Sunday, September 19, 2010

Whisky review: Glenmorangie Nectar D'Or

Glenmorangie is a highlands distillery that's been doing some interesting work with various cask finishes. (A "finish" is when they mature whisky in a different cask than that in which it was matured for the majority of its life, and finishes usually only last for a few years at most.) They recently re-branded their finishes with more elegant-sounding names than just "port finish," for example. (The port finish is now called the "Quinta Ruban.")

This review is for the Glenmorangie Nectar D'Or, which is basically the Glenmorangie 10 Original (aged for at least 10 years in bourbon barrels), finished in Sauternes wine barriques (Sauternes is a French dessert wine) for two years. I'd suggest you sample this whisky and the Glenmorangie Original next to each other; the effect of the finish is pretty amazing.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie's head of distilling and whisky creation, in Boston several months ago. A nice person, and he got his PhD in biochemistry, studying yeast physiology. So this guy knows his stuff. (Then again, almost having a PhD myself, I can say that holding such a degree doesn't automatically mean you know what the hell you're talking about.)

Ok, less blab, more tasting.

Glenmorangie Nectar D'Or, 46% ABV
Single malt Scotch whisky (highlands)

Appearance: Dark gold.

Nose: Vanilla yogurt, peaches, young citrus. I also get a twinge of cherry. There is an absolutely alluring quality in the nose - it almost feels like it's coating your nostrils with butter. That probably wouldn't actually feel good, though.

Palate: Lemon, green apple, vanilla. Velvety but light.

Finish: Excellent turn to something a little darker/roasted.

Rating (of 100): 91. The nose and finish are great, but I feel that the palate is not very complex. Still, an excellent dram.

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