Glenmorangie The Duthac

Another day, another Glenmo with an inscrutable name. Normally I do not have the opportunity to purchase Duty Free whisky, a curse that comes with the blessing of not spending untold thousands of dollars on “exclusives” that by all accounts are not worth the effort. Today, though, I have a 45ml sample from Flaviar with (one of) the Glenmorangie’s Duty Free exclusives: The Duthac. Let’s see if this one would be worth the international flight.

The Duthac is named after the medieval St. Duthac and intended to honor the annual pilgrimage of King James IV to his shrine near the distillery in Tain. This contrived story is probably intended to justify the marketing phrase, “A whisky fit for a king.” A king flying coach, I suppose. The whisky is a no-age-statement (NAS) bottling of Glenmorangie partially finished in PX (Pedro Ximénez) sherry casks, and part in charred virgin oak. The vatting is bottled at 43% ABV and sold in 1 liter bottles in Duty Free (aka “travel retail”) shops.

Nose: Light, sweet, and honeyed. Toasted nuts, honeycomb, and caramel dominate the aroma, without much in the way of fruits or florals. A slight resinous tinge of raisin is the only hint of sherry that I get, and a little bit of ripe banana which might be from the virgin oak.

Palate: Mildly syrupy body. Medium tongue burn (appropriate for 43% ABV). The overall impression is sweet, with more obvious elements of sherry maturation: golden raisin, fig, and date. A slight nutty background provides some contrast.

Finish: Medium length. Nutty malt, without much dimension. No fruit, and no evolution through the finish. Plain.

With Water: A few drops of water add an extra layer of banana to the aroma (no thanks), and thin the palate. The finish is a little more complex, with a high note of lime peel or tart berries. Still, I’d avoid the water with this one.

Overall: This seems like a slightly older Lasanta, with some of the rough edges sawn off, but nothing of value added. For the price, I’d rather buy something that isn’t narrowly beating a $40 whisky. Especially if it means I can stay away from the airport.

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 The Duthac
43% ABV
ScotchNoob™ Mark:
Price Range: $85 (estimated) for 1 Liter
Acquired: (45ml sample bottle) From a Flaviar Tasting Box

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  • Hi noob, what are your thoughts on tomatin dualchas, dirt cheap at 20 US dollars where I am at, I think it’s fine with a little water or one cube.