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Dalmore 26 yo 1986 #3101 Montgomerie’s vs Glenmorangie Lasanta. Also, Ballantine’s 30 circa 80s

Two highland neighbours nary half an hours drive apart. Both are players in the superpremium price range, both utilize sherry maturation heavily – in the case of Dalmore, sherry maturation is counted as house style, and for Glenmorangie well, they’re pretty much the leader in winey wood manipulation. Both are also notable for their stills – Glenmorangie’s are the tallest in Scotland, and Dalmore’s wash still has a chopped top and a lyne arm that starts from a distance below the top, and the spirit still has a water cooled jacket to produce a heavier spirit. Very unusual for a Scottish distillery.

IMG_0294

Glenmorangie’s stills rise like narrow copper pillars to 5.14m.

Dalmore stills

Dalmore’s wash still in the background, and spirit still in the foreground.

 

Dalmore 26 yo 1986 #3101 Montgomerie’s Rare Select 46%

Dalmore montgomeries

Nose Nose: Ha! 26yo young. Sprouting malt, warm baking spice buzz, lots of warm ginger and cardamom, Also hint of new cardboard. Thin orangina, maybe iced? Actually a lot of toasty malty cereals. Somewhat sour and lightly zesty like some lemongrass citrus windowcleaner, but also thin honey and somewhat hot even at this age. Inactive cask?

Taste Palate: Faintly citrusy sweet-sour, mild-hot spicy buzz, lots and lots and lots of malt and cereal and biscuits. Nothing more middle of the road than this. Not bad not great not too dull not too sweet not too sherried not under-sherried. Generically decent. The spirit itself is rather roundly malty and fairly weighty, and also quite quite acidic. I can see why Dalmore’s housestlye is sherry matured.

Finish Finish: Decent, touch of chocolate, ginger and heat.

Score67

Not the best Dalmore around. I would prefer the 18 yo from the core range which wasn’t too bad. This is why age alone tells you nothing, especially form a single cask bottling.

 

Glenmorangie Lasanta 46% circa 2012

Glenmorangie lasanta

Note that this is the pre 12 yp age statement version.

 

Nose Nose: Curious, at once much less malty, less cereal character. There is some butter but again what stands out are the oranges: But the oranges here are turned up to marmalade levels and layered with clear overtones of raisins and currants and other thick ‘oxidised’ dried purple fruit that screams oloroso finish. After all that sweetness, the darker woody notes and oaky spice arrives. Modern sherry maturation can be very orange-y to me.

Taste Palate: Unexpectedly there’s a lot of wet wood and oaky notes on the palate, that is after you get used to the rather thick opening sweetness, which in itself is more syrupy than complex. But where did that wood come from. Somewhat planky and tannic, perhaps made too obvious given the whisky’s otherwise lightness.

Finish Finish: Medium. Too tannic and woody to be enjoyable, unless you like a lot of wood in your whisky.

Score65

Don’t think this was a long term finishing, and honestly rather blah. If you were around to remember the old white label range that had port finished version and a sherry finished version, methinks that one was better.

 

Ok I cannot end a night disappointed.

Ballantine’s 30 75 proof circa 1980s

Ballantines 30

Nose Nose: Time and glass have made their mark for sure. This is a really smooth subdued nose. No bumps at all. The glassy notes arrive first, along with a thin oil, thin wax and camomile, but a moment later some truly phenolic notes arrive. Not explosive but mellowed and deep: wet earth, oil stained cloth and wet ropes. Coal, engine grease and a cold fireplace. There is a tale about the constituent malts, but .. distractions..  Ok overall time has certainly taken a toll on the overall structure and it is somewhat weak, but at its core it is glorious.

Taste Palate: Again glassy notes and crayons, then phenolic phenolic phenolic. More ash and smoking wood here. Soot and flints, also I am not sure if it’s suggestion but I get maybe a hint of salt. Slightly piquant, and lots of little phenolic notes, but too quick to the finish. Too thin and fraying at the edges to be excellent though.

Finish Finish: Yes a bit short, and a curious old storeroom filled with old wooden furniture mustiness. Also traces of smoke and earth and old wax.

Score85

Time and low abv has taken it’s collective toll. But the malt element that went into this particular batch, phew..  from the heyday of old deep rich peat.

 

 

 

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This entry was posted on July 10, 2016 by in Blends, Dalmore, Glenmorangie and tagged , , , .
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