Google Sherry-finished Glenmorangie undercover vs official

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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

July 22, 2019


Little duos, today sherry-finished Glenmorangie undercover vs. official

Phew! The independent one will make for the aperitif, since it is both lighter and younger.

Westport 17 yo 1997/2014 (48%, Wilson & Morgan, sherry butts, 2nd fill PX finish, casks #3353-3357, 1110 bottles)

Westport 17 yo 1997/2014 (48%, Wilson & Morgan, sherry butts, 2nd fill PX finish, casks #3353-3357, 1110 bottles) Four stars
Westport is teaspooned Glenmorangie (they’re using their other malt, Ardbeg – perhaps not), thus a blended malt. On paper. Funny to use some second-fill wood to do a finishing, but in the case of PX, I say that’s probably a brainwave. How many fine malts have and are being slaughtered with freshly seasoned PX finishes? Colour: gold. Nose: Glenmo’s often said to be fresh and indeed, this is fresh, with a PX that’s not too dominant (read not too clumsy). Notes of Weetabix, retsina, cherry stems, tobacco, and some slightly burnt caramel. Hints of Worcester sauce, perhaps, as well as a little balsamico. Mouth: it is good, it is well made, balance was found, and this overall feeling of crunching a Twix bar works very well. Caramel, biscuit, chocolate, raisins, fudge, a little cardamom and a little coriander, then cloves. Good body, 48% vol. always works very well if you ask me. Finish: medium, spicier as always, and really very malty. Crunching an Ovaltine bar rather than some Twix. Comments: do you know how to tell the difference between an amateur writer and a pro? The latter would never quote any brand names.
SGP:551 - 86 points.

Glenmorangie 27 yo 1991/2019 (55.9%, OB, Rare Cask for 10th Anniversary Loza Dzentelmenow, Poland, oloroso cask finish, 230 bottles)

Glenmorangie 27 yo 1991/2019 (55.9%, OB, Rare Cask for 10th Anniversary Loza Dzentelmenow, Poland, oloroso cask finish, 230 bottles) Five stars
There are very few private bottlings of Glenmorangie, the latest I could taste having been a 2003 for the Prince of Monaco. It was very good (WF 88). Now I wanted to add something, not sure why the distillers are advertising this baby as a finish, as the booklet clearly states that it was rather 15 years bourbon plus 12 years oloroso. That’s what I call a double-maturation (or some old-school re-racking), which I find pretty nobler than just a flash finishing. Don’t we agree? Colour: gold. Nose: starts with some toffee and a drop of coffee liqueur plus one of walnut wine, but some subtle touches of pine resin and eucalyptus are soon to rise to your nostrils, while those would come with a little pipe tobacco, a hint of coconut, and some fresh mushrooms. All that works in perfect synch, as was The Duke Ellington Orchestra. With water: no huge changes, but those weren’t needed. A tad earthier and more on dough, perhaps, which is usual. Mouth (neat): extremely good. So good that I may keep a few cls for Angus (which should tell you how good I find it). Basically, it’s liquid panettone, and perhaps kougelhopf. Raisins, roasted almonds, candied orange zest and angelica, toffee, butterscotch, figs and dates (those always come together, have you noticed?), and notes of brioche with a little orange blossom water inside. A sophisticated charmer, as they say in marketing brochures. With water: spices are up, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger… Finish: long, spicy. Marmalade and cloves, a duo that always works very well provided the cloves aren’t too loud. The aftertaste is a tad more peppery. Comments: almost 91, only the finish was a tad less entrancing. Oak spices, the most worrisome flavours to gentle. Anyway, a very great Glenmorangie that will most certainly benefit from twenty-seven extra-years of aging in glass. We can tell from the official 1963, maybe the first real finish ever. Remember that one?
SGP:561 - 90 points.

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Glenmorangie we've tasted so far


More about the 100-scale
(oh, no, not again!)

We've both written or spoken several times about the 100-point scale in the past, but every so often there are fresh criticisms arising from various corners of the Whiskysphere. Often people yelling that it doesn't make sense, for various reasons - often because they believe the lower end of the scale is never used which is wrong. Indeed, newcomers often invent their own scales, which is of course totally fine, variety is the spice of whisky! But it's important to remember a few key things about the 100 point scale. (Maybe we'll get this on T-shirts as well...)


First and foremost, the scale is about communication. A score on its own can of course mean little, but in context of a proper tasting note, it is a powerful means of expressing an impression of a drink.


The 100-scale is a standard.


It’s been used by many major writers or tasters for many years, including Robert Parker for wine or Michael Jackson for beer and whisky. Many books, guides and magazines use it too.


It’s a percentage, and that’s why there are 100 levels. A 100-score simply answers this question: ‘How far are we, in your opinion, from a theoretical perfect drink?’ 85 points actually means 85%.


A score is an opinion indeed (hopefully informed), expressed in a numerical form, nothing more.


With numerical scores you can calculate means, averages, standard deviations, etc.


The 100-scale addresses any kinds of drinks. Most malt whiskies, for example, score between 70 and 95, but the cheaper blends would rather cruise along the 40-60 lines, while some fake molasses-based whiskies would rather score around 10 or 20.


By no means a whisky commentator would feel obliged to distribute his/her scores evenly on the scale. How stupid would that be? You’d need to source all the junk drinks in the world, and thank God everyone’s rather trying to taste the better stuff.


50, not 75 or 80, is the main pivoting point indeed, and should you take volumes produced in the whole world into consideration, I’m sure it could even be lower, possibly around 40. It’s just that mind you, the main distillers such as Diageo, Pernod, Bacardi, Campari etc. know their job and tend to systematically produce ‘over 70’ (a gut feeling).


A 100 scale is much easier to use, and much less judgemental than a shorter scale.


A 100 scale is very convenient when you compare very similar drinks. Go score seven 25 yo ex-bourbon Laphroaigs while using an A B C scale. A A A A A A A, how useful. Vive la nuance!

-Serge & Angus








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