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Last night I went to a Glenmorangie tasting at The Caledonian Pub in Toronto. Global Brand Ambassador Hamish Torrie walked us through the standard range - all of which I've had before, so nothing was that new or interesting to me - but it reminded me that I have an old mini of Glenmorangie 10 Year Old, likely bottled in the 1970s or '80s. Let's compare it with a newly opened bottle of the current variant, the Original (which, despite losing the age statement, remains a 10 year old whisky).
The colour is a medium gold. Very full bodied on the nose, with sweet malt, lemon curd, Creamsicle, roasted almonds, Butterscotch and a hint of peat. Freshly-baked sourdough. Somewhat floral, but not overwhelmingly so. The barley here is really juicy! Lots of lemon meringue pie. A drop of water somehow makes it earthier, and a bit maltier. Definitely NOT what I was nosing last night! Extraordinary for an entry level malt.
Gentler on the palate, with a lighter lemon curd quality, with macadamia, canned peaches and an even tinier hint of peat. A bit oakier than the nose. Water makes it oilier and spicier. Delicious - this is a real surprise!
The finish is nice - long and malty with more thick lemon and a bit of spice. Given I am very hit-and-miss on Glenmorangie, this is a wonderful surprise - a very delicious, complex, extremely pleasurable entry-level single malt. They really don't make them like this anymore. Going by memory, this is miles ahead of the current bottling, but hey, why go by memory when I have a bottle of the current stuff staring me in the face? Let's see...