Glenmorangie Lasanta (12 year) (46% ABV Presentation)

Somehow I keep bypassing Glenmorangie products… perhaps because there are so damn many. The Lasanta, at 12 years of age, is in the same “Extra Matured” Series as Quinta Ruban and Nectar d’Or. This one, after the same initial 10 years in ex-bourbon, spent 2 years in Oloroso sherry casks. This makes it “sherry finished”, as opposed to “sherry matured”, which means it isn’t really apt to compare it to Macallan or GlenDronach or other whiskies aged fully (or predominantly) in ex-sherry. Of course, the whole idea of the “Extra Matured” Series is to showcase Glenmorangie whisky as a canvas for other flavors, and Lasanta delivers. It also helps that Glenmorangie products have remained (almost) immune to the run-up in whisky prices endemic through the industry. The fact that you can still get 12 year-old sherry-finished Glenmorangie for under $45 is both remarkable, AND a reason to buy it… especially if your favorite sherried Speysider has priced itself out of your reach.

Lasanta is bottled at 46% ABV and is not chill-filtered. Note that in late 2014 Lasanta was lowered from 46% ABV to 43% ABV. This review is from one of the older (46% ABV) bottles.

Nose: Evident sherry – dried fruits and dusty caramel. As this is finished in sherry, not matured in it, the effect is milder and the fruit less robust than Macallan or GlenDronach.

Palate: Alternating sweet and tart fruit. Good integration between fruit jam and the layers of caramel, and soft cereals. Good amount of flavor for a $45 single malt.

Finish: Medium-long. A little on the hot side, but with some nice concentrated dried mixed fruit. Ends slightly bitter, with a touch of nuttiness.

With Water: Reveals a burst of raspberry coulis, but the alcohol vapor gets a little hot. Slightly sweeter – brown sugar – on the palate, and more fruit on the finish. Definitely give some water a shot.

Overall: 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. For a desert island, I prefer its pricier sibling, the Nectar d’Or, but the two are in no way similar – you could easily find room on your shelf for both.

Note: I’ve marked this as ‘Must Try’ because it’s a quintessential part of any whisky lover’s journey, as is Quinta Ruban. It may not find a permanent spot on your shelf (especially if you’ve ‘graduated’ to pricier malts), but it’s a case study in the effects of sherry finishing and the adaptability of Glenmorangie’s malt.

ScotchNoob™ Mark:

About The Distillery

Glenmorangie has been an innovator in the industry for years, pioneering cask expressions and experimental bottlings of their exceptional Highland whisky. Often cited as the biggest-selling whisky in Scotland, Glenmorangie is also attracting a lot of international attention, winning awards left and right. Among their cask-aged expressions are the Nectar D’Or (matured in French Sauternes casks after 10 years minimum in bourbon barrels), Quinta Ruban (matured in port barrels), Lasanta (matured in oloroso sherry casks), and more. Glenmorangie sources its oak casks in the Ozark mountains and loans them for four years to the Jack Daniels distillery before using them for Scotch. Glenmorangie’s water flows from the Tarlogie Springs in the hills above the distillery, over sandstone (yielding hard water) and picks up flavor components from the clover and heather in the hills before entering the distillery, where 24 very long-necked stills called the “giraffes” make Glenmorangie’s classic Highland malt. Glenmorangie, like Ardbeg, is owned by luxury giant LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy).
Glenmorangie Lasanta (12 year) (46% ABV Presentation)
46% ABV
ScotchNoob™ Mark:
Price Range: $43 - $48
Acquired: Sample from... uhh, I don't remember. Somebody's bottle. Oops!

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  • great review, I’ve been seriously considering some of these Glenmorangie products recently, I tried the Signet at a tasting 2 weeks ago and was really pleased with it. Plus I can buy both this and the Quinta Rub at my local store, I will pick one of them up soon thanks to your review.

    Love your blog.

  • If people just want to try this, it’s worth hunting down the Glenmorangie 4×100 mL tasting pack that includes Original and their standard cask finishes. They can be pretty cheap and make for a nice tasting experience.

  • Props to Glenmorangie for keeping the price of these finished scotches reasonable. However, for me I keep trying this one and find it coming up a bit behind Glendronach 12. As long as I can purchase the GD 12 for around $50 (compared to mid-$40s for Lasanta) I’ll spend the extra.

  • That’s funny as i always overlook the whole glenmo line as well. I can’t remember but i think lasanta is the scotch that hooked me. I was too much of a noob to be paying attention (received as a gift) at the time. Maybe ill give it a second look next time at the shop. Unfortunately, there’s very little room for any sherry influenced whisky next to the glendronach 15 i have open in the cabinet.

  • I have just tried LaSanta after enjoying several bottles of 10 year original. Very, very nice. There is something faint in there that reminds me of black powder smoke on a cold Nov. morning. A slight sulfer touch from the sherry casks? (I’m in PA and hunt Whiteails with a flintlock). Raisins, plumes, and thick sherry? Yes, sir. An after dinner dram to tell huntng tails with in the library!

    • Hi Pops! Yes, most whisky aged in old wine casks (sherry, port, madeira, whatever) end up with a little bit of sulfur character. Some barrels have more than others, depending on the history of the barrel. It comes either from the sulfur used to disinfect the barrels used with wine, or from residual sulfur-containing compounds from the distillate which hasn’t been filtered out by the cask. Cheers!

  • I enjoy this Scotch, but I’m a bit confused…My Lasanta was bottled at 43%. What do you think is going on here? (I am in the United States and I purchased it at Costco…)

    • Hi Artiste,
      Apparently Lasanta was lowered from 46% ABV to 43% ABV in late 2014. I haven’t tried the lower proof version yet. I’ll update the post above – thanks for the note!