Glenmorangie Tain L'Hermitage Wood Finish 1975 Vintage, 46%

Price: $200 Issue: Winter 2005 Reviewer: John Hansell

For those of you drinking whisky long enough, it was a Glenmorangie Tain L'Hermitage 1978 Vintage that kick-started this whole exotic finish trend by Glenmorangie about 10 years ago. That one wasn't sold here in the U.S., but this one is (although this one costs about four times as much as the original one did when it was released). Both were racked in used bourbon barrels before being finished in Hermitage red wine casks from northern Rhone. The best of these limited release Glenmorangies, like the Fino Sherry Finish expression several years ago, add complexity and intrigue without masking Glenmorangie's lovely subtle complexity. This one does a pretty good job of it, although there's a lot of fruit here (an obvious contribution of the wine). Complex fruit, with notes of plum, raspberry, nectarine, blueberries, and a hint of lemon. Underneath the fruit, there's nougat, dark chocolate and cocoa. Towards the finish, the whisky becomes nicely dry with oak lingering on the palate.