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Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban

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@hunggarReview by @hunggar

7th May 2015

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Overall
    79

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We’ve got Glenmorangie’s Quinta Ruben here, finished in port pipes. I’m dealing with an older bottling - the first edition. Unlike its later incarnations, this one comes without an age statement. I’m not usually a fan of port-cask finishes, but let’s see how this goes.

Nose: Sweet and fruity. Raisins, chocolate, toffee, fruitcake, almonds, and caramel. After a few minutes some oaky notes peek through.

Palate: Semi-thick mouthfeel. Sweet and winey arrival. Cherries, cherry pastry, berry jam, blueberries, figs, and Hoisin sauce.

Finish: Cereal, berry jam, cherry pastry, Hoisin sauce, barley, raisins, hazelnut, almond extract, earth, anise. Medium in length.

Thoughts: Well, I don’t love it. This reminds me of Cardhu, actually. It has a very strong jammy/berry quality to it and a pleasant sweetness, but it lacks depth. The finish seems kind of slapped on. As a result, the fruity port flavours are rather one-dimensional, and haven’t substantially integrated with the spirit. Even at a respectable 46% abv, nothing “pops” here. But I suppose if you want something affordable and fruity, this will do in a pinch. Perhaps the newer incarnations of the QR bring more to the table. The lovely 10 remains my pick from the Glenmo core range.

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9 comments

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

I liked this the few times I had it, but I do like wine finished whisky (when good). I found the mouthfeel to be a little thin, however. But this is in the context of comparing it to the mother of all port-bombs, Portonova.

4 years ago 0

@hunggar
hunggar commented

@Nozinan, like you I'm a fan of wine finishes when they're well done. I've had plenty of sherried whiskies that I adore, but port has been more miss than hit for me. I'm not writing it off, I just haven't been blown away yet. I've heard nothing but good things about the Portonova. Definitely one for the wishlist!

4 years ago 0

@paddockjudge
paddockjudge commented

@hunggar, Mind blowing port finish can be found in the Port Wood 2012 (90 pf) limited release by Forty Creek (2009 also). The next time you are repatriated...

4 years ago 0

@hunggar
hunggar commented

@paddockjudge, I'd love to explore the Forty Creek range. I tried the Barrel Select when I last went home, but I didn't get the opportunity to try anything fancy from them. I have, however, tried the port-finished Pike Creek. I wasn't too keen on that one. I much prefer Corby's products without wine finishes. I'll be posting a Lot No. 40 review soon. I'm enjoying every sip of that one!

Hah... repatriated. Need I take an oath to the queen?

4 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@hunggar, a years' old comment about Quinta Ruban: try leaving your bottle around for 6 months, 9 months, and a 12 months from now and resampling it. My bottle of Quinta Ruban was a discombobulated mish-mash with no coherence whatsover until it was open about 13 months. It has been excellent ever since, for the last 4 years. Very hard to believe or to explain, but true. @vanpelt has had some similar experiences with Quinta Ruban.

I would not re-buy Quinta Ruban unless I were willing to wait for a year to have a whisky which I liked.

4 years ago 0

@hunggar
hunggar commented

@Victor, discombobulated mish-mash isn't too far off. I'm certainly willing to give it time, mostly because I'm never keen to come back to it.

I'm curious, was it the first NAS version you're talking about, or a later 12 year old?

4 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@hunggar, I am down to decanted bottles now, but I am pretty sure that my full-sized bottle had a 12 year age statement on it. As I recall I bought and opened it in early 2011, so that would make 1 not-so-good year and 3 good years with it. The bottle is now consumed down to maybe the last 120 ml.

I had just set my bottle aside during most of the first year, because, like you, I just didn't want to drink it. With lousy bottles I will often go back and resample just to test earlier impressions, "Did that really taste as bad as I remember it? Let's see what it tastes like today." I was quite surprised by the much later positive changes in it. I cannot explain how a whisky goes from incoherence to coherence simply from air exposure effects.

4 years ago 0

@hunggar
hunggar commented

Back of the cabinet it goes! Thanks, @Victor.

4 years ago 0

Tandem commented

@hunggar, I can second @Victor 's comment to Quinta Ruban. I bought the first version (with no age statement) Quinta Ruban in 2010 if I remember correctly. I wasn't loving it initially, and the bottle was open for probably two years all together. Approaching the last third of the whisky it started to actually work a lot better, at this point the bottle had been open probably at least a year.

This is an interesting case, somehow the port finishing takes time and breathing to migrate to the whisky. I've had a similar experience with Glenmorangie Astar, the longer the bottle has stayed open, the better it has become.

4 years ago 0

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