Provenance: Highlands (Scotland)
Typology: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrels: Ex-Bourbon, ex-Port
Additional coloring: No
Owner: Moet Hennessy
Average price: € 44.00
Official website: www.glenmorangie.com
About 65 km from Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, is the small town of Tain, on the coast. It’s home to the Glenmorangie distillery (Gaelic for “valley of tranquility4), which has a whisky production of six million litres per year. A remarkable amount, explained also by Glenmorangie’s constant presence in the rankings of the best-selling whiskies in the world (fourth place for seven consecutive years, from 2010 to 2016, to fifth in 2017).
The core range aligns an easy to find 10yo (“The Original”) and three finishings, ex-Sherry barrels (La Santa), ex-Port (Quinta Ruban) and ex-Sauternes Wine (Nectar d’Or), all with a declared age of 12. On the other hand, there are numerous limited editions, among which we remember The Signet, a NAS that combines several single malts aged in different barrels up to more than 30 years.
Glenmorangie’s twelve stills are the highest in Scotland (5.14 metres). It’s not excluded that this affects the soft body of its whiskies, along with the water used, which flows from sandstone hills, flowing over heather and clover before flowing into a pond just under a kilometer from the distillery.
The bottling examined today is the Quinta Ruban which, after 10 years spent in the classic American ex-Bourbon white oak barrels, has finished its maturation with 2 more years in ex-Port Pipes.
It should be noted that in summer 2019 a new version of this whisky was released on the market: the name is the same, but the color of the label has changed (from black to green) and, above all, the ageing (14 years in total, 4 in ex-Port barrels).
As for the name Quinta Ruban, Quinta refers to the land estates from which the Port originates, while Ruban is the Gaelic equivalent of ruby (which identifies the type of Port itself).
In the glass, the whisky is a bewitching warm amber color.
On the nose, the influence of the finish is manifested in a delicious scent of dark chocolate, here accompanied by a caress of mint and a note of malted barley. Fleeting as a distant memory, an impression of white pepper emerges for a moment. All in the characteristic floral embrace of Glenmorangie.
On the palate, in a sinuous body, the scents felt on the nose, with the addition of a memory of meringue, flows in a harmony that is not scratched by time and that makes drinking pleasantly dangerous.
The medium-long finish leaves a delicious taste of white chocolate and meringue in your mouth.
Seduced by the fame of muscular peat, many drinkers snubbed Glenmorangie whiskies, branded too hastily as “ruffians.” But such a broad consensus on a global scale should be considered. And the Quinta Ruban could be a good place to start.
The Whiskey Wash