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Glenmorangie Astar, 52.5% abv.

 

Glenmorangie Astar, 52.5% abv.

Astar means "journey" in Scots Gaelic and this 2017 bottling is the second release. The first release was in 2008 and was later discontinued in 2012. This version was matured for an unknown number of years (rumors say 10 years) in Missouri Ozark oak casks that previously held bourbon for 4 years. I wonder what kind of bourbon that was?

Nose: candy and honey, a light hint of something between redwood, fresh balsa, and pine... basically young wood that was freshly cut at home depot. After a few sniffs, this aspect seems to age a little, like balsa that has been on the sale rack a few days. Coconut skin cream. Vanilla? This is quite nice.

Palate: seems like a vanilla type flavor, cashews, walnuts, boiled peanuts at the end which gets hidden with the heat with time. Hints of all kinds of young wood. Not as flavorful as the nose though.

Finish: moderate, some body in there, heat at the fore that disappears quite quickly at first, but increases in intensity with more sips.

Dry glass: fruit wax, like less intense fruit roll-ups.

It's pretty good overall and would be an excellent sipper. Having spent some time in woodshop when I was a young boy, it's definitely a lesson in wood, especially on the nose. I can't believe I'm going to say this, but this is perhaps one where lowering the abv might have benefitted the experience, although I'm not sure. I felt the heat distracted from some of the real wood flavors on the tongue (I think high abvs help the nosing). However, because no one aspect shouts out, I think it's pretty well-balanced and tasty. I'd love to revisit this and/or the first release one day. As expected, excellent execution and friendly for everyone.

Grade: C+

Whiskyanalysis.com, 8.87 ± 0.24 on 17 reviews (not sure which release)
Whiskyfun.com, Serge, sgp:541, 81 points
Malt-review, Mark Newton, 5/10
Thewhiskeywash, Whisky Kirk, 4/5 stars
Whisky advocate, Gavin Smith, 94/100

 

Image courtesy of Eric Yee.

  

Eric Yee

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