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.
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