Glenmorangie Companta

Glenmorangie keeps cranking out the special editions. This one I bought as a special treat for myself, since I rarely spend $99 on a single bottle. Companta has the distinction of being the first whisky I’ve tried to successfully marry single-malt scotch with red wine casks. Every previous attempt I’ve tasted, including Glenmorangie’s own Artein, have been abject astringent failures for me.

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!

The resulting marriage is bottled at 46% ABV without chill-filtration, just like I like it.

Nose: First a waft of dense red grape juice and a raisin-y syrup note that is very similar to sherried Glenmorangie. From there, it diverges quickly into nutty nougat, milk chocolate, fresh (really fresh!) juicy red grapes. Well-layered, and of impeccable quality.

Palate: Thin to medium bodied. Tart red wine, dark chocolate-covered cherries, roasted mixed nuts. The tart notes are in no way astringent or tannic. The impression, overall, is of bright, fresh, red grapes, nuts, and chocolate. Delicious, especially as a dessert.

Finish: Medium-long. Echoes of the original aromas, nuts, chocolate, fruit, and some taffy. As it fades, the chocolate note becomes more like bittersweet chocolate or cocoa nib.

With Water: At 46%, it certainly doesn’t need intervention with water. A few drops do a little to heighten the fresh fruit, but at the expense of the chocolate. Mildly sweeter – caramel – on the palate, but with a bit more tongue burn. Really, I’d skip the water, it doesn’t need it.

Overall: A truly impressive dram. Glenmorangie malt has always been a canvas for barrel-induced flavor, but I haven’t always totally appreciated the paint. In this case, Glenmorangie’s Dr. Bill Lumsden pulls off two feats in one: an eminently enjoyable, rich, desserty, chocolatey confection, AND the first single-malt I’ve ever enjoyed that contains liquid aged in any kind of unfortified red wine cask. The red wine here, rather than being its typical astringent, seedy, grappa-like self, is decadent and blends flawlessly with the nutty and chocolatey notes. Instead of sour wine plus whisky, this is an integrated whole – fresh grapes dipped in dark chocolate-hazelnut fondue. Yum.
Is it worth $100? It was for me, but as a splurge. If you love sherried malt, wine-finished malt, or Glenmorangie in general and have $100 to spend on whisky, this will not disappoint. If you were on the fence, grab a bottle before it’s gone.

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 Companta
46% ABV
ScotchNoob™ Mark:
Price Range: $99
Acquired: (bottle) purchased from K&L Wine Merchants, Redwood City, CA, $99

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  • Despite the good review i’d still have a tough time plunking down $99 for this. There are just too many good whiskies in this price range, imo.

  • Very enjoyable in fact I like it a lot. Just a little pricey. There are so many very good single malts at reasonable prices that I will probably savoy this bottle and not purchase another.

  • I’m not a fan of the finished Glenmorangies, preferring the regular unfinished version. But this is definitely a huge step up for me. It needs air to settle but then becomes quite pleasant, one I keep going back to. So much so, I went back and picked up two more bottles ($69 + tax) to save.