A Glenmorangie Retrospective, 2021

Recently, we enjoyed a survey of the Glenmorangie core range while chatting about giraffes. With this in mind, the time felt appropriate to clean off the shelves, empty some bottles, and engage in a quick survey of other Glenmorangie expressions, both recent and past (as of 2021).

Glenmorangie “A Tale of Cake” – A 10-year-old expression finished in Tokaji casks, a sweet dessert wine originating in Hungary. It is big on sweetness with vanilla, honey, and mango running full steam throughout the nose and palate. A little bit of water brings out menthol and pepper notes, and the finish is long and lovely with spice, marmalade, and a hint of dark chocolate. It is not emblematic of Glenmorangie’s flavor profile, but as an experiment, it certainly does the job. 92 proof. B+ / $90 

Glenmorangie Malaga Cask Finish 12 Years Old (2021) – Aged in ex-bourbon barrels for eight years and finished for four years in first-fill Malaga “Dulce” wine casks. Loads of orange and chocolate on the nose, with the palate throwing a curveball that’s heavy on nuts, honey, and vanilla wrapping into a most enjoyable spicy ginger and honey finish. Robert reviewed this last November, and I’m inclined to agree with his assessment: this would serve as an ideal after-dinner malt. I would also defer to the good professor’s final grade. 94.6 proof. A- / $100 

Glenmorangie Sonnalta PX (2021) – A 12-year-old expression aged ten years in ex-bourbon casks and then finished two years in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks; the sherry influence is evident from the onset. The nose is rich with dried dark fruits and a combination of clove, cinnamon, and dark sugar reminiscent of savory rum. The palate is well-balanced between note of dark fruits and mild leather and tobacco that carry things to a medium finish filled with cocoa powder and dark cherry. Agreeable from start to finish. 92 proof. A- / $90 

Glenmorangie Signet (2021) – Produced using a darker roasted “chocolate malt.” Normally, I disregard making commentary on a whisky’s color in the glass, but this dram had a wonderfully rich wood tone. I ended up gazing upon the dram a bit longer than most. The warmth continues through the entire experience, with amazing orange marmalade, dates, and oak coming from the initial approach on the nose. A few drops of water opens things up and there’s more baking spice which unfolds with a bit of time. On the palate, there’s loads of dark chocolate, black cherry, and a hint of leather that doesn’t get pushy but which makes its presence felt. The finish is long and satisfying, with black pepper, vanilla, and roasted coffee that’s not too far away from a stout. This is not a complete inversion of The Classic, but certainly highlights Glenmorangie’s versatility. It’s a real pleasure to enjoy during a moment of calm. 92 proof. A- / $250 [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]

Glenmorangie The Taghta (2021) – A few days before putting the final touches on this overview, a package arrived at my doorstep featuring a sample of this beauty from a few years ago. Finished in Manzanilla sherry casks, the nose is full of rich honey and sultanas. A few drops of water bring out a citrus influence of orange zest and a mild note of pepper. Things switch up on the palate with a peculiar brine note at first, transitioning to fresh ginger and black pepper. There’s a long and inviting finish that is spicy at first but transitions to the sweetness of citrus and stone fruit by the very end. If there was an open vote to make a limited-edition expression permanent, this could very well be one for which I would cast a vote. 92 proof. A / $150 

Glenmorangie “A Tale of Cake”




Rob Theakston is a contributing editor to Drinkhacker.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.