Tag Archives: Glenmorangie

Glenmorangie ‘The Tarlogan’

Bought: World of Whisky, 7th July 2016

95/100 – Whisky Bible 2017
82.4/100 – Whiskybase (from 7 member votes)
84/100 – WhiskyWise (his video review below)

The Tarlogan is the 3rd release of the new Legends series from Glenmorangie, which are apparently replacing the 12yo bottlings. When I blogged about the first release in the series (the ‘Duthac’) I mused that by the 3rd or 4th new Legend the price would rise to £150 to £200. The good news is that the Tarlogan isn’t that expensive but we’ve jumped from £60 for the 2nd release ‘Tayne’, which was 1 litre to £80 for the Tarlogan, which is 70cl. Admittedly the Tarlogan has “limited release” written on it but what does that actually mean? Limited to how many exactly – 1 million bottles? Glenmorangie don’t say on their website, or the bottle. But if you’ve bought the previous two releases in the Legends series you’ll get the Tarlogan, and in fairness it’s a decent dram.

95/100 from Jim Murray in his Whisky Bible is an amazing score and classifies this single malt as a “superstar whisky that gives us all a reason to live”. Mr Murray says of the taste, “salivating on delivery: grassy again, with all the accompanying young sugars, aided by light shafts of Demerara.” In conclusion he says “this fabulous malt radiates the countryside in a way few drams have done before. As refreshing as an early morning dip in a Scottish pond.”

82.4/100 on Whiskybase is a reasonable score and close to the 84/100 from Jason of WhiskyWise. He agrees with the tasting notes provided by Glenmorangie, which are:

Nose: Sweet, earthy aromas of creamy butterscotch, classic Glenmorangie vanilla and coconut, malt biscuits too.

Taste: The texture is soft and silky and brings with it dessert-like flavours, especially vanilla custard and pears. There are delicious notes of pineapple and gentle citrus.

Finish: A suggestion of exquisite ginger is followed by waves of long, lingering white chocolate and almond marzipan.

I tried the Tarlogan at the ‘World of Whisky’ shop at Heathrow before I bought it and it was very nice but if you’ve ever tasted whisky at an airport you’ll know it’s never the best location. The sample bottle had been sitting on a glass display shelf with a back-light that left the whisky close to boiling temperature. It was like having a hot toddy. Nevertheless, from what I could tell it was lovely malt, although I agree with Jason that it’s overpriced for what it is.

WhiskyWise video on You Tube (August 2016):

Glenmorangie Tarlogan NAS 70cl


Glenmorangie ‘Signet’

Bought: The Whisky Shop, 13th April 2016

80.5/100 – Whisky Bible 2016
93/100 – Whisky Bitch (her video review below)
88.24/100 – Whiskybase (average from 430 member votes)

If you like Glenmorangie and you love chocolate then you probably already have a bottle of the Signet. If you collect whiskies with interesting bottle shapes then you might also be interested in the Signet as it’s certainly very stylish. But, OMG, the price! In 2012 the Whisky Bitch mentions $250 in her video then in 2014 Whisky Wednesday says £150-£175 but in April 2016 it’s about £120. Perhaps Glenmorangie realised they’d gone a bit crazy with the price and it was putting buyers off. It seems the price has been coming down almost as quickly as the Macallan 18yo has been going up.

But is the Signet worth it? It has the interesting claim to fame as the only single malt to have an element produced from chocolate malt. When I first hear this I imagined malt coated in chocolate but it only refers to heavily roasted malt that has been heated longer than usual. This is used in the production of stout and brings out a chocolate quality in the flavour. But is that worth £120? Glenmorangie also say there is old whisky in the Signet up to the age of 35yo so they’ve played the “there’s vintage stuff in there somewhere” card. Not that you’ll notice because you’ll be too busy having your Signet with a slice of chocolate cake.

Jim Murray has very little to say about the Signet in his Whisky Bible – “a great whisky holed below the waterline by oak of unsatisfactory quality. Tragic.” But 80.5/100 still classifies this Glenmorangie as “good whisky worth trying”. 430 people on Whiskybase have and over 88/100 is a fantastic score. Comments include “rich and complex”, “a very enjoyable experience, quite unique” and “a seriously big whisky. Heavy on the palate as well as the wallet. But still, if you’re an enthusiast, this is worth your money. A fantastic effort by the Tain men.”

Here’s the Whisky Bitch on You Tube with her review of the Signet (Nov 2012):

Glenmorangie Signet NAS 70cl

Glenmorangie ‘Tayne’

Bought: World Duty Free, 29th March 2016

87.5/100 – Whisky Bible 2016
81.6/100 – Whiskybase (from 17 member votes)

The ‘Tayne’ is Glenmorangie’s second bottle in their ‘Legends’ series following on from ‘The Duthac’. Both are 1 litre and Travel Retail exclusives. Usually that means it’s available in lots of shops on mainland Europe but that doesn’t seem to be the case with the Tayne. Surely not an ‘exclusive’ that’s actually exclusive? {faints}

87.5/100 in Jim Murray’s ‘Whisky Bible’ classifies this malt as “good to excellent whisky definitely worth buying” and his review consists of “tangy back story. But also a curious early combination between butterscotch and Werther’s Original candy. The malt – topped with a splash of double cream – in the centre ground, though, is the star showing.”

81.6/100 on Whiskybase is a good mark but not outstanding. Comments include “this is a good sherry whisky. Dark fruits, a spicy sweetness and well balanced. Good whisky for the money, nice.” Dramlicious score the Tayne 84/100 and their review and tasting notes can be found here.

Here’s WhiskyWise giving us his thoughts on You Tube in his very first whisky review video (April 2016):

Glenmorangie Tayne NAS 100cl

Glenmorangie ‘A Midwinter Night’s Dram’

Bought: Glenmorangie Online Shop, 7th October 2015

86.14/100 – Whiskybase (average from 9 member votes)

Well that’s the last time I buy on impulse from Glenmorangie! Before this new bottle hit the supermarket shelves Glenmorangie made it available online for £40 and free delivery. It was marked as a ‘limited edition’, which I ought to know by now is Glenmorangie speak for “available everywhere for years to come”. Stupid me fell for it and paid £40 for a bottle that now sells in UK supermarkets for as little as £25 (when on offer). I believe the normal price in Sainsbury’s is £34 and Morrisons have it for £28.

But, grumbling aside, the general consensus online is that this new NAS (non-age statement) from Glenmorangie is an excellent single malt. Over 86/100 on Whiskybase is a fantastic score, especially when you consider that ‘The Original’ 10yo comes in at 80.44/100. The very same 10yo scores 94/100 in the Whisky Bible 2015. It will be interesting to see what the author thinks of this ‘Midwinter’ dram if he reviews it. Comments on Whiskybase include “not too far removed from the 10yo but with slightly more richness and depth”, “beautifully presented and really excellent value” and “it’s big, it’s fat, it’s fun”. Other remarks elsewhere liken it to Macallan, which is praise indeed (assuming you like Macallan). All in all, a worthy addition to the sideboard for the winter season, and probably several more winters to come.

Here’s Horst Luening of Whisky.com with his review on You Tube (Sept 2016):

Glenmorangie A Midwinter Night's Dram NAS 70cl

Glenmorangie ‘The Duthac’

Bought: World Duty Free, 10th September 2015

83.6/100 – Whiskybase (average from 42 member votes)

The ‘Duthac’ is the first of a new range of whiskies by Glenmorangie that they’re titling the ‘Legends Collection’. According to the official Glenmorangie video below this new dram is “a whisky fit for a king, Glenmorangie Duthac honours the annual pilgrimage of King James IV to the shrine of St Duthac – the patron Saint of Tain – at the home of Glenmorangie. Exclusive to Travel Retail, Duthac is the first release from the Glenmorangie Legends collection, a unique range of single malt whiskies inspired by the legendary lands that have been home to the Glenmorangie Distillery since 1843.”

Try as I might, I can’t find the name of the next whisky to be added to the ‘Legends Collection’ but I bet it will be more expensive (but still a non-age statement). By the time we get to the 3rd of 4th release in the collection I imagine it will be closing in on £150-£200. All part of the cunning plan to get collectors hooked so they feel compelled to shell out a fortune for the final releases. I think I’ll pass but I’m glad to see a solid 83.6/100 for this single malt on Whiskybase. And it’s 100cl so there’s more to enjoy.

Here’s Whisky Whistle with their thoughts about The Duthac on YouTube (Nov 2015):

Glenmorangie Duthac NAS 100cl

Glenmorangie ‘Dornoch’

Bought: World Duty Free, 10th September 2015

94/100 – Whisky Bible 2015
83.14/100 – Whiskybase (average from 67 member votes)

My return to Gatwick airport sees me in the mood for a Glenmorangie or two. The Dornoch claims to be a limited release but if it’s anything like the Glenmorangie 18yo ‘Extremely Rare’ I expect to see this bottle all over the world for several years to come. Whiskybase list the availability of this whisky in 9 shops across Germany, Holland and Austria as well as lots of airports around the UK.

To quote the box – “in celebration of the Glenmorangie distillery’s unique location, a donation from every bottle will be given to the Marine Conservation Society for the protection of the Dornoch Firth” hence of name of this whisky (the distillery overlooks the firth). It’s always nice to know that my purchase has gone towards helping nature.

94/100 in the Whisky Bible classifies the Dornoch as a “superstar whisky that gives us all a reason to live”. The author says about the taste “even on delivery the malt arrives on all levels and in different hues, ranging from sweet and fresh to a duller, oak-dried digestive biscuit – but quite tightly bound” and he concludes with “a real treat”.

Over 83/100 on Whiskybase is a reasonable mark but nothing special. Several comments are quite critical including “the nose is pretty good, but the taste seems a bit ‘constructed’” and “a mediocre release” but thankfully one voter is a bit more positive with “I like the style and I definitely had worse Glenmorangies in my glass…I like!”

Here’s Horst Luening with his thoughts on You Tube (November 2015):

Glenmorangie Dornoch NAS 70cl

Glenmorangie 18-year-old ‘Extremely Rare’

Bought: Tesco, 17th July 2015

91/100 – Whisky Bible 2015
94/100 – Whisky Bitch (her You Tube video below)
86.18/100 – Whiskybase (average from 291 member votes)

I would say “extremely rare my arse!” except there’s only one of my butt and many thousands of the Glenmorangie 18yo. If it’s in a supermarket then it’s not even rare, let alone ‘extremely rare’. But there’s no denying the quality of this dram from Glenmorangie, even if their terminology for its abundance is questionable.

91/100 in the Whisky Bible from Jim Murray categorises this whisky as ‘brilliant’. Commenting about the taste “sharp, eye-watering mix of fruit and mainly honeyed barley; nutty and, with the confident vanillas, forming a breakfast cereal completeness.” Mr Murray summaries with “having thrown off some previous gremlins, now a perfect start to the day whisky.” Hmmm! Don’t drink whisky for breakfast kids; it makes your cereal go soggy!

Over 86/100 on Whiskybase is an excellent mark with reviewers commenting “whisky of serious distinction”, “wonderfully creamy and thick” and “better than the Original 10yo”. The Whisky Bitch in her review below from February 2014 absolutely loves this whisky and gets a strong taste of bananas. That’s not a flavour I’ve commonly seen in reviews for this Glenmorangie but every palate is slightly different. See what you think.

Glenmorangie 18yo Extremely Rare 70cl

Glenmorangie 12-year-old ‘Quinta Ruban’

Bought – Morrisons, 11th September 2014

92/100 – Whisky Bible 2014
89/100 – RalfyGlenmorangie Quinta Ruban – YouTube (March 2014)

Ralfy’s comparison between the ‘Quinta Ruban’ and the old ‘Port Wood’ finish by Glenmorangie is very interesting, especially as I have a miniature of the Port Wood from an auction last year. Once I get around to cracking open the Ruban I’ll have to do my own taste compassion with my mini.

Would you walk into a bar and ask for a bourbon and port cocktail? Probably not, unless you were so drunk you were close to standing on a table and singing songs about goblins and giant Martians eating your house. The Quinta Rubin has gone through a process of double maturation, spending most of its initial life sucking the flavour out of bourbon casks, then being finished for a period in port casks. The flavour combination sounds a bit suspect but Jim Murray, author of the Whisky Bible, summarises his review with “this is a form of cask finishing that has progressed from experimentation to certainty”. And who better to get it right than the 16 men of Glenmorangie when they’re not busy with their 8-a-side football matches.

If you like Highland single malts but want something a bit different then the Quinta Ruban is worth tracking down. In the UK several supermarkets stock it, and with Christmas approaching there’s a good chance it will get discounted. Morrisons had a mad moment and reduced it to £27.99. Sadly I’d bought it the week before when they’d initially discounted it to £35. Even at that price it was a bargain.

Glenmorangie 12yo Quinta Ruban 70cl

Glenmorangie ‘The Original’ 10-year-old

Bought – Morrisons, 7th May 2014

94/100 – Whisky Bible 2014
87/100 – Ralfy, of www.ralfy.com
Review: – Ralfy – Glenmorangie Original – YouTube

What can I say about the Glenmorangie 10yo which hasn’t been said already? Probably nothing, so here’s a quote from the Whisky Bible by Jim Murray “overall this remains one of the great single malts: a whisky of uncompromising aesthetic beauty from the first enigmatic whiff to the last teasing and tantalising gulp. Complexity at its most complex.” He also says of the finish “amazingly long for such a light dram”. His score of 94/100 classifies this whisky in the bracket of “superstar whisky that gives us all a reason to live”.

Glenmorangie distillery was founded in 1843 on the site of a brewery that had existed since 1738. Glenmorangie’s stills are the tallest in Scotland standing 17 feet high. Tours of the distillery cost £5 and are available all year round except at Christmas. Apparently the stills alone are worth the visit but you also get a dram as part of the cost. For those interested, have a look at the Glenmorangie website here.

Glenmorangie 10yo Orignal 70cl

Glenmorangie ‘Lasanta’ 12-year-old

Bought – Morrisons, 7th May 2014

68.5/100 – Whisky Bible (2014)
81/100 – Malt Maniacs (average from 11 reviews)
89/100 – RalfyHis review on YouTube here (November 2014)

Never let it be said that I only buy whisky because Jim Murray (author of the Whisky Bible) gives it a good rating. His mark of 68.5/100 is one of the worst I’ve seen and classifies this whisky as “very unimpressive indeed”. All he says is “the sherry problem has increased dramatically rather than being solved”. If anything this negative score made me curious. Could I spot the problem, or would I disagree completely? It was only when Morrisons reduced the Lasanta to £25 that I was tempted to find out.

It’s not as if the Lasanta doesn’t have fans. 11 reviewers on Malt Maniacs give it an average score of 81/100, which is very good. It receives comments of “nice and balanced. No disturbing notes anywhere” and “a reasonable dram”. With such mixed opinions, I was wondering what I’d make of this malt.

Now for the tasting – sadly the Lasanta just doesn’t work for me. The maturation for 10 years in bourbon casks clashes in a very unharmonious way with the final 2 years in sherry casks. It’s like two badly matched whiskies have been blended together. There was also a slight fusty smell but the 46% helped give it a good finish. But I haven’t written this whisky off completely. I’ll allow it to settle in the open bottle for a month or two and revisit it. Obviously it has finished maturing but often a whisky will smooth out if left in an open bottle for a while. The Lasanta has the sort of rough notes where I feel it will improve over time.

Update (Feb 2015). Added Ralfy’s review, which is very interesting, and he gives this single malt an excellent mark. I had another dram of the Lasanta last night and it’s growing on me. The time it’s had to breath in the bottle has certainly helped, and it does open up well in the glass. It’s still not my favourite by a long way, so I probably wont be getting another bottle once it’s finished.

Glenmorangie 12yo Lasanta 70cl