While it may not be the healthiest thing to befriend your whisky, you’d be hard-pressed to find better companionship in a bottle than the latest Private Edition from Glenmorangie: Companta.
The fifth release in the Private Edition range, Glenmorangie Companta is now available in Alberta, and is destined to sell quickly, both due to its price point and overall quality.
The press materials for the Companta play up that the name means “friendship” in Gaelic. And, as far as beverages go, it has the feeling of a good friendship. It’s a pairing of whisky matured in two types of French wine casks: Grand Cru casks from Clos de Tart and Rasteau fortified wine casks from the Rhone Valley.
“As a true wine aficionado, some of my most memorable visits have been to the vineyards of Burgundy, where the dedication and attention to detail that goes into their craft never ceases to amaze me,” Dr. Bill Lumsden, head of distilling for Glenmorangie, says.
Glenmorangie has done good work in crafting a line of whiskies that includes several expressions finished in different wine casks: Quinta Ruban, in ruby port pipes; Nectar D’Or, in Sauternes casks; the 25 Years Old, which is matured in a range of casks, including French Burgundy. Previous Private Edition Artein was finished in ‘Super Tuscan’ wine barrels.
Also, two of the options in the Cask Masters process were Burgundy and Bordeaux.
This track record of using wine barrels to much success in maturing or finishing their whiskies should be an indication of Lumsden’s ability to use the characteristics of the barrels to produce a quality scotch. And, to be honest, I was kind of disappointed the Burgundy cask didn’t make it to market after the Cask Masters competition, so I’m pleased to see this expression.
Colour: Deep bronze, with a red tinge to it.
Nose: The tasting notes for Companta talks about ‘red berries and damp forest floors’, as well as woodsmoke and oak. I picked up on the berries and the wood, but not as much of the smoke. I also noticed a deep orange aroma.
Palate: The orange on the nose carried over to the palate. There’s blood orange and chocolate and brown sugar. It’s a lot of sweetness, but there’s a balancing svaoury qualities, including peppery spice, saltiness and oak. It is really complex, and with a few drops of water it brings out the orange, and some vanilla.
Finish: It has a lingering finish that coats your mouth with hints of cherries. Almost a jammy quality.
The verdict: All told, I think this is an amazingly complex whisky that verges on the sweet side without going overboard. It’s especially well-priced for the quality, retailing at about $120 a bottle. But if you’re looking for a place to try a wee dram before you head to the liquor store, The Bothy Wine & Whisky Bar in Edmonton has it on their menu.
In Googling the word companta, I found another apt definition for the word ‘companta’
It also means sociable.
Which is fitting, because this is the kind of whisky you want to share with your best mates.
Even if you want to keep all of its deliciousness to yourself.