Inside Brendan McCarron’s Glenmorangie Whisky Palate
On Friday, I had the pleasure of learning about Glenmorangie’s range of whiskies, whose signature copper stills are renowned for being the tallest in Scotland. Brendan McCarron, the head of maturing whisky stocks at Glenmorangie took us through the Glenmorangie Original, Lasanta and Quinta Ruban single-malt scotch whiskies.
“Most of my job is buying barley, buying casks, working with the distillery manager and tasting whiskies”, says McCarron. He also adds that the whiskies’ main ingredients are malted barley, mineral water and yeast. Glenmorangie was one of the first to pioneers in the art of wood finishing and compared to other whisky companies, Brendan also reiterates that Glenmorangie only uses its casks twice to create the whisky.
Starting off was the most famous 10-year-old highland single malt scotch, the Glenmorangie Original, described as the perfect introduction to the world of single malt whisky. The gently-warming scotch’s aromas are “very floral and fruity”.
The 12-year-old single malt scotch Glenmorangie Lasanta was second in line. “First 10 years are very similar to Glenmorangie original”, says McCarron, adding, “But it is however given an additional two years, in two different sherry casks –Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez sherry casks”. The casks play a role in improving the depth of the whisky’s colour and texture, making it more significant.
“It takes out all the fruity flavours of Glenmorangie original and caramelizes them, intensifying them. It also has a spicy note to it including cinnamon. Whereas the original Glenmorangie has a white sugar sweetness, the Lasanta possesses a brown sugar kind of sweetness”, he further notes.
The 14-year-old Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban has been described as “a massive success” by McCarron, following its recipe change from being a 12-year-old recently. “It is now a 14-year-old single malt scotch. We changed the recipe last year and it’s just been like a massive success”. The Quinta Ruban has an alcohol percentage of 46%, the highest of the previous two – which each have 43% alcohol content.
“If you like dark chocolate, candid honey or mint, you’re going to love this whisky”, he explains adding that the alcohol content is higher because “it’s just what works for this whisky”. Despite its extra two years, the Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban remains in the same price range as that of the Original and Lasanta.