By Matt Goldstein & Eric Duncan
Distilled and matured in Ross-Shire, the Glenmorangie 18 Years Old Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky is considered “Extremely Rare.” Once it has spent fifteen years maturing in American white oak bourbon casks, approximately 30% if the whisky is transferred into Spanish Oloroso casks to spend a further three years maturing. Most scotches are aged for the majority of their maturation in bourbon casks because bourbon casks are only used once, usually aging bourbon in Kentucky for about 3-6 years. Then, the bourbon cask is shipped to Scotland to create single malts and blended scotch whiskies.
In the north of Scotland in the Highlands, the Glenmorangie distillery sits on the shores of Dornach Firth. Since 1843, Glenmorangie has been distilling single malt Scotch whisky and the 18 year is the magnum opus of this long, rich, critically acclaimed and award winning single malt distillery. Like many coastal distilleries in Scotland, the salty ocean water air gives the single malt much of its character.
Winning gold gest in Class at the 2011 International Wine & Spirits Competition, the double gold medal for single malts at 2010 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, best Highland Malt at the 2009 World Whiskies Awards, and gold best in class for Highland Malt at the International Wine & Spirit Competition, the Glenmorangie Extremely Rare 18 Years Old has proven it’s stature in double blind taste tests again and again. Glenmorangie was also named distillery of the year in 2011 at the IWSC after taking 5 gold best in class awards.
With a light gold color, slightly sweet in flavor, this whisky is a complex and crisp single malt. Slightly dry towards the finish with a good, thick mouth feel, there are hints of honey, malt smoke and oak. This is a beautiful whisky and we are lucky enough to have the pleasure to have tasted it multiple times. We highly recommend this single malt but there is a steep price tag, about $100.00.
For a whisky of this age this expression has maintained, thanks to our delicate floral spirit and fine Oloroso casks, an incredible degree of vibrancy where the raisiny sweetness of the sherry has been toned down by the nuttiness of the American oak.
Rich, rounded and sweet with dried fruits and a complex floral fragrance.
The taste is balanced between honey, malt and flowery scents. Dates and figs emerge in the background with a hint of wood smoke.
The finish is long and enticing with the sweetness of dried fruit and subtle dryness of Oloroso nuttiness.