At long last, the promised review of Glenmorangie Extra Matured. I can certify that I am well acquanited with this scotch, seeing as I waited to write this until I damn near polished off the bottle.
This can indicate one of two things: I am a massive procrastinator or I am a raging alcoholic. Since I can't afford to be an alcoholic that favors fine scotch, it is my professional opinion that it was the former. Law school has kept me quite busy and I failed to realize that blogging about scotch should have taken priority.
Anyway, let's get down to brass tacks and talk about what you need to know about the Glenmorangie.
92 proof/46% alcohol
This scotch was a significant departure from my traditional favorites, but not a disappointing departure by any means. The distillery is not on Islay, but in the Scottish highlands, boasting the tallest stills in the country. Glenmorangie offers a range of scotches and has been quite creative, particularly in sourcing the casks used for aging.
This particular formula is first aged in traditional white oak bourbon barrels like nearly every other scotch out there. Where it differs is during the final years of aging, which takes place in sherry casks imported from Spain. This final aging process is where many of the flavors unique to this scotch are derived.
Upon opening the bottle and taking a whiff, the first thing I noticed was the smoke. I mention this because it was very different from the aroma of let's say Laphroaig's, which is a pure, dry smelling smoke. This smoke had a sweeter aroma, bringing with it a preview of some flavors awaiting you. I must admit, I was dubious at first because I typically don't like a sweet scotch, but having just spend nearly $50 on the bottle, of course I poured a glass.
The color is on the darker, more amber end of the scale, almost like apple juice. When nosing the glass nothing much changed in the aroma, except some of the complexities were more easily detectable. As always, a splash of water preceded my first taste. I was amazed at the fullness of the flavor, with initially a single sweetness, followed by an unveiling of hints of walnut, caramel, and perhaps a trace of citrus as it hit different parts of the mouth. The smoke flavor was not particularly noticeable, or perhaps it was just overshadowed by the other unique flavors.
Notable was the absence of any significant numbing or burning in the mouth. Upon swallowing, the same held true and it goes down quite smoothly. One thing that was disappointing was the lack of any smokey aftertaste or infusion of the sinuses. Instead, other flavors, particularly a walnut-like taste presented itself, but only briefly.
I must say overall, this was a good scotch with a respectable degree of complexity, but far from my favorite, certainly not in my top five. I will, however, qualify that by reminding you that this was not my typical scotch. For anyone who isn't fanatical about the dry, smokey taste, this may be an excellent choice.
As always, I'm looking forward to trying a new scotch, not a very burdensome task for those with a taste for the stuff. Until next time, best regards.