Saturday, January 30, 2010

Bill Lumsden's Chicago Audience, Sonnalta, and 10 yr. v. 10 yr. Comparisons

This presentation was a worthwhile experience at Binny's South last week. Dr. Bill gave a fascinating and in depth review of Glenmorangie's wood acquisition program. Glenmorangie is a good dram, but not always the distillery of the moment. It is certainly one that I favor over others, perhaps all, at times.

For me, my preference often depends upon both my mood and anticipated palate. This can be a bit off, at times, but I'm getting better.

When I have an opportunity, my bottle of Glenmorangie Astar will be opened. However, I may go "two deep" before this happens. That is, I want to have an extra in storage before I splurge. Astar is that good, even at a bit below $75/bottle. I have enough less expensive bottles that I have purchased and would drink, first.

Hopefully, Dr. Bill is working on my mood and palate concerns. Perhaps, value, as well, but Glenmorangie is trying to position itself as higher end single malt in the States. I bought a bottle of Astar, which is a no age statement expression. Last week, the Sonnalta was good, but my palate may have been a bit off due to the previous five that I tasted.

The flavor profile of any distillery is a difficult thing for a distillery master to meddle with. Each distillery has its fans and if you know what to expect, then you are more comfortable when you get it. In the interim, I'll have to await a new expression, a fresh taste of the Sonnalta (without distractions), or the right single cask release of Glenmorangie, among other things. In the interim, I hope that there continues to be interest in this Lumsden mastered Distillery.

I tend to favor Lumsden's Ardbeg, but that is like comparing apples to oranges! Quite a few acquaintances prefer the Glenmorangie ten year old to the other expressions. The friend who I invited prefers the La Santa finish. I was not as enamored with Glenmorangie 10 year old as I thought that I was with the Macallan 10 year old among the tens.
However, I have never done a side by side tasting, nor know that I would absolutely prefer one ten over the other at any given time. Which Macallan 10 is widely distributed in the U.S.? My memory fades from the last Macallan tasting. Any thoughts?