Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1991

Scotch Review #110: Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1991


Distillery: Glenmorangie

Region: Highland

Cask Type: Blend of two whiskies. Both started in ex-Bourbon casks, “finished for more than a decade” in ex-Oloroso sherry casks and ex-Burgandy casks.

ABV: 43%

Age: 26 years, distilled in 1991 and bottled in 2018.

Price: Part of a flight.

Color: 1.6, Mahogany/Henna Notes.

Nose: Loads and loads of rich sherry with a lovely mixture of caramel and vanilla. It’s very rich, almost syrupy. There’s a hint of well-aged oak as well. Lovely.

Palate: It has a rather thick mouthfeel with an almost oily texture. There’s more sherry but the main star of this show is butterscotch. It’s liquid butterscotch with some lemons and other citrus mixed in. There’s a little side show of toasted barley and malt sweetness as well that does help balance out the sweetness from the butterscotch and sherry. There is a little hint of old oak as well but only just.

Finish: Nice and long. There’s more of that butterscotch and toasted barley. Just when you think you have this one all figured out, there’s a nice little curveball of a hint of something savory, almost like a little bit of salty sea air. It’s not overpowering and really gives this one a nice little bit of extra depth.

Conclusion: I’m going to be honest, I had chalked off Glenmorangie as a distillery that made decent but ultimately mediocre whisky. With this, I have to move them to join Macallan as a distillery that can make a phenomenal whisky when they want to but simply are choosing to be mediocre. Perhaps that is a little harsh but that’s how it feels. This dram was an absolute treat to have. It started off very inviting with a fantastic amount of sherry. It continues on with some lovely citrus infused butterscotch with a helping of toasted barley. The finish had a really fun little twist to it with a little bit of salt water (the bartender was mentioning that this might be from Glenmorangie’s water source being full of minerals). I can’t say I can really pick out any of the burgundy influenced notes in here but I’m not going to complain about a lovely sherried dram as old as me. I honestly wish Glenmorangie would release a few things closer to Cask Strength, even if non-age stated (better if they are), just to be able to see a little more of how good of whisky these guys can make. Would I buy a bottle? A bit pricey for me at £600, but it would be one of those to go on the wish list should I win the lottery.

Final Score: 94.

Scotch Whisky review #110, Highland Whisky Review #28, Whisky Network Review #141

Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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