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Whiskymag 137 July _Aug 2016

Glenmorangie Wood Finish Whisky

Tasting Notes Review.


All Scotch Whisky is matured in oak casks and the nature and history of the cask greatly influences the flavour and character of the whisky.


For Glenmorangie, the best casks are those that have previously held American bourbon.  The bourbon seasons the wood, releases its natural sweetness and absorbs undesirable flavours, but does not smother the subtle flavour of the whisky.


This unique range of malt whiskies has initially been matured intially in American oak casks for at least 10 years and transferred into casks that have previously contained either Burgundy,  Madeira, Port or  Sherry, for a further period of maturation.


The Glenmorangie Wood Finish Range is an exceptional range of malt whiskies that can be served confidently at any time, , but is best served after dinner.



Colour:- Rich chestnut gold.


Nose:- At full strength, the confectionery sweetness of candied honeycomb in milk chocolate stimulates the senses, with aromatic top notes of spearmint and simmering coffee.


With water, the aroma is reminiscent of a summer fruit pudding - a burst of intense ripe fruits with plums, raspberries, figs and banana softened by sponge and cream; a dusting of cinnamon and nutmeg spice, and covered with flakes of sugared almonds.


Taste:- Rich, fruity and sweet with an intriguing range of mouthwatering and tingly flavours.  The taste meets all the expectations promised on the nose with balanced sweetness, fruit and spicy notes.  Initially, there is a burst of mouthwatering plums and raspberries, followed by tingly spices (cinnamon and nutmeg), and progressing to a lightly mouthcoating effect, reminiscent of sucking boiling sweets (oil of cloves).   Later there is the gentle dryness of cocoa powder, grape must and almonds.


Finish:- Long and ‘tingly’ with raspberries, plums and cocoa powder.



This unique range of malt whiskies has initially been matured in American oak casks for at least 10 years and transferred into casks which have previously contained Madeira for a further period of maturation.

Colour:- Bright amber, with a slight orange tinge.


Nose:- This is a complex aroma – fresh, but slightly linty; sweet, but with a burnt tangy trace – literally “madeirised”; a trace of wood shavings.


With a drop of water, fresh black pepper emerges and a strong trace of humbugs (more than just “toffee” and “mint”, but having those characteristics).  Some citrus orange in particular, perhaps peaches and again the intriguing burnt characteristic, with some indefinable winey undertones.  After a while in an open glass, deeper fruit and spice notes emerge, like Christmas cake.


Taste:- The flavour is “cool” to the palate, but spicy on the tongue; fresh and citrus; sweet as it passes, but with a firm dry finish.  The winey flavours are slight and unidentifiable; not as sweet as sherry and with a tangy characteristic.  Unless told, we doubt whether anyone would identify Madeira, but once told, the puzzle is solved.


Finish:- Sweet as it passes, but with a firm, dry finish.



This unique malt whisky has been initially been matured in American oak casks and has then been transferred into casks or ‘pipes’ which have previously contained Port for a further period of maturation.

Colour:- Antique copper: golden, but with a rosey hue.


Nose;- With a drop of water, the key aromas are of butterscotch and dark chocolate, but with fresh minty notes and a trace of dryness, like lint.  There is some sandalwood here, and citrus fruit – oranges, perhaps tangerine – even a hint of allspice.  With a little more water, lighter scents begin to emerge: grass and hay, hazelnuts and candied peel.


Taste:- The mouthfeel is voluptuously smooth, like sipping velvet.  The entire palate is engaged – a most interesting and complex balance of sweet and dry flavours.  The bitter chocolate and the fresh mintiness noted as aromas are apparent.  In the satisfying, lingering finish, a hint of port reveals itself for the first time, along with walnuts.


Finish:- A remarkable whisky, perfect after a good meal or to savour at any time.



Colour:- Light gold.

Nose:-       This is a complex aroma – full-bodied, sherry wine notes with traces of honey.  Sweet and mead like.


With the addition of water, citric fruits emerge with traces of nuts.  The overall impression is fresh with a layer of honey-comb in the background.  After a few moments the nuts become stronger and the scent is now sweeter with a vanilla and caramel.  The winey aroma noted earlier becomes increasingly sherried, but not overpoweringly so.


Taste:-   Full-bodied, even and creamy.  This malt has a subdued, sweet flavour at the outset and finishes light and dry.  Sherry and nuts are now apparent in the flavour and these produce a pleasant, warm, long lasting after-taste.


Finish:- A full-bodied malt whisky with a rich and fulfilling flavour which engages the whole palate.

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