The Glenmorangie distillery was founded in 1843 and is owned by Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey. Located in the Highlands, this distillery is famous for its “finished” whisky. A “finished” whisky is a whisky that is further matured in a cask of different origin to the one in which it was initially aged. So, a whisky may be aged in a bourbon cask and then finished in a sherry cask. This allows the whisky to take on different flavours from the different casks.
This whisky is aged for 10 years in American white oak ex bourbon casks and then matured for a further two years in Oloroso sherry casks. “Lasanta” is Gaelic for “warmth and passion”.
The Glenmorangie “Lasanta” has received mixed reviews. While Jim Murray does not particularly like this whisky scoring it 68.5 in his Whisky Bible 2012, Dominic Roskrow in his book The World’s Best Whiskies classifies this whisky as a cult or classic whisky “that should be high up the wish list for a whisky connoisseur”. On tasting this whisky I agree with Dominic Roskrow, and I think this whisky is remarkably complex with lots of depth and exceptional balance.
Sweet and dense fruit cake hit my nose, with earthy herbs like basil, oregano and bay-leaf. Sultanas and butterscotch are also noticeable, with some chocolate and brandy.
With explosive force this whisky delivers on the palate a symphony of flavours that merge beautifully the bourbon and sherry with luscious brandy soaked sticky date, dark chocolate and hints of black forest with sparks of spicy pepper and wood, cinnamon and papaya seeds (which give off a fruity pepper spice). Orange peel and zest add tang and some bitterness, and a dense fog of bitter and sour remains on the tongue as bright bursts of fruity sweetness illuminate in its depths. This whisky is very smooth with no harshness.
Full of life and energy, gusts of flavour flood in then recede… and then the process starts again!
The Glenmorangie “Lasanta” is a whisky that has been aged in ex bourbon casks and finished in ex sherry casks. It has a beautiful balance, and offers a dense richness with bursts of fruit, spice, bitter and sour. It is not overly sweet or dry and the sherry does not dominate the experience.
This whisky is best described as a luscious and dense sticky date pudding drowned in fine brandy and topped with shaved orange peel, dark chocolate and a sour cherry! All these elements taken together deliver a whisky that is rich, sweet, bitter, sour, sugary yet salty with bursts of fruit.