Whisky Review – Glenmorangie Astar (2017)

Glenmorangie Astar (2017)

52.5% ABV

Non chill filtered

£74.00 from Master of Malt

This year’s Glenmorangie limited release is somewhat of a re-release of an old favourite from 2008. Astar on its first iteration was met with lots of critical acclaim and enjoyed a sell out at the whisky shops. It’s maturation is essentially ex-bourbon, but the wood used is more selective. 🤔

From the press release:

The Astar’s custom-made casks began their journey in the Ozark mountains of Missouri, where Glenmorangie carefully selected slow-growth oak trees, for their porous structure. Staves were cut from these oaks to the Distillery’s exact specifications. Then, they were left to season in the open air for at least two years, to breathe and soften. After being coopered into oak casks, they were gently toasted to contribute further flavours of almond and coconut. Filled with bourbon, they were set aside to mature for four years to smooth away any rawness. Finally, they were emptied, shipped to Scotland and filled with Glenmorangie’s delicate and complex spirit, for a long, slow maturation.

I’m very happy to get a chance at tasting this one never having had tried the original Astar. 

Nose. 

On first pour and sniff things are quite closed, but there is some fizzy citrus sweetness that reminds me of lemon fizz bomb sweeties. With a small amount of time a richer vanilla ice cream note kicks in. A few more minutes and things stay the same but get even more richer and deeper in the sweet stickiness of the vanilla. Creme brûlée, some pepper and maybe a touch of nutmeg after some further time in the glass. In the background there is a touch of zingy mint and some pencil shavings. 

Palate. 

The arrival is quite cooling and spearmint like, quickly become sweet, honey laden and treacly. There’s a lovely balance of spicy ginger and a touch of aniseed in the mix. Some yellow fruits, apricot, maybe a touch of peach, all covered in Devon custard. The mouthfeel is beautifully thick and suits the flavours very well. There’s a little oak later on in the development, which gives a touch of dryness balancing against the sweet and spicy. Very drinkable. 

Finish. 

Light apricot and sweet lemon, punchy spice and some oak over this medium to long length finish. 

Adding water. 

After a little splash has been added the nose becomes softer and sweeter, with a touch of added floral. Sugary, with some light talcum powder. Some overripe apricot, gentle Creme brûlée, with an undertoasted sugar crust. The spice is much lowered, now maybe a touch of cinnamon sugar glaze. The palate still retains a nice thickness. It’s sweeter, almost treacle toffee like, a touch of burnt caramel now, very chewable, very delicious. Fruits are fresher and the experience is awesome. The finish continues the theme – sweeter, scrummier, full of flavour. Oh my the water does this dram wonders. 

Conclusion. 

A great example of Glenmorangie and a solid well matured whisky. A little on the closed up side without water, this one comes alive with a drop of H2O. Beautifully sweet, thick, thoroughly drinkable and delicious. A great example of how whisky is better with a high ABV and water to break it all up, releasing the flavour. The longer it’s in the glass the more complexity of flavour it has to give. Definitely one to spend a long time over a dram with. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and will be obtaining a couple of these. For drinking! 

Thanks to Glenmorangie for the official review sample. 

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