Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Malt Mission 2009 #348

Glenmorangie Astar
Glemorangie Astar
Highland Single Malt Whisky

57.1% abv
$80 (USD)

Nearly a month since my last post making me the real April Fool. Thanks for your emails and comments of inquiry, concern, and encouragement. The good news is I have been trying some excellent stuff in recent weeks, but the bad news is I have had less and less time to post them on the Malt Mission. So here come three new drops from Glenmorangie. Let's see if I can do it in three days...

Some of you may remember the 2005 (?) Glenmorangie Artisan Cask, a 500ml bottle of Glenmo matured in slow-growth, air seasoned oak from the Ozark mountains. It was a toasty, creamy, vanilla-soaked fruitbowl of a whisky that was loved by those lucky enough to try it.

Launched in late 2008 in the UK and available in the USA in early 2009, The Astar takes its name from the gaelic for "journey", referencing the decade plus experiment with Missouri "designer oak" by Dr. Bill Lumsden, the visionary whisky creator behind Glenmorangie.

For all Glenmorangie had on the mission, click HERE. Tasted with ISM, and his notes appear in quotes.


Wonderfully fruity, if slightly acetone, with "grapes and pears and fuckloads of them." Baked goods like buttertarts. Spicy with ginger and pepper, sweetened with butterscotch, and toasted with peanuts... and lager.

Sweet, creamy vanilla with more of the pepper but some salty tang as well. Slight skunky notes like some European beers and even bitter near the end at full strength. Leathery books, paper, and tarte tatin.


Inder let out a wheeze upon sipping it so I think it is worth noting that this is bottled at cask strength. The nose is gorgeous with all the best elements of quality american oak cask maturation, if having a few hints of youth in the acetone, nailpolish elements noted. Flavourwise, water gets rid of a bitter/acrid flavour that was present at full strength. Unfortunately, the skunky element remains and there simply is no amount of water one can add to mask it. Nonetheless, this liquid is proof that tough, macho whisky can be made without peat or sherry casks. Go try it! I would love to hear your thoughts as I am to date the only person I know who has tried this and not been 100% blown away.

Malt Mission #346
Malt Mission #347
Malt Mission #349
Malt Mission #350


Tim F said...

It's interesting whisky but a bit OTT for me. I found it very tweedy when neat. Also I couldn't get rid of the taste in my mouth after drinking it. But fascinating as an academic exercise, and it's certainly sold well.

Yossi (Joshua) said...

I'm somewhat new to trying cask strength whiskies but, I'm a Glenmo devotee so I had to give this a try. It took me two nights to decide I liked it -- a lot. For such a high ABV, it didn't punch me in the face like I expected it to. I was glad for that. But, it seemed lacking in the flavor dept. All I could taste was the acetoney-type flavors and I just could not get past it. I was pissed. But, I'm not a quitter so I tried some more the next night and just let the fluid sit in my mouth for a while. That's when the fruit appeared. Fruits, vanilla and a clean woody finish. It was a hot night and I thought to myself -- "self, what a nice summer drop!". I do love it. Is it my fave? No. But, damn, is it good!