Comebacks. They can often be fraught with danger; danger that’ll ruin happy memories of the past. For every Doctor Who, there’s Richard Ayoade’s Crystal Maze. So there’s a need to tread carefully, for fear of ruining fond memories. But how will the return to Glenmoragnie Astar fair?
Back in 2008, the Glenmorangie Astar hit the market. The first, limited edition release delighted whisky lovers across the globe, and it’s been one that Dr Bill Lumsden has been wanting to revisit for a while. But the precise design of the casks means it’s taken slightly longer to get round to doing than he hoped.
The whisky’s custom-made casks begin their long journey in the Ozark mountains of Missouri, where slow-growth oak trees are selected for their porous structure. Staves are cut to the distillery’s exact specifications, before they are left to season in the open air for at least two years, allowing them to breathe and soften.
After being coopered into oak casks, they are gently toasted, filled with bourbon and set aside to mature for four years to smooth away any rawness in the wood. Once they are emptied, they’re shipping to Scotland and filled with Glenmorangie spirit. Phew!
Now, Astar returns, with the promise “a new richness and complexity to its silken depths”. But does it live up to the hype?
On the nose, it’s undoubtedly Glenmorangie, with that rich mix of sweet and fruity flavours. The sweetness reminds me of Murray Mints and the bowl of sweets my Great Aunt used to keep in her living room. There’s also the fresh zing of lemons. The palate is very creamy (perhaps the “silken depths” we were promised?), almost like creme anglaise with nutmeg grated on top. There’s lots of tropic fruit – pineapple, lemon, mango – with a final spice/menthol kick to finish.
Right, I’m going for the pun here. When you wish upon A STAR, make sure it’s for a bottle of the new Glenmorangie Astar.
You can find out more about Glenmorangie on its website.
My sample was provided by Glenmorangie.