Reviews: Glenmorangie Original, Lasanta, Nectar D’Or and Quinta Ruban

Glenmorangie 10 is one of the first bottles I ever bought when I was first getting into scotch. I purchased a gift set that had a 750ml bottle of original plus 3 minis of the 12-year expressions. Those have been sitting around for about 3.5 years now and i’m finally getting to them. When I first reviewed Glenmo10 way back in 2013, i scored it an 84. I’m first of all looking forward to seeing how my palate, preferences and standards have changed in the intervening years. To get a true comparison, i haven’t re-read that review before doing this one.

Glenmorangie Original – 40% ABV

  • Appearance: super pale like straw. I love an uncoloured scotch.
  • Nose: tons of fruit. Peach up front, plus some apple, pear, grassy and straw. Very light, very floral. Vanilla and oak.
  • Taste: lots of fruit again – apples, apricots, pears, bananas… and some floral, grassy hints too, but less light than the nose suggested. Harsher mouthfeel and higher alcohol presence than you’d expect from 40%. Less balanced than I remember.
  • Finish: short and woody. A little bitter.
  • Score: 79/100

this is a nice dram, but not overly complex… tastes very much like a standard highland or speyside. I think my original 84 was a bit generous and I’d rate this a 79 today. I suppose oxidation could have occurred too.

Next up we get the sherried version that I’ll be re-posting in a couple of days. The Lasanta is aged 2 years in Oloroso sherry casks.

Glenmorangie Lasanta – 46% ABV

  • Appearance: much darker than the original, with rusty orangee influence from the sherry casks. Great legs too.
  • Nose: red fruit – raspberries especially, plus some dried prunes. Very sweet smelling.
  • Taste: definitely very sweet… the sugar content punches you in the mouth. Sugar candies. Harsh alcohol bite too. fruity, and some grassiness from the spirit. Rough and unbalanced. Tastes younger than the 10yr.
  • Finish: sweet and short.
  • Score: 72/100

the oloroso doesn’t make this better. It seems younger than the 10 and is kind of mangled together. I’m surprised given I typically like Oloroso finished whiskies.

Next as we ascend the /r/scotch ladder of glenmo 12s, is the Nectar D’Or, finished in sauternes barriques from France. I’ve only had one sauternes finish before, from Arran – a distillery I love – and it was the only letdown I’ve had so far from them. hopefully that isn’t indicative of how I’ll enjoy this.

Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or – 46% ABV

  • Appearance: more orange than the lasanta but lighter too. thin legs.
  • Nose: honey, caramel, sugar. Another very sweet dram from the nose of it. Less fruit. Smells quite a bit like the original
  • Taste: now that’s a bit different…. There’s a lot of caramel, vanilla, and honey in there, and it is quite sweet, but it melds with the spirit a lot better than the sherry did. There’s a citrusy bite to it too. lots of oak. Tropical fruit like mango and pineapple. there’s a spiciness that i just can’t place but it’s on the tip of my tongue.. literally. very creamy too.
  • Finish: long, buttery and sweet.
  • Score: 84/100

this is a lot better than the Lasanta and I’d actually consider buying a bottle of it. The sauternes add a lot to the spirit here and they just work well together. Glad the full series isn’t a disappointment.

and finally we get to the Quinta Ruban. I do love a good port finish.  the level on this mini was down to the shoulder of the bottle which makes me worry it wasn’t air tight. guess i’ll see.

Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban – 46% ABV

  • Appearance: dark peachy red.generous legs. Looks promising
  • Nose: definitely a port finish! Dark red fruits, peppery spice, rich sugary nose.
  • Taste: lots of port influence for sure – chocolate, berries, cherries. Less of the tobacco note I look for in port finishes but still present. Much more creamy than the rest of the lineup. Heavy tannic oak and very winey. has a rubbery note too. This one also melds well with the spirit.
  • Finish: fruity and long
  • Score: 87/100

definitely my favourite of the bunch, but I am biased towards port. It just tastes a lot more balanced and more mature than the others. If this was more affordable in Ontario I’d buy a bottle. A nice finish to the series.

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