Glenmorangie Companta

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Distillery/Brand: Glenmorangie | Region: Highland | ABV: 46% | Colour: Old Sauternes
Nose: 18 | Taste: 18 | Finish: 17 | Balance: 15 | Rating: 68

Now let me tell you this. I first heard of sulphur in whiskies from Jim Murray a few years ago and he made such huge deal about it that I was literally looking over my shoulder to see when sulphur would attack.

But then as I kept tasting ‘tainted’ whiskies I couldn’t really tell if they were truly sulphured or not. Jim certainly seemed to think so but I wasn’t too sure. Then after doing some research I found out that you had to be genetically inclined to be sensitive to sulphur and more than a third of the worlds’ population was not so.

I, therefore, assumed that I was one of the third and if I could not detect sulphur then so be it. In fact I was kind of glad. What spoilt whiskies for some would have no effect on me.
That is, until now.

After sitting for a month in an open bottle with no hint of anything sulphured (even though Jim in his 2015 Bible murdered this expression) I took it out to finally write this review.

This was an absolute disaster. What seemingly tasted decent when first opened had taken on the air of a spent canon. So strong was the sulphur that I barely had the chance to identify anything else.

OK, enough about the sulphur. Here is some info on what this whisky constitutes.

Vatting of standard 9 year-old ex-bourbon Glenmorangie finished for 5 years in red Grand Cru Burgundy wine casks from Clos de Tart (from Pinot Noir grapes), with a similar 10 year-old Glenmorangie finished for 8 years in a sweet fortified wine from Cotes du Rhone called Rasteau, made from Grenache grapes. The vatting contains 60% of the first, and 40% of the second.

My sample is from an open bottle and served at 46%

Nose: Underneath the flint, gunsmoke and spent matches there is some chocolate and red grapes. But that is all lost to the spectacular smell of a grand fireworks display.

Palate: I couldn’t finish this dram. Something metallic coated my mouth and would not let go.

Finish: Metallic.

I am really shocked at how this whisky had turned after a month oxidizing. The sulphur, I guess, was always there and just needed a bit of air to bring it out.

At least now I know I am part of the two-thirds majority that can smell sulphur. And I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

Rating: 68

Glenmorangie Companta


Distillery/Brand: Glenmorangie
Region: Highland
ABV: 46%
Colour: Old Sauternes

Nose: 22
Taste: 22
Finish: 22
Balance: 22

Glenmorangie’s been getting a bit of airtime recently thanks to a certain Mr Jim Murray for naming their Ealanta his whisky of the year. Now let me tell you something. I don’t mind Jims’ choices but this one was way off the mark.

Then I heard about the Companta doing the rounds and getting some rave reviews. So I was excited when one of the members of my whisky club decided to serve this at one of our tastings.

Inspired by Dr Bill’s travels across France’s greatest vineyards The Companta is a result of a mix of spirit extra matured in Grand Cru casks from Clos de Tart and those of a sweet fortified wine from Côtes du Rhône.

Nose: It’s quite interesting. Carries a lot of tannins to begin with. And with it a bunch of cherries served atop a sponge cake and drizzled with rose water infused with crushed black peppers. Initially there is a dry yeasty aroma which dissipates with time and oxygen.

Palate: Could have been sensational but it chose not to. Lots of red fruits, dark berries and fortified cherry liquor. This is accompanied by woody black pepper and clove spices.

Finish: Decently long and lingering with a woody chocolate tannin quality.

Once again I am a victim of over hype. I had convinced my self that this spirit was going to be sublime. Instead it was quite good, at best.

Rating: 88