Provenance: Highlands (Scotland)
Typology: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrels: Ex-Bourbon, ex Sherry Oloroso and ex Pedro Ximénez
Additional Coloring: Yes
Owner: Moet Hennessy
Average price: € 55.00
Official website: www.glenmorangie.com
After Quinta Ruban and Nectar d’Or, with Lasanta we conclude our exploration of the finishes in the core range of Glenmorangie, the first distillery to undertake research into ageing.
It was the 1986-87 season when the then general manager Neil McKarrow commissioned a study on maturing whisky into ex-Wine casks for the final years of maturation. The first finish in history, or at least the first bottling to carry the term finishing on the back label, was a Vintage 1963, released in 1987, after completing 18 months of ageing in ex-Sherry Oloroso casks. In September 1994, however, the first finishing in ex-Port barrels was carried out, followed two years later by finishing in ex-Madeira barrels.
Experimentation with finishes is still going strong today, thanks to the curiosity and enterprise of the celebrated Director of Distilling and Whisky Creation & Whisky Stock Bill Lumsden.
Lasanta spent the first 10 years of its maturation in ex-Bourbon casks, and then finished its ageing with 2 years in a mix of ex-Sherry Oloroso and ex-Pedro Ximénez casks. Over time, the packaging has been renewed several times, but its production formula (10 + 2) has remained unchanged, including the absence of chillfiltration, which from 2019 is explicitly stated on the label.
There are versions of this whisky with 43% ABV or 46% ABV, depending on the year. We refer to the 43% ABV version (pictured).
Lasanta in Gaelic means “heat”, “passion”. Will we find them in the glass?
On a sensory level, the amber colour leads in that direction.
And even on the nose, the first impression is of hot punch, accompanied by a fragrance of hazelnut, a hint of macaroons, a hint of dried apricots and an extremely inviting note of marron glacé. Even stopping here, at least on an olfactory level, both the warmth and the passion are there. After a few minutes, while a spicy note of white pepper grows in intensity, we perceive an aroma that resembles that of almond pastries with candied cherries.
On the palate, the perceptual spectrum shifts again to sweetness with marron glacé and dried apricot alongside the distinctive citrus note of Glenmorangie.
White pepper opens the door to a medium/short finish, which tends to be dry and slightly spicy, with a hint of meringue.
Nowadays, when Sherry ageing is so widespread as to be somewhat overused, if one listens to prejudices, this Lasanta runs the risk of being culpably overlooked, forgetting firstly how finishing in such heavy casks always represents a great risk for the distillate, and secondly how balance and aromatic richness depend on a mastery that cannot be invented on the spur of the moment.
Here the influence of the ex-Sherry casks appears perfectly calibrated both on the nose and palate, and does not distort the deeper essence of Glenmorangie whisky. While the promise of warmth and passion is absolutely fulfilled.