Take, for example, Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban, which is is Glenmorangie’s port finish. I love it. It’ll set you back around $60 here in Maryland, one of the most affordable port finishes you’ll find. I’ve done searches online for affordable port finishes and the ones that come up are Tomintoul 12yo Port and Arran Port Finish 50%, neither of which are available here. Everything else is far more expensive (Check out the price of Balvenie’s Port Wood! — granted it’s aged far longer and I personally believe it’s worth every penny… but still!).
But for today, we’re talking Glenmorangie – The Nectar D’Or. Aged 12 years, it’s their Sauternes finish. Sauternes is a sweet French wine from the Sauternais region (of the Graves section) of Bordeaux. Sauternes itself is a fun dessert wine because it’s made from Sémillon, Sauvignon blanc, and Muscadelle grapes. Now get this… the Muscadelle grapes have to have been affected by Botrytis cinerea, or noble rot, because it causes the grapes to be partially raisined! Sauternais has the perfect environment for this noble rot. I found that fascinating.
I recommend, given the opportunity, that you try the finishing product (in this case Sauternes) whenever possible. I am a big fan of port so I was able to figure out its impact on the Quinta Ruban. I’ve never had Sauternes so I can’t as easily pick out its impact on Nectar D’Or but some things are hard to miss.
- Nose: Citrus, light raisins and fresh grapes, and a light sweetness with a richness of hazelnuts.
- Palate: Honeyed from the get go, citrus, with toasted almonds and hazelnuts. There’s a bit of the cereal and barley flavor in there but it’s very much a dessert finish.
- Finish: Finish is medium and where the cereal stands out after the sweetness subsides, you also get some vanilla and the lingering of the hazelnuts/toasted almonds
Doing some brief research, there aren’t a tremendous amount of Sauternes finishes out there. A quick search on Royal Mile Whiskies revealed only seven, many of which showed low stock and probably aren’t available here in the States. If you’re sold on Sauternes or just want to give it a try, this is your best bet if your here on this side of the Atlantic.
As for this dram, I enjoyed it. It’s fun tasting a wine through a whisky because you can tell that this marriage was probably a big challenge. Port has has big bold flavors, it’s fortified with brandy, so that marriage is of equals. Sauternes is like more delicate and so the flavors it imparts are lighter, citrusier (is that a word?), and so you won’t get the big influence you see in Quinta Ruban.
I’d give it a go if I was expanding my selection, certainly a good dram, but I prefer the port finish (and even the sherry finish in Lasanta).
Glad you enjoyed it, too. As you know, it’s one of my favorites and I highly recommend it to everyone. 🙂 I’m a fan of all of the Glenmorangies I’ve tried (Original 10 year, Lasanta, Quinta Ruban and Nectar d’Or) but this one really is something different than most other scotches I’ve had. If you haven’t tried it yet, you might want to give it a taste alongside some good dark chocolate.
Your wallet is a lot healthier preferring the Quinta Ruban and Lasanta to the Nectar D’or. Here in southeast Florida, the Glenmorangie port and sherry finishes go for as low as $50 per bottle while the lowest price I’ve seen for the sauternes Nectar D’or is $82. Too rich for me, perhaps I’ll get to try it by springing $40+ or so for a gift box that contains 100 ml miniatures of the GM Original, QR, Lasanta, and the Nectar D’or.
Martin, I agree with you in your assessment of the Lasanta, Quinta Ruban, & Nectar D’or. The price jump from the Lasanta & QR to the D’or (also, too rich for me) is not worth the price. I get better bang for the buck by going up to the $50 area.
Between the Lasanta & QR, I prefer the QR. However, the Lasanta is excellent. The D’or is better than either of the Lasanta or QR, but as I said above, not worth the price increase.
The Signet is better than any of these mentioned three. However, that is really not worth the price jump. However, Signet is downright beautiful.
This one I have not tried yet. My Glenmorangie experiences (and local prices):
The Original ($32) – solid, not spectacular, but maybe the best Scotch I know under $40.
Lasanta ($46) – Enjoyable, but I think not worth the premium compared to:
Quinta Ruban ($47) – Love, love, love this one.
Nectar D’or ($63) – On the list to try one day.
Going back to last week’s post, I got a pair of Glencairn glasses to try alongside the whisky glasses I’ve been using. I found I liked the Lasanta a whole lot better in the Glencairn. It seemed to “focus” the aroma and really enhance the flavor. I couldn’t tell much difference in the Quinta Ruban, in fact, I may prefer it in the old glass. Unfortunately that was the last of the Lasanta so I won’t be repeating the experiment for a while, but I think the new glassware did change my mind about buying it again.
Now tonight we’ll see just how powerful the combination of Aberlour A’bunadh and a Glencairn is.
Wow! In Pennsylvania, the prices are steeper.
10 year- $45
Quinta Ruban- $58
Nectar D’Or- $70
I need to relocate!
Come on down! 🙂
Tried the 18 which came with the sample bottles with the different finishes. Wasn’t really wowed by any of them. Maybe I need to give them another chance?
I bought a bottle of the Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or last night. I was expecting it to be a little better than it was. Make no mistake, this is a great scotch and I enjoy it thoroughly. But, I was expecting a bit more enjoyment from the bottle.
My first impression from the nose was: “This is VERY similar to the Balvenie DoubleWood.” The Balvenie is quickly becoming my favorite line. Their Caribbean cask and DoubleWood are very close to the top of my list, and I can’t say right now which is #1 and which is #2.
As I said, the Glenmorangie Necar D’Or is wonderful, but what I’m saying is that I was expecting the Nectar D’Or to be more unique, and I didn’t think it was.
I’m in western Kentucky, so this bottle set me back a little over $100 after taxes. I can’t say that I would buy another bottle…but will enjoy the one that I have.
Hi. Love your site! Been a scoth drinker most of my life but am now trying to broaden my horizons, taste buds and knowledge. I dont care for smoky scoth, but have just purchases a bottle of nectar d’or and millsean. I come from chivas, pinch, dewars and johnnie w roots and have primarily had mine with water or just rocks. Here is my querry- i have a mccallem 12 and when i drink it straight it burns. I tried the d’or – very very tasty but burns. Before i open the millsean tell me how to best drink and sporeciate the finer scothes please. I am a lil lost. Thank you bery much