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Glenmorangie The Tarlogan Limited Edition, from the Legends Series

A Virgin Oak Malt Which Succeeds

5 090

@VictorReview by @Victor

11th Aug 2018


Glenmorangie The Tarlogan Limited Edition, from the Legends Series
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Glenmorangie The Tarlogan is from the Legends Series, and is sold in Travel Retail stores. The reviewed bottle was sampled when freshly opened and then 5 weeks after opening. I thank @Maddie for the reviewed samples. The whisky has no age statement and was matured in a combination of new oak barrels and used bourbon barrels. No mention is made about charring or toasting of the new oak, but I surmise from the taste profile that the oak was indeed charred, probably of a medium grade of char

The legendary figure honoured in this case is "...the ancient Pictish king said to be the namesake of the woodland guarding our precious water source, the Tarlogie Spring." Additional interesting details are given on the box of the bottle. Suffice it to say that in this whisky Dr. Bill Lumsden very intentionally emphasized the flavours originating from the oak wood

Nose: vanilla, caramel, citrus, and a little char...standard Glenmorangie malt with a new wood spike. The quality, intensity, and clarity of the flavours is quite high. The more time I spend with this the more I like it. Water added gives the SRB package= "sweetens the whisky, raises the pitch, and bundles the flavours." This is an extremely different nose with water added, but also quite enjoyable. With water the wood flavours merge and become indistinct. Score: 22/25 neat and with water

Taste: imagine Glenmorangie 18 goosed with charred new oak flavours. That's what this tastes like. The nose flavours translate with intensity in the mouth, and the oak trip Dr. Bill intended is delivered in spades. Tasting the char in the mouth a little less is the only thing I would change here. With water added, the bundled effect from the nose is tasted. The whisky with water is interesting in the mouth, but loses complexity. Score: 23/25 neat; 22/25 with water added

Finish: medium length of finish, ending on wood flavours neat and on the bundled amalgamation of flavours when water is added. There is much complexity from the wood here. Score: 22/25 neat; 21.5/25 with water

Balance: good-very good balance in the nose; very good-excellent balance in the mouth. Score: 23 neat and with water

Total Sequential Score: 90 points neat; 88.5 points with water


Strength: moderate in the nose; strong in the mouth. Score: 22.5 points

Quality: very high quality of both malt and wood flavours throughout the tasting sequence. Score: 23/25 points

Variety: good variety of flavours throughout, when consumed neat. Score 21.5/25 points

Harmony: The Tarlogan works, from start to finish. Score: 23/25 points

Total Non-Sequential Score: 90 points


Comment: the use of charred new oak barrels to mature barley-malt whisky is a very tricky business. New oak flavours easily overpower barley, so very judicious use should be made of them. The Tarlogan steps right up to the line of "too much" without crossing it. Char flavour is a big danger here. Any more than that present in The Tarlogan would have been too much for me. I think that Dr. Bill Lumsden and any other Scottish malt makers who want to play further with new oak flavours would do well to put more future attention to toasted new oak over charred new oak in order to minimize the possibility of overdoing the oak influence. The well-received Glenmorangie Ealanta proved that if you use toasted new oak barrels, even 19 years of aging is not too much. A 19 yo Scottish malt using only heavily charred new oak barrels would, by contrast, probably allow no possibility of tasting the barley-malt

I heartily recommend Glenmorangie The Tarlogan as one of the best examples of a Scottish malt successfully using a portion of its blended contents derived from aging in new (charred) oak barrels

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