KWM Whisky Advent Calendar 2016: Day 10

10 12 2016

Day 10 of Advent calls for a 10 Year whisky, and the KWM calendar delivers, albeit an in on-the-nose-obvious sort of way.  Yes, like a reformed indie band, we’re going mainstream tonight with the almost-ubiquitous Glenmorangie 10 Year, one of the first of the widely produced “Glen” whiskies (Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, Glenfarclas, Glenrothes, etc.) to hit the Whisky Advent Calendar since I’ve been buying it.  However, even larger brands provide an opportunity for learning and appreciation, and the Glenmorangie is no different.  Case in point:  (1) Learning – I have been pronouncing “Glenmorangie” wrong all these years.  The emphasis is on the second syllable, not the third:  Glen-MOR-an-gie, rhyming with “orangey”, as opposed to Glen-mor-AN-gie.  Oops.  (2) Appreciation – The GlenMORangie 10 Year has one of the most artful, and without question the tallest, mini-bottle I’ve ever seen come out of the calendar, with its height perhaps an echo of Glenmorangie’s stills, which are the tallest in Scotland.  The bottle is also an exact replica of its normal-scale bottle, an act of mimicry with which many distilleries don’t even bother but which shows an impressive attention to detail.  Packaging matters!!

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Like every distillery that’s been around for over 150 years, Glenmorangie has gone through its ups and downs.  Even it was not exempt from the 20th century suffering experienced by scotch distilleries, ending up mothballed once in the 1930s and again in the 1940s.  But you may not be surprised to learn that it came through it all OK, upping its means of production from two stills to 12, becoming the top selling single malt in all of Scotland, being purchased by global luxury giant Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH) and eventually capturing over 5% of the entire world market share in single malt whisky.  I would call that a success story.  The 10 Year, also known as the Glenmorangie Original, is the entry into the brand’s core line and is a remarkable bargain at $68.  It is somewhat reticent at first with its apple cinnamon Cheerios, lemon peel, celery stalk and spice aromas, but oh so smooth and lithe on the tongue, weightlessly coating every single tastebud and lingering on an extended finish.  Vanilla bean, lemon meringue pie (curd, meringue and crust), poached pear and brown sugar reflect the whisky’s ex-Bourbon maturation treatment and result in a scotch that’s easily approachable for a wide audience.  Like an ex-cool veteran chart-topper, it’s a mainstay for a reason.

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One response

11 12 2016
Stephen Moore

The 10 yr is run of the mill. Why not dazzle us with something like the Glenmorangie Signet, Companta, or perhaps the Ealanta 😉

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