Glenmorangie Companta

Companta is a convoluted vatting of standard 9 year-old ex-bourbon Glenmorangie that is finished for 5 years in red Grand Cru Burgundy wine casks from Clos de Tart (from Pinot Noir grapes), with a similar 10 year-old Glenmorangie finished for 8 years in “a lusciously sweet fortified wine from Cotes du Rhone” called Rasteau, made from Grenache grapes. The vatting contains 60% of the first, and 40% of the second. Now that’s a whisky spec I can get behind!

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Glenmorangie Lasanta (12 year)

This is a respectable sherry-tinged malt that is very definitely worth $45 of your money. It’s regularly available, consistent in quality, and can be absentmindedly enjoyed, or analyzed in turn.

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Glen Garioch Founder’s Reserve

This is my first Glen Garioch (usually pronounced ‘Glen Gee-ree’, which is probably not quite right). The ‘Founder’s Reserve’ is the baseline malt for this distillery, and is bottled at the unusual choice of 48% ABV, without chill-filtration, after maturation in ex-bourbon casks. There is no age statement, but it’s probably around 8 years of age.

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Glenmorangie The Original (10 year)

The Original is aged for 10 years in only ex-bourbon casks, both first- and second-fill… Although this is not stated outright, it’s likely that this is the same whisky, aged further, that ends up in Glenmorangie’s cask-finished expressions.

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Kirkland Speyside Sherry Cask Finish – 18 year

…There’s a delicate balance of nice fresh black berries with the standard hallmarks of ex-bourbon aging (namely the butterscotch/caramel note that I can never pin down). It’s a well-constructed malt with no obvious flaws.

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Edradour (10 year)

I was surprised at both the apparent age and the quality of this sample, and is robust and flavorful despite being only 40% ABV. For a 10 year-old to have this much deep, oxidized sherry flavor is impressive, and a testament to whatever casks they’re using.

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Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban (12 year)

Port finishing is not common, but is always a welcome pairing for a single malt, especially one as well-suited to cask manipulation as Glenmorangie. Unlike other port finishes, Quinta Ruban is priced to be accessible.

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Glengoyne (12 year)

This malt has a lot going for it. Despite the recalcitrant nose, there is a delectable balance of nutty and fruity notes on the palate that is unrivaled by sherried malts in this price range. The balance here is impeccable, and the finish is flawless.

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Kirkland Speyside Sherry Cask Finish – 20 year

This is 20 year-old malt whisky with no major flaws for under $50. That’s unheard-of, especially in today’s overheated scotch market. If your wallet is hurting from the price hikes on official bottlings of your favorite scotches, and you don’t mind a slight downgrade in quality in your value malts, then I recommend grabbing a bottle while it’s still available.

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GlenDronach (15 year) Revival

Like the 12 year, this is fruity and savory at the same time. However, where the 12 year has many fresh fruit flavors, in three more years the 15 has quickly become more concentrated and resinous.

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