the joining or ‘perceiving together’ of the senses.