Thursday, February 19, 2009

[Scotch Log]Glenmorangie 12

Quinta Ruban Port Cask
Lasanta Sherry Cask
Necar D'or Sauternes Cask

I've tried each of the Glemorangie 12 year varieties separately, but haven't yet had a chance to taste them together so I could get a good idea of how the flavors varied. The 12 year batch of this scotch comes in 3 varieties: the Quinta Ruban, aged in a port cask, the Lasanta, aged in a sherry cask, and the Nectar D'or, aged in a Sauternes cask. A bit of googling tells me that Sauternes (so-TERN) is a region of France known for it's rich dessert wine.

All three of these scotches have a lovely, rich amber color. Darkest to lightest, we have the Quinta Ruben, the Lasanta, and the Nectar D'or. The first has a slightly rosier, woodier color than the other two, while the Nectar's hue is more golden. The differences in the three are very subtle, though, and we could only really discern a difference with good lighting and background.

Each of the three scotches had a fairly sharp bite, both in scent and flavor - more so than I remembered from tasting them out at restaurants, which makes me wonder how they'll mellow with a little exposure to air. The nose of the Nectar D'or was very sweet and honey like with a sharp, spicy undercurrent - maybe cloves, though subtle. The smell of the Lasanta was much richer and spicer by comparison, with a scent more mapley than the honeyed Nectar. The Quinta was the lease overwhelming of the three with a sugary, floral nose.

To taste, the Quinta was smooth and thick on my tongue with a lovely lingering finish. It was neither smoky nor peaty, but it was also not particularly sweet. Unable to place a finger on the distinct flavors of the Quinta, I referred to the bottle and found it described to be chocolatey and minty - though I can't speak to the latter, the former is certainly true, and where so much of the richness in flavor comes from. After letting my tongue rest for a minute I noticed a slightly smoky after taste.

The Lasanta has slightly more of a peaty flavor, but again very subtle. The much more dominant flavor was something close to caramel and a bit like hazelnut. On the tongue the Lasanta was much sharper, though both it and the Quinta made my lips nice and warm.

The Nectar D'or is the sweetest of the three and also goes down the most smoothly and with the least sting. The after taste reminded me a bit of cherry, though the initial taste had something closer to sugary lemons and a very prominant honey vein.

Really I could happily drink any of these, though I don't think they're likely to displace The Balvenie from the title of "staple scotch." Still, I'm glad to have the chance to taste them all back to back so I could more fully appreciate the subtle differences between them.

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