Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Glenmorangie Dornoch and Tùsail

A couple of new(ish) Glenmorangies.  The Dornoch is a travel retail job, combining ex-bourbon barrels and some lightly peated spirit.  The Tùsail is the most recent release in the Private Edition range, and uses a wash made with Maris Otter barley, described as rare and a dying breed.  Given the amount of MO I brew beer with, I’m not sure this is true, but it’s certainly rarely used in whisky production.  Previous releases in this range were Sonnalta (PX), Finealta (peated), Artein (Super Tuscan wine casks), Ealanta (American white oak casks) and Companta (Clos de Tart red wine casks).  Both whiskies are NAS.

Glenmorangie Dornoch, 43% A-

dornoch-544146b71fdceNose – Dark, perfumed, musky wood and aftershave.  Extremely sweet notes, wax, peach, mango juice and mild toffee peat.  Old school desk and marker pens.  This kind of nose wouldn’t be out of place on a Springbank.  Proper. 

Body – Quite winey, unexpectedly.  Bitter, spicy, a little harsh given the elegance on the nose.

Finish – Bitter and hollow, medium, but some lingering interest with the peat and a mouth watering sourness which also adds to the overall experience. Good tropical burps.

What’s not good about it – A disappointing delivery.  Actually I quite like the end result but overall my expectations were mismanaged by the nose. 

What’s good about it – But what a nose!  Exciting, complex and juicy, good balance too.  This has the nose and character of a very good blend, and as this is basically a blend of whiskies from a single distillery to give a certain result, I can see how that could arise.  It’s a pity that the palate didn’t pick up where the nose left off.

Glenmorangie Tùsail, 46% A-

Glenmorangie TùsailNose – Deeply, deeply sweet with a lifting sour edge.  Dark toffee, pencil case, raw carrot and a little bit of raw new make.  But mainly musky wood, toffee and malt. Rather masculine and oily.  Water brings out floral notes, brighter toffees, brighter barley tones and calms down the new make edge.

Body – Very deep.  Deeply malty – that bit certainly worked, you can really taste the barley.  Good balance and sour structure at the side of the tongue.  But this seam of new make spirit is slightly disconcerting, oily with fresh thyme, tomato stalks and sour plums.  Water tones the faults down again and accentuates the good balance and structure.

Finish – Medium to short, a bit watery near the end actually.  Otherwise lightly spiced with balancing sweetness and quite a lot of wood.

What’s not good about it – Sharp, young notes are a bit off at this price point, although a tiny bit of water does a really good job in bringing the whole thing together.

What’s good about it – Really interesting overall, quite bold malt flavours and good complexity.

Thanks to Glemorangie for the sample of the Tùsail.

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