Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Review: Glenmorangie Highland Single Malt "The Original" Ten Years Old



It's summertime.  Scotch whisky or any whisky for that matter is not foremost on your mind when thinking of a refreshing libation in the humid days of July and August.  I understand where you are coming from.  Who wants a sherry bomb from Macallan, GlenDronach or Glenfarclas as you watch the mercury rise.  You have a enough heat!  Islay is not the epitome of cooling refreshment either with it's skyscraper high smoke, peat and phenolic levels that bring acid flashback-like memories of your last stay in the hospital with its gauze, stinky eucalyptus based ointments and a nurse that could have inspired a Stephen King novel.

There is another possibility: the light bodied and tasting Scotch whisky that is devoid of smoke, peat and heavy sherry.  Glenmorangie "The Original" Ten year old is such a candidate.

ABV
43%

Nose (undiluted)
Buttercups, red grapefruit and other citrus notes, nutmeg and almonds.

Palate (undiluted)
Sweet pear juice, French vanilla ice cream, cake bread, honeyed cereal, and fresh salted pretzel.

Finish (undiluted)
Lemons, malt and a little heat that leaves a clean and tingling sensation.  There is an effervescent quality that is reminiscent of Perrier.

Price Point
This 10 year old single malt is very reasonably priced.  In the US it ranges from $29 to $39.  In Canada, $50-$59.  As for the rest of the world, I dunno, but what I do know is that this is great value for money.

Serving Suggestion
'The Original' is a very light bodied malt, and I have noticed because of that one must be mindful to put a bit of distance between your last meal and tasting this whisky.  Ideally, try to taste this three hours after your last meal so that you can really taste this delicate malt in all its splendor.  If you have a meal of spicy foods (tacos, curry, barbecued menu items, etc) your palate is roughened up.  Drink this malt afterwards and you will pick up raw alcohol and grainy notes.  Follow my advice and your drink enjoyment will significantly improve.  The alcohol and graininess is gone.

Just my theory, but I think spicy foods have a way of causing tiny abrasions to the palate which results in a deleterious affect upon one's sense of taste.  Moreover, depending up the texture and salt content, other foods can do the same.  Particularly salted mixed nuts.  Consume the nuts with your beer, but not your Scotch whiskies.

Glenmorangie 12 Nectar D'Or
Glenmorangie 'The Original' is interesting because it hints at its older brother by 2 years, the Nectar D'Or that is a great delight.  Both are light whiskies, but if you are seeking a little more depth and honeyed complexity, the next one for you to try is the Nectar D'Or.

General Impressions
Novices and newbies to single malt Scotch whisky will enjoy "The Original" because there are no offensive elements.  Newcomers to Scotch tend not to be fans of Islay whiskies and others that are heavily peated and smoked.  Newbies like honey, donuts and icing.  The honey icing donut of whisky is The Original, but in a good way.  It is sweet initially but the mid-palate introduces cake, cereal and cream before a finish that leaves a drying effervescence.

This whisky will appeal to the connoisseur in your life.  Complexity is present and the elegant, yet simple style will cause your serious whisky fan a moment of pause and contemplation that best can be summed up as "It's good!"

Cheers!



Jason Debly

26 comments:

  1. Great review. Looking for a new summer scotch whiskey to try. Sounds like it would go great on the patio on the 19th hole! Thanks as always for a great review!

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    1. You are correct. Matter of fact, there aren't too many whiskies that would be welcomed by me on the 19th hole in light of my disastrous play.

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  2. I quite like this as a summer mixer with ginger beer. Great entry malt.

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    1. I never thought of that. Excellent suggestion!

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  3. I love that Scotch, one of my favourite.

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  4. Great review!!! My usual summer drinks are mai tai's or gin and tonics. I like JW Black label over ice for a summer type scotch but I will see if I can pick up a bottle and see how it fares!!!

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  5. Don't give up on the golf so fast. Bring your flask filled with Scotch to the course. It's how my wife gets me out. Your swing will loosen up or you won't care. Either way you'll enjoy the game more. Thanks for the excellent review.

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    1. Golf unfortunately is not like riding a bike. If I fail to play regularly (ie. twice a week) the game goes to pot. What is frustrating is I used to be quite good, and now am a wreck on the course. But, there are more important things right now like being a dad, working.

      Meh, me and my first world problems.

      Anyhow, thanks for commenting!

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  6. Your review is so amazing. I love Scotch i love its taste.

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  7. Whisky EnthusiastJuly 12, 2014 at 9:44 PM

    Hi Jason,

    Thanks for the review. It'd be gud to know your opinion on which is a better value for money - JW Black or Glenmorangie Original (both are priced same in my town). I have been drinking JW Black for ages and love it! Not sure if G'Original can beat that...

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    1. I think Glenmorangie Original is better because you are getting a single malt with a bit more complexity than Johnnie Walker Black that is a 12 year old blend.

      Don't get me wrong! I am a huge fan of Johnnie Walker Black, but it comes down to price. For example, where I live it is $49 a bottle which is a rip off. Meanwhile in California or Florida it can be had for a mere $25 and worth every penny.

      I would also point out that where JWB is cinnamon, spice and honey with a little Talisker smoke tossed in, Glenmorangie is less spicy and more about the honey, as opposed to the cinnamon.

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    2. Hi Jason,
      I am an ardent follower of your blog. I need some advice choosing between Glenfiddich 12 and Glenmorangie 10. My concern is that I'll be serving this scotch at a party that will consist of spicy/curried/barbecued food; and I don't want the scotch taste to get lost admist the spicy food taste. I have served JW Black, Chivas 12 and Glenfiddich 12 at previous parties and they held up pretty well against the spicy food. Not sure if Glenmorangie 10 would be able to do that. Any advice on that front?

      Thanks in advance.

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    3. Hi! Great question.

      I think your concern that Glenmorangie 10 may not pair well with spicy/curried/barbecued food is well founded. I don't think I would serve it. What I suggest is a sherried single malt that has a flavor profile that will not be overwhelmed by the cuisine and at the same time not clash with it. What comes to my mind is Balvenie 12 yrs Doublewood. A more expensive choice would be Oban 14. The more I think about this, Doublewood would be a good choice and not overly expensive and widely available.

      Glenmorangie Lasanta is sherried and would work with the food too.

      Hope this helps!

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  8. I agree on this whisky and have for over 30 years. Much better than similarly priced single malts and blends ($30). I've defended this one to other scotch drinkers for years, as its not just for beginners, but is a lighter and subtle whisky which is especially good in the heat of the summer, or as a starter dram before going on to stronger flavored whiskies. I definitely prefer the Original to its flavored siblings (Nectar d'Or, etc.), as the quality of the base whisky is quite good. Other options would be Bruichladdich Laddie 10 (which is not being produced anymore), Compass Box Great King Street, and Dalwhinnie 15. All very good quality spirits, but more expensive than Glenmorangie.

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    1. I love the Dalwhinnie 15 especially but very expensive where I am. In the last couple of years I have watched it and Oban skyrocket in price.

      Thank you Robert for chiming in!

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  9. You could try the compass box great king street. It's what I have in mind when looking for a light inoffensive whisky. Very reasonable price, creamy texture and nice vanilla hints. It's a blend though so not sure how that sits with you.

    Shaun

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    1. Shaun, I have no problem with blends. I like 'em! I have had other releases from Compass Box and they were excellent. Thanks for the suggestion!

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  10. The Ancnoc 12 yr is also a nice 'summer time' malt.

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  11. Hey Jason,
    Dalwhinnie $10 more than the Glenm. You know my tastes.(the 'bombs')... but happy to try something different for summer down here in Aus.
    Suggestions?
    AL from OZ

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    1. Everyone should try Dalwhinnie, especially for a mere $10 more. Christmas is coming. Maybe Santa will find you a bottle.

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  12. Hey love your reviews! Do u happen to send out weekly/month or just random emails about whiskeys ur reviewing? Or is there another way I could access ur reviews quicker than searching on Google? Feel free to email

    thedjc18.dc@Gmail.Com

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    1. Hi Tammy!

      In the sidebar next to the post is a space where you can enter your email address for "Follow by Email" which will trigger a notification each time I post a review.

      If you are searching for a particular whisky there is a topic bubble below you can click on or there is a search engine at the top left hand corner of this blog you can use to search key terms or names of whiskies.

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  13. Hey Jason,

    Thanks for the blog and great reviews. I would like to know your opinion on Glenmorangie Original vs Glenfiddich 12 in terms of richness and depth (which one is lighter-bodied, & which one has a longer finish)?

    Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

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    1. I prefer the Glenmorangie, but it does have a bit more youth. The Glenfiddich is smoother, but less interesting.

      Welcome to the blog!

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  14. Hey Jason,

    How would you compare Glenlivet 12 vs Glenmorangie 10? (Price is about the same in my town)

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    1. In that price category I would prefer the Glenmorangie 10. Enjoy!

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