Highlands region – 43%ABV – 700ml bottle $750 | £190 | €223
I was hoping to do three ti-pity-top shelf whisky reviews before Passover (the Laphroaig 30yr, The Glenmorangie Quarter Century and one other) but, for many reasons, plans have changed and I am only able to do the two.
It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of the current Glenmorangie range. I think it’s nothing short of brilliant (with an exception or two; I’ll get to that in a later post). If you’ve stayed away from Glenmorangie in past years, now may be a time to return as they seem to have been born anew.
Today, I will be exploring Glenmorangie’s top dog – The Quarter Century. Twenty Five years of maturation for this fine-ass fluid. This whisky has been matured in an array of barrels: Bourbon, Sherry Butts (tee-hee :), my inner 9 year old always chuckles when I see the word butt) and Burgundy Casks. This being the case, you can imagine that there’s going to be some depth and complexity to this whisky.
Let’s find out:
On the nose — Even at 43%, my nose is getting a little tickled (and I pride myself on having a nose of steel), refreshing, quite the fruit basket – melon, quite some apricot (G-d damn, I love smelling the apricot in a whisky and this is just so, so nice), honeyed toast, a slight whiff of smoke (ever so slight but there nonetheless), a dash of salt (maybe salted macadamia nuts?), jammed fruits, plums & prunes – where’s my rye toast right now – I don’t want to drink this, I want to eat this.
Palate — Oh, wow. Really wow. Succulent & lush, quite minty (not the full flavor of mint but the cooling effects of mint), thick creamy honey, almonds, my mouth feels like it’s wearing a hand knit whisky sweater – warming, yet cooled by the mint – quite paradoxical.
Finish — Ever so slight smoke creeps back with a bit of oak and vanilla, honey and back to some of the fruits – now some ginger?? If I didn’t have the natural reflex to swallow, I could keep this whisky in my mouth forever.
In sum — Tasting this reminded me of the time my friend Jeff tasted the Ardbeg Uigeadail. We were at Whisky Fest in NYC and I brought him to the Ardbeg booth and he tried the 10yr, Corryvreckan, Supernova and the Beist. Then, they poured him some of that ever so special Uigeadail and he paused for a moment and said, “Josh, I think I just found out why I was born”.
While the Uigy & Glenmorangie Quarter Century are WORLDS APART, I can say I had a moment just like that tasting this stuff.
This is the type of stuff that you break out when your kids graduate from college, become a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, when that mother-in-law you hate passes (if applicable) ;)– in other words, enjoy this at the most special of occasions.
You know, after having this stuff (and re-reading what I just wrote above), I was reminded of a great scene in Pineapple Express where James Franco’s character was explaining to Seth Rogan’s character exactly what Pineapple Express was. Here’s the pot version of the Glenmo Quarter Century for me (Disclaimer: I do not smoke, nor do I promote the smoking of marijuana, I just dig stoner flicks and this scene is awesome!):