Glenmorangie’s Ruby Port cask finish has undergone a number of tweaks over the years: from the original Port wood finish, to the first NAS Quinta Ruban, to its much-loved 12 year-old successor, and now to the current 14 year-old version. The 12 used to essentially be the same whisky as the 10 but with a 2 year finishing period in Port casks. I’m told the 14 year-old isn’t as clear-cut, with the bourbon cask maturation lasting anywhere from 11 to 13 years, and the Port finishing adjusted accordingly.
Nose: Musty, earthy, very sweet, winey and tannic. It’s certainly attractive, but I don’t get much distillery character under all the wine influence. Over-ripe strawberries and blackcurrants are in the lead in this red fruit-forward nose.
Palate: Spiced orange, ripe berries, bitter dark chocolate, turkish delight. Very sweet in other words, and increasingly winey, not unlike a lot of Pedro Ximenez matured whiskies. Good body at 46%.
Finish: Quite intense for Glenmorangie, syrupy, sweet and sour.
Comments: This is a well-made Glenmorangie and your response will depend entirely on how much you like intensely sweet, winey whiskies. The nose was very nice, but the palate was overwhelmed by the port casks for me. I don’t mind the sweetness but the wine influence is a bit much for me – I prefer my Glenmorangies natural, so take my rating with a grain of salt.