#237 • Glenmorangie Bookmark

46% alc./vol.
Glenmorangie Distillery, Tain, Highlands, Scotland.

One of my favorites Whiskeys of the World Expo du San Pedro Square Market in San Jose was a flagship in the range of this highland distillery, Glenmorangie Signet.

The Signet features the largest reproduction of the distillery logo, itself a representation of an ancient work Pictish. This old sculpture, called the Cadboll Hilton Stone, was made towards the end of the 8th century after Jesus Christ. It survived the sands of time, firmly anchored in the land of the distillery, until the day it was repatriated to the Royal Museum of Scotland.

Glenmorangie in 2000 asked Barry Grove, a local sculptor, to recreate the stone by hand. After four years of hard work, the reproduction has taken over the place of the original stone on the distillery grounds and inspires the engraving that adorns all Glenmorangie bottles.

As the American writer said so well Ray Bradbury (1920-2012) so aptly put it:

There is no need to burn books to destroy a culture. Just to make people stop reading them.

Really dark red, I almost have the impression of having a red wine.

Nose:
Beautiful sweetness in the background with a low wind of sherry, candied fruit and choco-vanilla. A kind of delicate potpourri with oak chips comes to tease us a little.

Taste:
Juicy and smooth. Sweet and spicy vanilla, honey and berries. Without forgetting the star, this beautiful cereal.

Finish:
Scented pipe tobacco. Nice heat, potpourri, oak plank full of sherry. I greet the Indian in front of the tobacco shop.

Balance:
The warmest Glenmos I have had the chance to try to date. Worth its weight in gold. Not to be drunk lightly.

Note: ★ ★ ★ ★

#122 • Glenmorangie Lasanta

46% alc./vol.
Glenmorangie Distillery, Tain, Highlands, Scotland

The Glenmorangie Distillery produces a beautiful little discovery gift package that includes a full-size bottle of 10 Year Old Original, and three mignonettes, one from Quinta Ruban, one from Nectar d'Òr and one from Lasanta. In a patriotic outburst of "nobody's going to tell me what to do", a liquor store near my hotel decided to splitter the package and sell everything individually, of course to make more money. This obviously suited me, because I was able to get my hands on a sample of, having already tried the others, Glenmorangie Lasanta.

Glenmorangie could not be more fond of special refinements, so this expression is no exception. As the distillery also has a weakness for Gaelic names, she chooses one that means "heat and passion". What gives us in the end a scotch which, after its initial period of ten years in bourbon barrels, stayed two more years in barrels of oloroso sherry, I named the Lasanta.

As the American author Daniel Woodrell put it so well:

The one who gets lost in his passion loses less than the one who loses his passion.

The setting sun in California makes it appear from a burnished copper descending to a golden sherry.

Nose:
Raisin wave, with a good accompaniment of sour lemon and salt. A background of leather, molasses and rum tries to surface without ever quite asserting itself properly. A touch of sherry is still present, especially on the second nose, although smothered by the signature Glenmorangie honey. 2nd tasting, classic malt from the distillery in all its splendor, enhanced by notes of cereals, grapes and the tiniest of leathers.

Taste:
Sherry, grapes, bourbon, salted butter and brown sugar. A wave of honeyed heat that is reminiscent of the original expression of the distillery. 2nd visit, the influence of sherry seems much more marked. The alcohol level explodes pleasantly in the mouth.

Finish:
Short but comforting, with hints of sherry. We feel it falling in a hot and spicy shower.

Balance:
Looks like Glenmorangie is trying to emulate Macallan's Fine Oaks here, but unfortunately his otherwise excellent base malt hardly lends itself to that. Let them stick to other refinements which, as absurd as they are, will never cease to surprise us. After all, you can't win every battle. 2nd evaluation, I don't know if they have modified the recipe, which is possible with the basic expressions of the great distilleries, but this bottling is clearly superior to the one I used for the first review. Sherry steals the show. If you've got the kidneys (or liver) strong enough for Glenmorangie's Finishing Expressions, which despite their reasonable alcohol content seem to explode, this is a jam to keep in your scotch cabinet almost anytime.

Note: ★★★★★