By Kurt Maitland
Glenmorangie is located in Tain, Scotland, long known for making spirits (Balblair, the second oldest distillery in Scotland, is also there). The Glenmorangie story begins in 1738 when a brewery opened on Morangie Farm. In the 1840s, the farm was acquired by William Matheson, who converted it from a brewery into a distillery. The distillery changed hands when MacDonald and Muir bought the distillery at the end of the First World War. The family held control of it through thick and thin until 2004 when the company was sold to the French drinks company Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (MHLV) for roughly £300 million.
After the change of ownership, the Glenmorangie product line was rebranded to become more attractive to the overseas luxury goods market that one would associate with MHLV. The bottles became more curvaceous and what had been released as Wood Finish whiskies under the Macdonalds were given new names such as The Quinta Ruban, Nectar d’Or and LaSanta. Today we are going to spend some time with the Quinta Ruban, bottled at 46% ABV.
Color: Pink Gold
Nose: Cooking spices (cloves, light cinnamon, raisin and other dried fruit), hints of marshmallow and melon.
Flavor: Tangy with hints of cantaloupes and clove. In some ways, it’s the “quiet” cousin to Glenmorangie’s Nectar d’Or. It definitely has that trademark Glenmorangie sweetness but the combo of port and Glenmorganie feels less sweet than the standard 10 Year Old. The mouthfeel, even if not full, has the sweetness of The Glenmorganie and the Port competing with the oak of the bourbon barrel before quickly turning spicy. Water doesn’t hurt but I don’t think it needs it.
Finish: The Quinta Ruban has a mid-range finish. It lasts for a decent amount of time with a spicy finish you will feel.
This is one of my favorite Glenmorganie releases. It’s a reasonable price and the bourbon and port finishes really temper the standard Glenmorganie sweetness. One thing I notice is that it doesn’t do too well if it sits out too long. A bitterness creeps in
The Quinta Ruban will run between $48 and $55 dollars in the US. For what it offers, it is a reasonable price and it is a legitimate step up from Glenmorangie’s standard 10 year old release.