While Limpd and his clan were conquering Epcot’s World Showcase at Disney World during Jersey Week this past November, Mrs. G-LO, The Boys, and I were sailing the high seas aboard the newly refurbished Disney Magic. Since this would be our second trip aboard a Disney Cruise Line ship within a 12 month span (we sailed aboard the Disney Dream in November 2012), I already knew what the beer and booze selections would look like (i.e. pretty ho hum overall) and was fairly was certain that any beer or booze research conducted on the ship (i.e. finding something new and interesting to drink) would be a complete waste of time.
My attitude changed when Mrs. G-LO pointed me in the direction of the Disney Cruise Line FAQ. Here is what she found out:
- Q: May Guests bring alcohol onboard?
- A: While adult Guests ages 21 and older may bring alcohol onboard, the following guidelines apply:
- Alcohol brought on board may not be consumed in any lounge or public area.
I at first had second thoughts about bringing any booze aboard the ship. Not because I didn’t want to, but because I didn’t think I’d have the time to find anything interesting to drink before boarding the ship. Thankfully, a bit of nasty weather and some motion sickness worked in my favor. Here’s what happened…
Since our cruise didn’t set sail out of Miami until the Wednesday of Jersey Week, the powers that be (aka Mrs. G-LO) decided that we would fly down on the Monday and spend a couple of days in Pompano Beach. Our plan was to relax on the beach or play in the pool for most of our two day stay, but Mother Nature decided to throw a monkey wrench our way. High winds during those two days made being anywhere near the beach an absolute misery. Thankfully, the
winds were only a problem when you were near the Atlantic Ocean, so on our second day, we decided to take in a fan boat ride in the Everglades. The fan boat trip was great fun (talk about getting close to nature!),but the awful South Florida traffic, coupled with the jerky transmission in our Ford Focus rental car which was absolutely unbearable at low speeds got the best of my youngest (he puked in the car. Luckily, we had a plastic bag on hand!). We managed to get him back to the room by mid-afternoon, so while he rested up, I decided that I would do a bit of booze hunting and headed down to Ft. Lauderdale in search of whisky. My destination: Total Wine.
The big bottle selection at Total Wine was quite impressive, but what I really wanted was a sampler pack of whiskies so that I could try a wide variety without breaking the bank. After a few minutes of deliberation, I narrowed down my choices to a Balvenie 3 pack ($40), a Glenrothes 3 pack ($50), and a Glenmorangie 4 pack ($30). Since I really enjoyed a wee dram of the Glenmorangie Signet at the 2013 Philly Extravaganza, I decided to go with the Glenmorangie sampler. In addition to offering the most variety for the lowest price, the packaging was superb, so there was no way that I could pass up making this purchase. And since this was a 4 night cruise, I figured that I could review one whisky per night after the kids went to bed. Here’s what the sampler pack looked like:
By 11am on Wednesday morning, we were finally aboard the ship. Once we were fed and settled in to our room, I did a quick perusal of my drinking options aboard the ship. It didn’t take long for me to realize that bringing my own whisky aboard was an excellent idea. Don’t get me wrong. Disney runs one hell of a cruise line! In addition to beautiful facilities and countless amenities, you also get great service, infinite entertainment options, and oodles of well prepared food. They really do think of everything. Well, almost everything. From a booze and beer blogger perspective, the adult beverage selections are mediocre at best (I didn’t bother to look at the wine menu, so I can’t really say much about that), so other than taking a sip or two from one of the cocktails that Mrs. G-LO ordered during our time on the cruise (she isn’t much of a drinker, so there was very little cocktail sipping to be done), the only drinking that I did was after the kids went to sleep, which was usually by no later than 10PM.
Overall, it was a wonderful cruise, and I highly recommend giving Disney Cruise Lines a try if you have wee ones about. And if you can manage to ship them off to the kid’s or teen’s club for a few hours, then you might actually be able to relax a bit since the adults only areas of the ship are rarely crowded and very well appointed.
Now that I’m done boring you with that brief synopsis of our trip, let’s get on with the whisky reviews…
What Glenmorangie says…
The original expression of our elegant, floral spirit and the real backbone of the Glenmorangie range. A ten-year-old single malt, Glenmorangie Original is produced by marrying the delicate spirit that emerges from Scotland’s tallest stills, with first and second fill American white oak casks.
And here are my impressions of this expression…
- Appearance: Golden yellow color.
- Aroma: Lightly sweet and fruity with hints of peach preserves, honey, vanilla, and lemon zest.
- Taste: Light bodied with a touch of oiliness. Honey and vanilla at the onset with a bit of white pepper heat kicking in at mid-palate. Subtle spice and creamy sweetness at the finish. Lingering vanilla buttercream with a dash of cinnamon in the aftertaste.
- ABV: 43%
Although this isn’t my first time having Glenmorangie’s The Original, it’s the first time that I am taking the time to really appreciate it. This is a seriously delicious and easy drinking whisky with a deceptively mellow complexity to it. Not the first whisky that I would order, but definitely one that I wouldn’t turn down if it were offered to me.
What Glenmorangie says…
Elegant but full bodied this whisky has spent ten years maturing in American white oak ex-bourbon casks before being extra-matured for a further two years in Oloroso Sherry casks from Jerez in Spain.
Read on for the inside skinny…
- Appearance: Pale amber color.
- Aroma: You can definitely detect all of the aromas of The Original, but the fruitiness is much more intense with a richer sweetness as well. I’m getting brown sugar, allspice, dried figs, and a healthy dose of cinnamon.
- Taste: That extra 3% ABV really makes a difference. This expression is a bit hotter at the onset. Brown sugar sweetness when it first hits your tongue evolves into a moderately spicy cinnamon heat which builds in intensity as you approach the finish. Lightly spiced finish offset by dried fruit and brown sugar sweetness that lingers into the aftertaste.
- ABV: 46%
I reviewed a version of this whisky a couple years ago when they called this the Glenmorangie Sherry Wood Finish. While I can’t determine if this version is better or worse than the previous version, I will say this, I definitely enjoyed this whisky. Truth be told, my appreciation for this whisky probably has much to do with my growing appreciation for Sherry cask matured whisky. The Lasanta was tasty! It’s my second favorite of the four.
The Quinta Ruban
What Glenmorangie says…
The darkest and most intense whisky in the extra-matured range, Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban has spent 10 years maturing in American white oak casks, before being transferred into specially selected ruby port pipes from the Quintas or wine estates of Portugal.
Let’s find out if it’s any good…
- Appearance: Dark amber color with a light ruby tint.
- Aroma: A bit more intense than The Lasanta with even denser dark fruit and a touch more spice. I picked up molasses, cinnamon, Dark Rum soaked raisins, and a hint of candied ginger.
- Taste: Light mouthfeel, i.e. a touch on the thin and watery side. Lots of sweet spiciness from start to finish. Think caramelized sugar with a healthy dose of fresh ginger type heat. Mellows a bit as you approach the finish. Brown sugar, vanilla, and a touch of cinnamon linger in the aftertaste.
- ABV: 46%
On the night that I sampled The Quinta Ruban, I had the following for dinner aboard the ship: Shrimp Cocktail, Potato Soup, Chateaubriand, and Creme Brûlée. I even tried a bit of the Grand Marnier Souffle. To say that I was stuffed would be an understatement. That being said, this whisky definitely helped to “ease my pain” (I know I know. Poor me!). I really enjoyed the digestif effect that I got from The Quinta Ruban. It was like having an after dinner Port with a kick. Overall, I’m scoring this a notch below The Lasanta.
What Glenmorangie says…
It is here, in hand selected wine barriques from Sauternes: the most famous and ancient sweet wine growing region of France, that this whisky develops its rich, spicy and dessert-like flavours.
Below are my thoughts about this intriguing whisky…
- Appearance: Golden yellow color with a slight amber tint.
- Aroma: We’re back to the lighter fruits and subtle sweetness but in a much more intense way when compared to The Original. The nose suggests clover honey, vanilla, baked apples with a touch of cinnamon, and fresh popped and lightly sweetened kettle corn.
- Taste: Medium mouthfeel with a bit of oiliness. Rich honey sweetness at the start with a fresh ginger/cinnamon heat as you hit the middle. It all comes together at the finish with that baked apple sweetness showing up as well. Long, soothing finish with lots of honey and a touch of cinnamon.
- ABV: 46%
The Nectar D’Or might be my favorite of the four, but only by a slim margin. While the other three expressions were highly enjoyable, it’s the finish on The Nectar D’Or that really won me over since it’s much more satisfying than the other three. This one has earned a spot on my Christmas list!