Sunday, October 12, 2014

Glenmorangie 18 Year Old

I've written before about my aversion to, and unwillingness to get caught up in, the marketing bullshit that surrounds and supports whiskies/brands like Ardbeg. Not that I don't drink nor enjoy them at all, of course, just that I try to remain resolutely impassive in the face of the (rarely convincing or interesting) PR bombardment that accompanies/presages new releases in these heady times.

Glenmorangie, Ardbeg's slutty sister, should, then, be just about anathema to me. This is the whisky, you'll all remember, that not only bears the brunt of Bill Lumsden's exotic wood obsession, but is also simultaneously subjected to the best soft-focus, glammed up marketing make-overs that LVMH's money can buy. 

Yet despite all this, I've always enjoyed the spirit profile itself. The 10 year old remains a firm favourite in the summer months, where its gentle, fruity profile - surrounded by that (increasingly virgin, I believe, but I could be wrong) American oak vanilla - works a treat, especially with an ice cube to keep the heat at bay. And I've even enjoyed some of the special releases with the stupid names. Heck, I was that bloke who bought a bottle of the Artein and kinda liked it.

It just goes to show, I guess, that we can put our innate and/or hard-won resistance and opposition to one side occasionally and enjoy something simply for what it is.

Or, it shows that I've been brainwashed (or long-range lobotomised) and soul-stripped by a corporate behemoth who is clearly better at this than I am and a worthy winner.

Glenmorangie 18 Year Old Extremely Rare 43%
This review is based on three pours from the very top of the bottle.

[Don't ask me what is so extremely rare about this bottle. They seemed in plentiful supply at the store I bought it in (sometimes I like to actually go in to a booze shop and look at actual bottles and talk to actual people. I do it so rarely it seems almost special when I make the trip - in this case to the other side of town - and it's almost always pretty satisfying, even if a little tough on the wallet), and were going at such a good price that I picked it up almost as an afterthought on the way out.]

Nose: Tropical! The first pour is full of mango, apricots - a whole bowl of tropical fruits. Some citrus notes too. Coconut and vanilla soon follow. After even more time the malt comes further to the fore, along with something a little less sweet, like a very light soy sauce.

Palate: Lots of sweet malt at first. Milk chocolate and apricots cover the palate. Orange, vanilla and sweet spices. Mouth filling, luscious Glenmo goodness. Tongue coating and rich. There is, though, perhaps the ever so slightest trace of a hole in the mid-palate.

Finish: The apricots and chocolate from the palate return as a gentle spiciness rises at the back of the palate and remains, leaving a refreshing tingling sensation on the lips. A touch of smoke swirls around too, as some wood bitterness emerges at the death and lingers.

Look, I think you need to be a fan of the house style and profile to really get maximum pleasure from this whisky as it's not a super-complex one. What it lacks in interest, though, it more than makes up for in sheer enjoyment and drinkability.

1 comment:

  1. Does it even need a review? What do you think of McClellands