Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban 12 YO

For my next review I decided on one of the first ‘finished’ whiskies that I tasted, the Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban 12 Year old. ‘Finishing’ is where a whisky is transferred from its original cask into a previously used cask of another spirit, in this case port, for an additional maturation period.

Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban_12_The Smoky DramWhisky: Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban 12 Year Old, 46% ABV (Cost around R540)

Region: Northern Highlands, Scotland

Style: Single Malt

Age: 12 Years

Thanks to Glenmorangie’s unconventional founder, William Matheson, they have the tallest stills in Scotland. Their long copper necks stand at 5.14 metres (16ft 10 1/4 inches). Traditionally they have employed sixteen men to make their whisky – known as the Sixteen Men of Tain. Men whose skills, passed down from one generation to the next, are pretty much the same today as they’ve always been.

According to the Glenmorangie website, the darkest and most intense whisky in the extra-matured range is the Quinta Ruban. It has spent 10 years maturing in American white oak casks, before being transferred into specially selected ruby port pipes from the Quintas, or wine estates, from the Douro valley in Portugal for a further maturation of 2 years. Ruban is Gaelic for Ruby, representing the finest Ruby Port casks. 

Colour: Rich gold to rust with many thick legs. 

Nose: A fairly sweet, dark berries, start that leads one on to citrus fruits (mostly oranges and tangerines). It develops further with some raisins, brandy and port notes. The palate also has a lovely nuttiness to it, as well as some dark chocolate with some spiciness towards the end.

Palate: The spiciness and citrus fruits follows through to the palate. It is a quite full and rich palate that is fairly thick and fruity. I also pick up some black tea, more chocolate and nuttiness with a hint of port still floating about.

Finish: Smooth and long with lovely winter spiciness. There are also hints of dark chocolate infused with citrus and some sweetness on the finish.

Overall: A well-made and smooth whisky. I do find the nose to be a bit more developed than the palate. I find the fruit to be an interesting mix of citrus and sweet berries. Not a bad introduction to the world of ‘finished’ whiskies.

My Score: 83

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Glenmorangie The Original 10yo

Once again onwards and upwards with my reviews, with the focus once again on 10 year olds. Still in Scotland, but this time to the Highlands of Scotland.

Glenmorangie_Original_10_The Smoky DramWhisky: Glenmorangie 10, 43 ABV (Cost around R400)

Region: Northern Highlands, Scotland

Style: Single Malt

Age: 10 Years

Hand-crafted with pride by the Sixteen Men of Tain, the Glenmorangie Original is a 10yo single malt which is produced (as described by the Glenmorangie website) “by marrying the delicate spirit that emerges from Scotland’s tallest stills, with first and second fill American white oak casks”.

Glenmorangie was amongst the first Scottish distillers (1960s) to use ex bourbon barrels to age their whisky rather than Spanish oak (ex-Bourbon). They also only ever use their casks twice. Founded in 1843, they have been pursuing perfection – under the stewardship of two families and now Louis Vuitton Moet-Hennessy – for over 160 years.

Colour: Pale gold to yellowy with very many lovely thick legs.

Nose: Citrus (mostly oranges and lemons), soft vanilla, peaches, chocolate, sweet, warm toffee pudding. Hint of spiciness in the background. A fresh, clean and easy nose that is not overpowering.

Palate: Vanilla, sweet (toffee sweets), floral, creamy mocha with a slight citrus and nuttiness in background. There is a lovely slight spicy bite on the tip of the tongue that slowly spreads to the back of the throat.

Finish: Long finish that is clean with a lingering citrus spiciness.

Overall: A pleasant whisky that is very approachable. It has a sweetness and floralness to it that is underpinned by a lovely spiciness, which carries it way through all the way to the end.

My Score: 82