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The Astar is one of the few Glenmos that are bottled at cask strength. It is a vatting of so-called designer casks, from the Ozark Mountains. Astar is Gaelic for ‘the Journey’, referring to Dr Lumsden’s seach for these casks. They were are-dried for two years, heavily toasted, but only slightly charred. Despite the fact that there is no age statement on the bottle, insiders tell us it is around 10 years old. Anyway, enough lecturing, let us taste.
The nose is extremely sweet with a truckload of vanilla, lemon curd and light spices à la nutmeg and ginger. After a little while, I get some chocolate. Very fresh, but rather simple.
There is a good attack, thanks to the new oak, with white pepper and nutmeg. The aromas from the nose return, but are upholstered with Mirabelle (the very sweet, light orange prunes with shiny skin) and pears. A touch of caramel and coconut, too. Good body. Remains very sweet throughout.
The finish is rather long, but very dry. The fruit ebbs away and the wood takes its place.
This is, despite the simplicity, one of Glenmo’s finest. It has punch, which many of the standard Glenmorangie range lack a bit. About 60 EUR.