Friday, June 29, 2012

Glenmorangie The Original

The Glenmorangie Taster Pack caught my eye a few days ago in Total Wine. I've tried at least two of their Single Malt Scotches before, but the price point on some is a bit steep to invest in a full bottle. So I thought this sampler of four varieties was perfect. Four 100 mL bottles, one each of The Original, The LaSanta, The Quinta Ruban and The Nectar D'Or, were presented in a nice box for $30.

Glenmorangie Whiskies, according to the packaging, have been "perfected by the sixteen men of Tain". Tain appears to be the location of the distillery in Ross-Shire, Scotland. I decided to check out The Original first, a Highland Single Malt aged for 10 years in American Oak Casks. Seemed to make the most sense considering the other three take The Original and Extra Mature it for an additional two years in different casks. Imported by Mo√ęt Hennessy in New York, NY. 

Nicely fruity aroma, a little orange but not so distinct. Oak, vanilla, spiciness and you can also smell the alcohol, though not in a bad way. I spent a while smelling this, pretty fun. Try it yourself and use your imagination.

The flavors are a little different than I imagined, though I'm not sure why. I guess the sweet honey that came at the beginning was more soothing than I was expecting this Scotch to be. Honey was followed by some mellow fruits, for me mostly cantaloupe melons. That was also a welcome and quite pleasant profile that kept repeating itself. Hints of oak and vanilla come before a nice orange finish. Good warmth from the 43% alcohol, even a light peppery burn. Flavorful, nice contrasts, and I can't wait to try the other three!

This very well might be the Spirit that will make you switch!

Packaging from 750 mL bottle
Product description from 750 mL packaging

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Spirit That Will Make You Switch: Camus Vintage 1971 Cognac

Welcome. Yes I'm the guy that writes But recently I decided to take the "daily" out of that site so that I can spend some time writing and proselytizing here on Over the past year I've had opportunities to expand beyond my first love of Craft Beer and try many new Fine Spirits. From Rum to Bourbon to Cognac to Tequila to Scotch to Liqueurs and lots of places in between, I've found something new and fun and really interesting. Oh, and the taste!!!

Don't get me wrong. I still love craft beer and will continue to drink and write about it. However, I will be dedicating plenty of time on this site to the best distilled beverages that I can get my hands on. I'm approaching this venture as an evangelist, not as an expert in any of the categories I plan on touching. I hope to learn a lot and hope to maybe show you the spirit that will make you switch.

I can't think of a better product to start this website with than Camus Vintage 1971 Cognac, one of the spectacular Cognacs that finalized the decision to begin this journey last week. Considering the estimated $700 retail price tag on this bottle, I'm going to either need to be adopted by Fifth Generation owner Cyril Camus, win the lottery, or have the great fortune of coming upon and helping Alexandra Albu with a flat tire on I-75 one rainy Florida evening in order to get to try this again.

So yeah, I had this last week, and I'm already fantasizing about it. I loved this one, tied with the Camus Extra Elegance we also tasted that evening. Vintage 1971, the year I was born. These bottles are so rare and special, they are hand numbered and dated, this particular bottle is Number 52 of 700, dated 11/30/2010, bottled at age 39 years. This vintage is well-respected because of the amount of sun during the August to October ripening period for the Ugni Blanc grapes used in Cognac.

What an awesome bouquet! Beautiful lilacs made me think of growing up in Central Pennsylvania. Yes, because we had lilacs that smelled fantastic there, and for no other reason. Flowery with terrific fruity flavors. The baking flavors that followed were even more spectacular and sensual. Vanilla and cinnamon. Great warmth from your 92 proof awesomeness. Good spiciness too without being dominant. All the flavors worked terrifically together. So smooth and delicious. I can only dream. For sure, this could be the spirit that will make you switch!

I hope you liked this first post and will subscribe to all future articles. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Merci.