Back in the 1960s, when my 70 year old wild-ass sister was in her 20s, and there was no such thing as a bottle of Scottish Single Malt Whisky for sale anywhere (The HORROR, the HORROR! What did Scotch malt snobs DO in those Dark Ages?), because they didn't sell any single malt Scotch per se in those days, Mary Anne would nurse a drink of blended Scotch at a party for hours. She knew she was safe with a glass of Scotch because she knewe that she would not be tempted to drink it and get herself into trouble. Until a couple of years ago, she used to love to annoy malt lovers by saying, proudly, "I hate Scotch". The Scotch she hated turned out to be the mass-market blended kind she remembered from her early adulthood. Twenty or so months ago, when I gave her a generous dram from this to be reviewed bottle of Glenmorangie Artein, she asked for a second glass, and then a third glass,...and then she promptly drove up the road to a nearby liquor store and bought herself 6 bottles of Glenmorangie Artein...some to be later given as gifts. She said at the time, and I agreed with her, "This drinks like wine."
To refresh the memory about the annual Glenmmorangie Private Edition "begats"...first begat was Sonnalta PX, second was Finealta, third was Artein, fourth is Ealanta...one per year...there will likely be a fifth one soon. The reviewed bottle has been open a little less than 2 years and is 20% full. Tuscan Wine casks were used for the finish.
Nose: pleasant nicely sweet/dry balanced red wine; medium and high pitched barley malt flavours, slight contribution of flavours from the oak...a little vanilla. There is also a bit of fruit of the apple and pear variety, as in Glenmorangie base malt. Citrus is also quite noticeable when you look closely
Taste: the nose flavours translate rather emphatically to the mouth, with a very strong tart citrus kick accompanying strong red wine flavours. The flavours are mostly quite sharp and pointed. This is delicious and easy-drinking...
Finish: ...moving to a rather sour and dry type of finish. Mouth puckering, and something which is likely to appeal to any whisky lover who likes a lot of citrus together with a wine finish
Balance: any whisky which is "easy-drinking" has a sort of balance. I would describe the balance here as good, but it definitely progresses from delivery to finish in a dry-sour manner. Very enjoyable whisky
Thank you, @teebone673. Red wine finished malts take in a huge amount of territory, and represent a large percentage of the products out there. A few that I especially like include Glenmorangie Sonnalta PX (also very hard to find now), Bruichladdich Octomore Orpheus 2.2 (scarce and expensive), Balvenie 21 yo Portwood (expensive), Balvenie 1993 Portwood (sweeter than the 21 yo), a good batch of Arran Amarone Finish (some batches are not good), Ardbeg Uigeadail (maybe not "finished" per se, but blended cask styles), Lagavulin DEs, and quite a few Benriachs, Macallans, and others. Actually I like the very light sherry touches on a number of the more delicate malts, like Aberlour 10, and almost any Glengoyne. If you will try a white wine finish, I highly recommend the Isle of Arran Sauternes Finish.
The High Test Stuff? Sherry-cask matured only? Sure, I like almost all of that Big Flavours Stuff, cask strength preferred, if available...Aberlour A'bunadh, Macallan Cask Strength, Macallan 18 Sherry Cask...etc etc
Nice review,Victor. This is one i have been wanting to try for a long time. Problem is, it is nowhere to be found in my neck of the woods. I even had two liquor shops try and order me a bottle only to have them both call me a week later and tell me it was out of stock and they could not get it. Looks like I missed out on a good one. This stuff sounds delicious. Any other recommendations for red wine finishes? Thank for the review, Victor!