For some reason for special occasions we raise a glass of something fine. I’m a big proponent of this. At times, however, these occasions necessitate solemn reflection and respectful remembrance. Today is such a day—Memorial Day. On a day such as this, rather than raise a glass it may be more appropriate to pour out a dram to those fallen. In spite of my political beliefs, which wars I believe were necessary and which were essentially criminal, today I pour a glass out to this country’s fallen soldiers. As it seems scotch is often the choice for such tributes, tonight I too shall consume scotch. I’m not pouring any out though; I’d prefer not to get booze in the carpet.
My beverage tonight is a bottle of Glenmorangie 10 year that my mother and stepfather gave me for my birthday. Since my birthday is in March, clearly I’ve been saving this review for a special occasion…Or a night when I can convince myself to write; tonight it just so happens these things coincided. Anyways the 10 year is Glenmorangie’s base-line baby, aged in old bourbon barrels and presumably providing the base that all their special offerings build off of. So, is this bottle a worthy tribute to the roughly 1.4 million U.S. soldiers who have died in combat? Shall we taste?
The Nose on this whisky is quite interesting, with grassy notes, a heavy citrus presence that reminds me of a well-made margarita and, finally, a peach cobbler with ice cream note that seems to come in after I’ve stopped inhaling.
This scotch is somehow walks a line between very light flavors and a rather rich body, with soft vanilla dominating throughout, just a touch of caramel in the middle and a hefty share of green apple / pear notes near the end that brings just a touch of tart astringency to the palate. The finish returns with a bit more acid and astringency that remind you of that citrus nose, and wipe your tongue off like orange oil on a guitar fretboard. It’s pleasant, crisp and surprisingly refreshing—perfect for a cool night while I walk the fine line of chilled toes and open windows.
So let’s go back to the theme of the day, and the question I previously posed— is this bottle a worthy tribute to the roughly 1.4 million U.S. soldiers who have died in combat? Can anything be? I highly doubt there’s a bottle of bourbon worthy of a man’s life, and I love nothing more than bourbon. As a tribute however, this stands up as well as any, and I feel it fortuitously matches the weather of this Memorial Day as well. So, tonight I drink to those who gave the last full measure of devotion to this land, so that we may live to drink another day. I pour out a dram to thee, right into my thirsty mouth.