Glenmorangie Companta (2014)
What to say about Glenmorangie? I remember driving past it in the summer of 2013, getting out of the car, and being overwhelmed by literally busloads of tourists. After a quick look inside the visitor centre, I got back in the car and drove along. I’ve since took the A9 up North many times, yet I’ve still to visit the distillery. On the other hand, I’ve been to Clynelish, which is a little further down the road, a handful of times.
I’m not really sure what I’m trying to say here, as I don’t really have anything against Glenmorangie. Actually, last weekend I almost bought the Glenmorangie Signet, which was priced very competitively on the ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam, only to decide against it because I’ve been buying too much as of late already. I guess I should make Glenmorangie a priority next time I go North of Inverness.
In the mean time, I’ll have to do with the whisky itself, in this case the Glenmorangie Companta. It is the fifth release in the Private Edition series, and named after a Gaelic word for friendship. There’s no known age statement, only known wood types. First a period of maturation in American oak, before being finished in two different types of wine casks. On the one hand a Clos the Tart, a small grand cry from Burgundy. On the other a sweet fortified whine from Côtes du Rhône.
Glenmorangie Companta (46%, OB, 2014)
Nose: Proper meaty and rich stuff, and quite dry actually. There’s a hint of gun powder, accompanied by coffee beans, orange zest and subtle floral notes. Finally a slight earthiness, like you’ll find in a damp dunnage warehouse.
Taste: Oily and thick, and as dry as the nose already suggests. Hints of rubber and gun powder, accompanied by dark chocolate, cinnamon, cloves and nutty flavours, as well as plenty of oak and a surprising amount of salinity.
Finish: Lingering sulphur notes, drying. Hint of dark berries.
Not an every day drinker, at least for me, because of the wine-y sulphur notes. However, the sulphur is not negative per se, but in my case this is a dram that I really need to be in the mood for. And if I am, it is highly enjoyable, fairly complex and decently balanced.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.