The Artein was released a year or two ago. It’s a vatting of whisky from 15 year old and 21 year old Glenmorangie finished in Sassicaia casks (a so-called “Super Tuscan” Bordeaux-style red wine). There is twice as much 15 yo as 21 yo whisky in the vatting. I can’t say I’ve loved too many (any?) red wine finished whiskies but let’s see what I make of this one.
Glenmorangie Artein (46%; finished in Sassicaia casks; from a sample received in a swap)
Nose: Red fruit and berries but not particularly bright and sweet. There’s some polished wood with a little rye. With a minute or so of airing the wood gets quite perfumed/aromatic; in fact, it’s almost in men’s eau de cologne territory. Seriously (a nice cologne though–something Cary Grant would have worn).
Palate: That perfumed wood makes the first, second and third impression and it’s far more over the top here than on the nose (now it’s not Cary Grant but a slightly desperate salesman at a used car lot); a lot of incense now. Something a little soapy as well. Does not taste much like whisky to me. Quite oily but I’m not sure that’s a good thing here. Some nutmeg, some oranges but they have a tough time making it through the fog of perfume (rosewater along with the wood now). With time the cologne/incense notes subside somewhat, but, on the whole, this is way too winey for me.
Finish: As on the palate. The wine separates even more at the end.
Comments: From a cursory glance I don’t see any other reviews remarking these notes so it may well be something anomalous about this sample or my response to this profile; but I can only review what I taste. The perfume/incense notes on the palate do subside/become less objectionable with time–maybe that has something to do with it? Can anyone else who’s tasted it chime in? Makes it to 70 points on account of the nose which is quite nice.
Rating: 70 points.
Thanks to Alex S. for the sample!