Whisky Review – Glenmorangie The Quinta Ruban

This bottle was one of my purchases early in My Whisky Journey ™.  I had just taken my car to get an oil change, which for some unexplained reason lasted north of an hour and a half.  On the way out of the dealership, I opted to veer into the liquor store right next door.  I was determined to pick out a nice Scotch, but really had no idea what to pick.  While sitting in the dealership waiting room, avoiding their free donuts, I had stumbled across a listing of the awards given at the most recent San Francisco World Spirits Competition.  Figuring that this was as good a resource as any, I took the award listing into the store and basically walked the whisky aisle, trying to figure out which bottles in stock were award winners.  Eventually, I came across The Quinta Ruban from The Glenmorangie.  The packaging looked all classy-like, and it was a gold medal winner!  Which is like the third best medal you can win.  Not bad.  I Googled a couple of reviews, which were mostly positive, and pulled the trigger.

While it is my policy to give virtually no information in my reviews, I’ll note that the Quinta Ruban is a 12 year old whisky that is finished in ruby port casks.  It is part of their “Extra Matured” range, along with the Lasanta (Oloroso casks) and the Nectar D’Or (Sauternes).  OK.  Information over.

Nose – The nose starts out with significant wood and caramel sweetness, almost close to a Bourbon.  I also get something like a corn muffin and some earthiness.  That is some mix.  Finishing up with peppery spice.  And is that nutmeg?

Taste – Rich and lip-smacking.  I get a lot of dark fruit – cherries, raisins maybe?  And, of course, you really get that taste of port in the back of your mouth.  I’ve heard people talk about mint in this, but I totally don’t get it.  Little Bitty Bits picks up a taste that reminds her of Brachs caramels.

Finish – Shorter than expected.  I find it interesting that the flavors tend to evaporate at the finish, leaving you with a (pleasant) heat.

With a splash of water, I find that the Quinta Ruban doesn’t really show different flavors (as many whiskies do), but rather just becomes a bit smoother, which is perfectly tasty.

Score – B+.  As I said above, I bought this bottle awhile back.  In its early stages, I wasn’t exactly tearing through it, but I was sort of trying to train myself to enjoy Scotch.  When I got it down to about a quarter left, I made sure not to have any more without writing down my notes.  Well, somehow, the bottle managed to sit untouched into April, when I picked it up with notebook in hand.  What do you know, this time around, I was loving it.  I think this was definitely a sign of palate evolution (a topic which I will touch on in some depth in my next review).

That said, the few times I tasted the last quarter of the bottle, my score thoughts have been between an A- and a B-.  It seems that this is really one that depends on my mood.

Other, better reviews:

Official Notes from The Glenmorangie

The Malt Imposter

The Malt Review

The Whisky Wire



9 comments on “Whisky Review – Glenmorangie The Quinta Ruban

  1. Have you tried Glenmorangie Original yet? It’s really interesting to contrast the bourbon-cask only Original to the wine cask finished versions. The put out a “Discovery Pack” that has minis of the three Extra Matured whiskies, which is a really cheap way to try them all and compare.

    With that said, Quinta Ruban is easily one of my favorite wine cask-finished whiskies. Definitely a sweet whisky, but quite a lip smacker.

    • Thanks. I have had the original, and I am a fan of it. And just recently, I did see that set online somewhere. I always enjoy tasting whiskies side by side, especially when they are related in some way (same distillery/region/casks, etc).

  2. littletipple says:

    I really like this whisky and have bought it a couple of times for friends and family to introduce them to “real” whisky, though i agree with you on the “in the mood” concept. I have found, as a whole (and yes, i am utterly generalising here) that the port finished whiskies seem to be my most temperamental, mood based likes or dislikes. Sometimes i love the nose on them, sometimes it smells musty. So maybe it’s just the ones i’ve tried, but sometimes nothing will hit the spot like a port finish, other times I want almost anything else!

  3. EricH says:

    I noticed a nice dark chocolate note on the nose that made me fall in love with the Quinta Ruban (by the way those names are supposedly Gaelic). This and the Nectar D’Or are what I consider dessert malts. Drink this with a slice of chocolate cake or cheesecake.

  4. Chuck says:

    Another great write-up WW!. It seems like Glenmorangie is in the air this week. I just reviewed the Nectar D’or, after buying the discovery set. It wasn’t my first time with D’or, but its a phenomenal whisky to be certain. My next stop was going to be the Ruban so I’ll keep your notes in mind when I review it and let you know what I think. As always, great stuff!


  5. Jason Debly says:

    I really like the Quinta Ruban. It tastes much older than the 12 yr age statement. Kind of a cheap man’s Balevnie 21 Portwood.

    Sadly, I understand that the master blender for Glenmorangie left the distillery for another. A serious talent hunt is on for the replacement.

  6. Aaron says:

    It never fails that being around family, friends and other large groups at this time of the year someone always has a stomach bug that gets passed around. See, this is why I drink. I have yet to have a stomach bug that could stand up to Scotch or Bourbon. Starve a fever, Feed a Cold, vice versa, whatever, drown them both I say. Santa brought me this bottle this year and I am planning on using it to stave off any stomach bugs through the New Year. I poured 5 oz into a glass and topped it off with another 2 oz of water and had a very nice Christmas drink last night. Thanks Santa for the Quinta Ruban and Thank you for the write up.

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