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: