I’ve had this little miniature bottle for a few years now. Every since I had a dram of 21 year old Balvenie Portwood, I’ve been hesitant of trying another port finished scotch.
I have always been curious of this particular dram as I have enjoyed other scotches made by Glenmorangie, from the Signet, to the private edition series to the Glenmorangie 18 year old. It was time to put my hesitation aside and give this dram a try.
Let’s give this a taste….
‘1,000 scotches to try before you die’ is one of the books that I always tend to refer to. It’s like Min Ron Nee’s Enclyclopedia for Cuban Cigars. So much knowledge and information between the two books and very enjoyable to read over and over again. It gave me comfort that this scotch was listed within the book as although I’ve always enjoyed scotch, it is only recently that I decided to put more emphasis in understanding scotch. This is the start of this adventure….
For the reviews, I figured this would be a fun thing to do a them in 2 distinct parts. The first part of the review would be enjoying the scotch neat and the second part of the review would be enjoying the scotch with ice or a few drops of water. I’ll then compare the 2 parts and share which way I enjoy the scotch more. I’ll try to use a Glencairn CDN edition whisky glass for consistency purposes. One thing I will continue to avoid is applying a score to a spirit or a cigar as I tend to focus on the experience than breaking things down numerically. Should make for some interesting results…
The Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban 12 year comes from the Highland region of Scotland and comes in at a ABV of 46%. This particular dram comes from a miniature 100ML bottle. I poured the first 50ML into a Glencairn CDN edition whisky glass neat.
The scotch has a beautiful colour to it as it sits in my Glencairn CDN edition whisky glass. Light, golden-orange-amber liquid, with a light red tinge. The liquid shimmers in the light…
Powerful from the start. You can really detect the port influence on the first inhale as aromas of red grapes, intertwined with current jam, light pineapple, a slight touch of smoke and faint traces of alcohol form the overall aroma profile. I tend to let the scotch sit in the glass for an hour before tasting it to allow the aromas to come together in the glass and interact with the air. More of a personal preference than anything.
A few more inhales reveal complimentary layers tangerines, touches of coconut and cane sugar complete that aroma profile. Lovely however, the traces of alcohol detracts from the overall experience.
Huge red grape influence, combines with spice, cinnamon, and touches of an astringent, sour note that I can’t place. Orange peel maybe? A little medicinal and a bit hot at the back end. Rough around the edges. Not as smooth as I would have anticipated. Not liking this so far after a few sips. Maybe the addition of an ice cube will open this up.
Nose with ice
I let the ice cube melt for a couple of minutes to release the scotch and ice to meld together. The aromas seem more balanced now with the red grapes working more in unison with the cane sugar, current jam, pineapple and tangerine notes. The coconut and alcohol aromas are not as present. More rounded.
Palate with ice
The tangerine and orange peel notes are more prevalent now and are heavy on the palate, along with the red grapes note. Very strong and assertive. Faint traces of spice, cinnamon, honey and a medicinal note on the back end. Not a turn for the better. Will let this sit in the glass a little bit to see if any changes occur.
Additional time in the glass and more time between sips does not improve the situation. Not my cup of tea unfortunately. Still fiery on the back end. It’s like it needs more time in the cask to round out and come together
Unfortunately, the Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban 12 year old is not for me at this stage. Too astringent and the flavours are overpowered by the red grape notes. Seems discombobulated. Might be something to revisit in the future (more long term vs. in the near future) as it could be a case of wrong place, wrong time. Who knows? Time for a rinse…