My new Lasanta bottle was different enough from last time to merit a new review. I’ve wanted to retry the Lasanta because enticing Connosr entries indicated an absence of sulfur dioxide, and because of my experiences with the Private Edition range. DutyFree was offering 1 liter for 33 Euros, so I took the (second-)chance. My earlier review was here: connosr.com/reviews/glenmorangie/…
My new notes apply from 2 days up to 4 months after opening.
Nose: Most obviously hot spicy cinnamon; orange peels are mulling in it. The spice burns, but diminishes with time (or heat) to very dry/woody/oaky hazelnut; and then cocoa is apparent.
Palate: Entrance of tart orange fades, then a flash of honey-like malt. Red hot cinnamon froths like bitter oak-spice (raw cinnamon stick) over a base of stewing orange. After the palate peaks, nicer nose elements emerge: cocoa, marshmallow, and hazelnut. But it is the spiciness that dominates.
Finish: Dry oaky hazelnut and noticeable hot cinnamon. More smooth vanilla if left standing for a while.
Side note: The fresh bottle was substantially different: no initial hot cinnamon sensation. The nose was just oranges and cocoa powder, and the finish had a walnut tone that only hinted at tingly spice.
I would not describe this Lasanta as others have: delicate or smooth (since it is a mouthful of spicy hot), sweet or butterscotch (since it is oaky dry); and it is not particularly fruity to me either (except orange zest—- but no raisin or cherry for example). I had hoped to find a strong but balanced sherry influence on the quality Glenmorangie base. Instead, this is a mouthful of dry, oaky, orangey cinnamon. I had a friend compare it to his Lasanta; he thought it was much the same except a couple notches spicier. He prefers it; I don't. I can confirm though, that there is no sulfur dioxide character this time.
Without water, the hot-cinnamon burns everywhere: nose, throat, and cheeks. I don’t like this effect, so I definitely recommend a splash of water. With the right amount, it is still flavorful but relatively less spicy, earning 1 extra point.
In order to compare similar style malts, I have to ignore the hot spice. When doused, it is distinctly Glenmorangie. I would suggest trying the Quinta Ruban and Original, and perhaps the Nectar D’Or (less similar but a step up). Within other distilleries, I would draw comparisons to Macallan’s Amber or 10yo (a good step up), or even Three Ships 10yo. The Lasanta fits the profile of many “double cask” type expressions (or "triple cask", such as Balvenie’s series).