Glenmorangie 10yo was my very first single malt scotch. I remember the night: Summer of 2001. I was in grad school and visiting friends in Louisville. At this point I was a diehard port drinker. However, that night at the liquor store I couldn’t find a port I liked (so I got a Taylor Fladgate LBV). One of my friends couldn’t stop raving about this whisky that was the best thing he had ever put in his mouth. He bought a bottle. Later that night we were playing poker and smoking cigars. And the Taylor Fladgate was just way to sweet for me . . . so I switched to Glenmorangie 10yo on a few ice cubes . . . and it was wonderful. Something about my mood, the heat (it was HOT), and the sweetness of it all. I was just tired of sweet port. I have never looked back. Since then I have moved on from Glenmorangie, but it holds a sentimental place in my heart.
Here is a tasting between an old bottle that has been opened for well over 2 years and a fresh 50mL miniature:
The bottle open for 2 years:
Nose: Grapes, apples, pears, apricots, and citrus dominate the nose. It smells round and subdued . . . or maybe that is my overly suggestively susceptible brain. Nope. There is an earthy quality to the fruit.
Taste: Very white winey with grapes.
Finish: Nice little explosion of fire, spice and heat give way to medium finish that is both full and warming with hints of both fruit and flowers. A very nice dram. I see why I once loved it.
Balance, Complexity: Very fruity with a little spice and earth to it. Love the complexity and delicacy.
Color, Body, Aesthetic experience: Light gold with a medium light body. Sad that it is no longer made by the 16 men of Tain (only perfected). Don’t care for the new bottle style either.
Total = 83.5
50mL miniature fresh
Nose: Much hotter on the front of the nose with pepper and spice. More floral. I still smell the grapes and fruit but they are not as apparent and sit further back behind grass and earth. I would say that this is more balanced substituting pepper and spice for fruit.
Taste: Also very white winey with grapes.
Finish: Same nice little explosion of fire, spice and heat etc. There are floral, fruit, and grain notes as well as spice all moving to a very nice medium and delicate finish.
Balance, Complexity: Nice balance of spice to fruit and floral. I think I prefer this version simply for the spice and pepper that give way to more fruit over time and oxidation. This is a great introduction to scotch.
Color, Body, Aesthetic experience: All in all the same as above.
Total = 84
Conclusion: Even though the full bottle was open for 2 years and the miniature was fresh I ended up scoring them very closely. I prefer the fresh pepper of a new bottle. But over all my flavor profile has migrated away from this bottle. Even in my early scotch drinking days I preferred the Port Wood finish 12yo and the standard 15yo over this 10yo. (Man I miss that 15yo Glenmorangie . . . tons of spice and pepper). When I finally get around to killing the final two fingers of this bottle I will pick up another . . . I'm just not in a hurry.