Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New release - Glenmorangie Nectar D'Or 15 years old

The famous Highland distillery of Glenmorangie has increased the age of its popular Nectar D'Or single malt whisky. The decision sees the whisky still matured in ex-bourbon American oak casks for 10 years before being moved to ex-Sauternes dessert wine barriques for five years - an addition of three years to the previous 12 years old release. The new version is non-chill filtered, bottled at 46% ABV and should retail in the £45-50 price band - it will be available in specialist whisky retailers and larger supermarkets.

Dr. Bill Lumsden of Glenmorangie is the whisky's creator, and he comments, “The result of extra-maturing for an additional three years has improved an already outstandingly voluptuous whisky; Nectar D’√ír 15 Years Old is characterised by rich flavours of luscious desserts and spicy oak tannins".

The name of Glenmorangie is one of the most famous in the world of whisky and their innovative single malts continue to add to hefty list of major awards. The distillery is located in the Highland town of Tain and is approximately 40 miles (65km) north of Inverness. The distillery was founded in 1843 by William Matheson and is now one of Scotland’s largest whisky distilleries with a recently increased annual production capacity of six million litres. The stills at Glenmorangie are also the tallest in Scotland at 5 metres (16.5 feet) high and makes the still house resemble a cathedral. They are all exact replicas of the original stills that were purchased from a gin distillery in London in 1843. The current owners of Glenmorangie are LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey), who took control in 2004.

Our tasting notes
The colour is a wonderful bright golden yellow and the nose is vibrant, fresh and sweet.  There are some delicious initial aromas that hit the nostrils - vanilla, sweet golden syrup, lemon zest and fresh almonds.  With time, further aromas start to reveal themselves and the combination with those initial ones is very good and makes you want to taste the whisky.  The further aromas include sultanas, cinnamon, nutmeg, honey, coconut and some crumbly brown sugar.  On the palate, this grips the taste buds and holds on.  It feels rich and has plenty of initial wood spice to balance, but never feels too heavy or syrupy.  This spiciness manifests itself as notes of oak, cinnamon and nutmeg.  There is fresh sweetness that is driven by notes of honey and vanilla, and these are counteracted by some fresh vibrant citrus characteristics - think of zesty lemon and tangy bittersweet grapefruit.  The palate has continuing depth, warmth and complexity to it. The finish is again warming with plenty of zesty citrus and wood spice being complimented by sweet sultana and honey notes.  It fades elegantly and becomes a little dry right at the end.

What's the verdict?
This is a high quality and indulgent whisky.  It manages to combine softness and sweetness with spice and intensity of flavour very well.  It is only natural to compare with the previous 12 years old version, which from memory was a little more delicate and floral. Glenmorangie are one of the leading pioneers in the field of 'finishing' and the use of un-orthodox casks. The nature of their continued innovation and the rarity of anything matured or part-matured in ex-Sauternes casks, in addition to the quality of Nectar D'Or, makes you wonder why more distilleries do not do the same.

For further information on the Glenmorangie distillery - click on the distillery profile page on our website. If you would like to compare this review of the new version with that of the previous 12 years old version of Nectar D'Or - click here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds very good guys! I've been a fan of the old version, although I haven't tasted it in the last two years.

I'm going to try and get a sample!