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.
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.