I’m not entirely sure how gracefully elegant a 58.1% whisky will be, especially not as a first dram, but let’s give it a go.
It’s been a while since I had an SMWS bottling, and I didn’t doubt long to get a sample of this. It’s few and far between that I get to see a Glenmorangie from an independent bottler. And it being from a sherry cask, at full strength only heightens my anticipation!
The initial cask was a 2nd fill bourbon cask, before being transferred to a 1st fill PX barrique. According to notes by the SMWS the finish was for two years, so not something overly rushed. Quite promising!
The nose is very rich with this filling the room with a fruity, cake like scent after a few minutes. Upon closer examination there are some interesting, one might say weird, scents of barbecue sauce. There’s dry barley and a whiff of oak too. Quite strong, to no one’s surprise. Lots of complexity with spices, fruit and wood influences.
The initial arrival is insanely strong. Even for a first whisky at cask strength. If you’d have told me this was 65% I’d have believed you.
It starts with warm tropical fruit like mango and papaya. Quite rich with some baking spices. Lots of oak, massively fruity. A hint of tomato, or maybe ketchup. I guess that’s the barbecue sauce thing from before.
The finish still is a little hot, but less so. A bit charcoal like, but without the smoke. The fruit is a bit less present than on the nose and the palate, and there’s a bit more focus on the wood and the barley, with a hint of vanilla. Quite long, and a bit dry.
Well, this is quite a lot better than I hoped for. The fruit is great on both the palate and nose. I like that in the finish there’s some more focus on the typical Glenmorangie notes. An absolutely gorgeous whisky.
Glenmorangie 15, 2005-2020, 1st Fill Ex-PX Hogshead finish, cask 125.77 ‘Graceful Elegance’, 58.1%, SMWS.