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With scores ranging from 70 up to 95-- words of fan praise vs. below-average rankings by some prominent Connors... What's going on?
Nose1: Rather light, so it's hard to pick apart. The dominant impression starts as vanilla-cherry-eucalyptus. Nose2: But a little time and warming in my hand, and these become bartlett pear-leather-eucalyptus. Still very light.
Palate: Enters with orange caramel, delicious if a bit piney, then joined by smooth leather-tobacco. Then a chemical midpalate transition: minty, with something like bitter walnut skins or gasoline. Finally smoothening back into an oaky caramel-- still with those leaves of tobacco and eucalyptus.
Finish: Thin caramel fades to muted leather and oak. There may be faint stewed raspberry; but there is definitely continuing eucalyptus.
The fading lightness of the nose and finish, into menthol-like eucalyptus, are (to me) the defining drawbacks. More balance is needed against the tannins and mint, especially for the midpalate bitterness (which I have not seen much from Glenmorangie).
The Quinta Ruban's strength is the pleasant entrance, which is creamy, sweet, and delicious. This supports it as a good social drink, in situations where imbalances other than the entrance may be ignored. But for a "critical enjoyment", balance matters more-- and other Glenmorangies are better.
Comparisons? There are shared qualities with the Lasanta and Macallan's 10; but the most similar is Aberlour's 10. However, none of these has the Quinta Ruban's eucalyptus-- a tone that also tainted the Astar experience for me. Judge for yourself whether you like that kind of minty note, if deciding on this malt.