Whisky Advocate

Is Glenmorangie 10 yr. the best of the line?

January 28th, 2008

I think so. And if you ask Dr. Bill Lumsden, the whisky-maker behind all of the Glenmorangie whiskies, he will agree.

How do I know this? I was with Bill for two hours this past week, and I asked him.

How refreshing it is to taste a line of whiskies from one distillery ranging from 10 years old to 25 years old (and from $45 to $875) and decide you like the youngest and least expensive one the best.

But what makes the 10 year old so special? It’s not even bottled at the higher strength of 46% (and non-chillfiltered) like the wood finished expressions in the range. I love it for its subtle complexity, surprising depth, and excellent balance.

Here’s Bill’s take on it:

“I wanted to go back to the way the 10 year old tasted back when I first tasted it in 1994. At that time it was about 50% 10 year old and about 50% 13-14 years old.

To get a similar effect with our current 10 year old, we started introducing “Artisan Cask” whisky into the 10 year old blend. The Artisan Cask line of Glenmorangie comes from slow growth, air seasoned, heavily toasted, lightly charred, American White oak bourbon barrels.

The Artisan Cask whisky provides more roundness, more depth, more vanilla, and a longer aftertaste. We started introducing it in 2005, with about 10% of the whisky being Artisan Cask. Now we’re up to about 30-35%. The rest of the whiskey comes from standard first-fill and second-fill bourbon casks.”

I really enjoy the entire line of the new Glenmorangie expressions (with one exception–I’ll save that for another posting). And with the trend for Scotch whisky distilleries to adopt 12 year old as the entry point for their line of whiskies (Glenfiddich, Aberlour, etc.), it’s impressive for Glenmorangie to show that you don’t need to go to 12 years old to make a good whisky.

But, the key point for you to take from this posting is this: if you haven’t tried Glenmorangie 10 year old lately, you really should. And at $45, how can you go wrong?

3 Responses to “Is Glenmorangie 10 yr. the best of the line?”

  1. [...] For many of us young men, buying our first bottle of scotch can be a tough decision.  The price is a bit higher than other spirits so we worry about choosing poorly.  I have no doubt that there are as many opinions regarding a good “starter Scotch” as there are bottles of whisky (please leave your suggestions below), but for those wanting a recommendation, I would point them to my first, a bottle of Glenmorangie 10yr. And apparently the experts concur. [...]

  2. [...] For many of us young men, buying our first bottle of scotch can be a tough decision. The price is a bit higher than other spirits so we worry about choosing poorly. I have no doubt that there are as many opinions regarding a good ‘starter Scotch’ as there are bottles of whisky (please leave your suggestions below), but for those wanting a recommendation, I would point them to my first, a bottle of Glenmorangie 10yr. And apparently the experts concur. [...]

  3. Rick says:

    As the above poster noted, it’s hard to get into Scotch as a young man. He’s right, it’s more expensive than other kinds of whiskey. I asked my favorite history professor at university and he said “Glenmorangie.” I didn’t have the taste for the sample bottle i bought then, but 4 years later after trying a few more including Highland and Glenfiddich as well as blended, but big-reputation Johnny Walker Black, I went back to Glenmorangie and loved it. I’ll be passing on the advice now too.

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