Like the other core finished whiskies at Glenmorangie, a 10 year old whisky is dumped into a finishing cask for 2 years – in this case a port pipe. Quinta refers to wine houses, and Ruban is the gaelic word for “ruby”.
This whisky is aged for 10 years before being put in sherry casks for the final 2 yeras, resulting in a 12 year old finished whisky. Glenmorangie pioneered cask finishes, among the first to do so. Lasanta means “warmth and passion” in gaelic. This review, it should be noted, is from the 46% version – Glenmorangie has since dropped the alcohol on this whisky and the recipe is now slightly different too.
This whisky was aged in a bourbon cask for 10 years before being put into Sauternes (a sweet white dessert wine from Bordeaux in France) casks for 2 years. It is my favorite of the finished Glenmorangies, as I think Sauternes complements Glenmorangie’s profile beautifully.
Glenmorangie certainly cares a lot care a lot about wood – they were the first single malt brand to use cask finishes (when a mature whisky is put into a “flavoured cask”, i.e. sherry, wine, bourbon, etc.) and even have bought an area in Missouri’s Ozark mountains to source oak, and they only use their casks twice. Glenmorangie also has the tallest stills in Scotland, which are based on design of ex-gin stills from London, installed when the distillery was founded – taller stills lend to more copper contact and only the lightest aromas getting out of the still – resulting in a light spirit. The tall elegant bottle is perhaps reminiscent of their stills.
This is the signature release of the distillery – one of less than a handful in the lowland whisky region of scotland. The spirit is triple distilled, being one of only two distilleries to do so, with the other being Springbank (most Scottish whisky is double-distilled). This whisky is 12 years old (at least), and is crafted from a mix of primarily bourbon but also sherry casks.
This whisky is another one which is bred for blending – in fact, perhaps, the most famous of all of the base components for blended Scotch whisky because of its central part of the Johnnie Walker stable. It is quite famous for it’s “waxiness” which is caused by a natural buildup of oils in the feints and foreshots receiver (feints and foreshots are collected spirit at the beginning and end of the distillation which are not used for barreling but usually recycled back into the spirit which is being distilled). This buildup is normally cleaned up by distilleries – but not at Clynelish, where it builds their house style.
Though blended scotch whisky, composed of a mix of Scottish single malts and grain whiskies, is still the largest selling Scotch – a whopping 90% of the category – the demand and popularity of single malts has grown significantly in the past number of years. Thus, we have been able to see more expressions from distilleries which have typically been focused on creating blends – like Kininvie, Aultmore, Mortlach, and Craigellachie. In some cases, these whiskies are crafted for blends, thus having particular characteristics that may not be as “complete” in and of themselves as single malts – but they are, nonetheless, often quite good and different.