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Glenmorangie Nectar D'Or

 
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bifter
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 8:59 pm    Post subject: Glenmorangie Nectar D'Or Reply with quote

Before I post my review I should provide a small disclaimer about the format. At my workplace we have a social networking tool and I've started up a whisky forum of my own on there. I post reviews there that are aimed at: generating interest for the casual reader; being accessible to people who have (a) little knowledge of whisky; try to impart a few tidbits of interesting information usually gleaned from Web sites such as Malt Madness or even Wikipedia. This explains the lengthy format and hopefully they don't come across as patronising on this forum. I can reduce my reviews to the standard format if required but I'd be pleased for any feedback or to be put straight on any of the facts I quote.
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bifter
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Location: East Lothian

PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glenmorangie's Nectar D'Or is a 15 year old bourbon-casked malt, finished in Sauternes casks. Glenmorangie translates as "vale of tranquility" and the distillery sits in Tain, Ross-shire. With a history stretching back to 1843, it draws its water from Tarlogie Springs and boasts the tallest stills in Scotland (see below). For most of its operational history it belonged to the family run firm MacDonald and Muir but its modern era began in 2004, when it was acquired by Mot Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), who also own Ardbeg and the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Glenmorangie was subsequently repositioned as a luxury brand with some slick marketing and not without a little controversy it should be added but I'll leave that discussion for another thread.

Today the distillery churns out a whopping 6 million litres per annum, produced by the 'sixteen men of Tain'. There are two ranges of Glenmorangie, Original and Extra Matured. Maturation of all Glenmorangie is initially in American white oak casks, produced from the company's own forest in Missouri, and have previously been leased to Jack Daniel's or Heaven Hill to produce bourbon. The Original range is bottled straight from these casks but the Extra Matured range is transferred to a selection of sherry, wine or port casks for finishing. Presumably the proprietry of LVMH allows access to these casks, which include the Sauternes casks used to finish Nectar D'Or. Sauternes, in this instance, refers to the Sauternais region in Bordeaux rather than the generic American term for dessert wines, sauterne. So how does it stack up?

Let's call a spade a spade, the colour is gold! The liquid appears viscous but has surprisingly short legs. The nose has sickly honeysuckle and citrus, with prunes and apricots. However there is a definite note of malt behind and light (inoffensive) sulphury, rubbery tones at the edges. On the palate there is a blast of sweetness - raisins, honey, golden caster sugar, lemon curd and marzipan. Although the mouthfeel is butyric and creamy it is cut through by the acidity. The finish is sweet and honeyed with a tingly citrus note but the malt is always there in the background to balance things a little.

To appreciate this dram I found it worth looking into the production of Sauternes. The (Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscadelle) vines used for this AOC sweet wine are grown in a climate that encourages the botrytis cinerea fungus, often euphemised as 'noble rot'. Wine produced from grapes 'afflicted' by botrytis acquire a notable honeysuckle flavour. The fungus withers the grapes and has the effect of concentrating the sugars and partially arresting fermentation when processed into wine. This effect is further encouraged by the burning of brimstone candles, containing sulphur-dipped wicks, inside the wine barrels, prior to filling. The sulphur compounds stun the yeast, resulting in fermentation stopping whilst there are still high levels of sugar in the wine.

Turning back to the Nectar D'Or I wondered, initially, whether the whisky was simply too redolant of the characteristics of Sauternes, i.e. the honeysuckle is to the fore and the result may be a little too sickly for some. However Glenmorangie is characteristically a light malt and is probably a perfect transport for the more delicate notes of the wine. There is no heavy handedness involved, no sherry monster toffee wallop, this is a different beast altogether. The malt is subtle but it is always there, taking a backseat perhaps but providing just enough balance to prevent the sweetness going off the scale. The sulphur notes are barely perceptible and I would venture can only really derive from the brimstone candles - I am happy to be proved wrong! In any event I was pleased both to have detected that influence (my palate must be developing) and that it didn't spoil my enjoyment of this dram.

This is not an everyday dram. It is one that has to be savoured in the right mood for what it is. It may make a perfect digestif if you enjoyed your dessert and want to keep the theme going!
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William
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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bifter wrote:
This is not an everyday dram. It is one that has to be savoured in the right mood for what it is. It may make a perfect digestif if you enjoyed your dessert and want to keep the theme going!
Totally agree, i always have a bootle on the go for when the mood takes me, and great post bifter
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James T
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agree, definitely a malt to be in the mood for but when you are it is excellent
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