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Friday, 11 July 2008

Astar is Born (or The Whisky World's Most Over Used Headline)

Glenmorangie remove their Artisan 50cl, 46% Vol bottling (which is rather bloody good) and replace it with the new Astar. Here are some early tasting note of this new, 100% proof offering:

Glanmorangie - Astar - OB - NAS - 70cl - 57.1%

Nose: Ginger, citrus, tweed, paprika, black pepper, becomes very deep with smoky vanilla. Maybe it's the power of suggestion, but the oak is very noticeable - polished wood, like an expensive bookcase. More masculine and intense than the old Artisan, but you'd expect that from the higher abv. Water opens up more sweet notes, natural caramel or butter toffee.

Palate: Carries on from the nose. Big, assertive and very bourbony. Exceptionally spicy & peppery but with compensating sweet creamy vanilla. Big mouth-filling weight - quite macho. With water, much more approachable though still very spicy.

Finish: Immense. Very long and warming, with tingling spices that last an eon. My mouth was still burning (in a good way) several minutes after the swallow.

Overall: If you're a committed sherryhead or you don't like oaky stuff or spicy food - avoid. Everyone else will love it. Very much of the same breed as the original Artisan cask, but less gentle - much more powerful and concentrated. An epic dram that needs a drop or two of water to really shine.

Notes by Tim.