Booze Review

Whisky Review – Glenmorangie Sherry Wood Finish


While it’s nice to be my mother-in-law’s favorite son-in-law (interestingly enough, I am also her ONLY son-in-Law), this dubious honor comes with an occasional string attached. This past February, my in-laws asked me to pick them up in New York City after their 10-day Caribbean cruise on the NCL Jewel. Since I try my best not to disappoint them, I agreed to pick them up. Thankfully, the traffic was incredibly light that day, so it turned out to be a fast and pleasant trip overall. As a token of their appreciation for agreeing to pick them up in NYC, they rewarded me with a bottle of Glenmorangie Sherry Wood Finish. Here is what Glenmorangie has to say about this whisky (FYI, due to a change in packaging, this expression is now called Lasanta):

“Glenmorangie’s acclaimed Sherry Wood Finish malt whisky has been initially matured in American oak casks then backed into selected Sherry “butts” for extra aging in the final period of its maturation. The results of this “finishing” are truly exceptional.”

Let’s see if this whisky is “truly exceptional”…

  • Color: Deep amber.
  • Aroma: Sweet scents. The Sherry influence is very apparent. Nutmeg. Maple Syrup. Brown sugar. Very little smokiness. Faint alcohol vapors.
  • Taste: Oily mouthfeel. Starts off with some sweet, Sherry influenced flavors. Cinnamon spiciness builds in the middle. Warm, spicy, and long lasting finish.
  • ABV: 43%

It’s no secret that I usually prefer something a bit more smokey, or even somewhat medicinal, when it comes to my Single Malt Whisky. That being said, it took me awhile to warm up to the Glenmorangie Sherry Wood Finish. When I first tried it, I thought the Sherry finish was a bit too overpowering, but after letting it sit for awhile, I slowly began to appreciate this whisky. I particularly like how the spiciness kicks in and lingers for a really long time. While it’s not the first whisky that I would reach for, I would definitely have a glass in lieu of dessert. Who am I kidding? What I meant to say is that I would definitely have a glass IN ADDITION to dessert.

One last thing…

On every bottle of Glenmorangie, there is a reference to the “Sixteen Men of Tain”. Here is a brief video that explains what this means. Enjoy!

4 replies »

  1. This was one of the first bottles (along with the Glenmorangie Madeira Wood) that I bought after my first SMSW Extravaganza event in 2007. I thought it was exceptional then and while I have recently found the Dalmore and Highland Park more to my liking, I still like the Glenmorangie.

    Also, I’m not sure the Lasanta is the repackaged Sherry Wood. The Sherry Wood is matured in American oak and then finished in a sherry cask. The Lasanta is matured in bourbon cask and then finished in a sherry cask. I think the Sherry Wood is now the Finealta and the Madeira Wood and the Burgundy Wood (never had the chance to try) expressions are no longer produced.

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    • Did a bit of research. Here’s a cut and paste from Hansell’s blog from 8/17/2007…

      “Moet Hennessy, the owners of Glenmorangie whisky, has announced major changes to the Glenmorangie line of whiskies. The changes involve four key components: A change in the bottle shape; New names, labels, and packaging; The creation of a new range of whiskies; Marketing to support these efforts.

      Looking at this from a pure whisky enthusiast perspective, the most important change here is the introduction of a new line of whiskies called the “Extra Matured Range”. This is essentially an evolution from the existing wood finished range of Glenmorangie. Glenmorangie Madeira Wood Finish and Glenmorangie Burgundy Wood Finish are being phased out. (If you like either of these whiskies, go out and buy them before they are gone.) They are being replaced by whiskies receiving additional maturation in Port wood and Sauternes wood. The Sherry wood expression remains.

      Perhaps the most significant change is that these three whiskies in the Extra Matured Range will all be bottled at 46% ABV and non chill-filtered, rather than 43% ABV, which should enhance the whisky’s texture and flavor profile. All are matured for ten years in bourbon casks before being matured in Port, Sherry, or Sauternes cask for at least an additional two years. Consequently, they will be at least 12 years old.

      The whiskies are also getting new names, as the press release states, to reflect “provenance and spirit characteristics.” While they may sound French, they are actually Gaelic. The sherry cask matured expression is called Lasanta, which means ‘warmth’ and ‘passion’ in Gaelic. Glenmorangie extra matured in a Port pipe is being called Quinta Ruban. Quinta refers to wine estates in Portugal, while ‘Ruban’ is Gaelic for ‘ruby’, reflecting the whisky’s color. Finally, the French Sauternes version of Glenmorangie is being called Nectar D’Or. Both French and Gaelic translations of ‘Or’ means ‘gold’, referring to the whisky’s color.”

      Here’s the link: http://bit.ly/pEISdT

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  2. Silky and smooth with the warm syrupy langour of sherry this is a beautifully rich malt.The result of care and patience is a whisky of rare distinction.

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