See this post for more background on Glenmorangie distillery. Each year Glenmorangie releases a special bottling for the Private Edition range. Companta is the fifth release in this prestigious range. Previous expressions in this range are: Sonnalta, Finealta, Artein and Ealanta. Following with tradition Companta has undergone some experimental maturation. Companta means ‘friendship’ in Gaelic and is inspired by Dr. Bill Lumsden’s (Glenmorangie’s Master Blender) travels across France’s vineyards. This spirit is aged in renowned French wine casks – Grand Cru casks from Clos de Tart and fortified wine casks from Côtes du Rhône. The make-up of the spirit is 60% Grand Cru aged and 40% fortified wine aged. This whisky is non-chill filtered and bottled at 46% ABV. The Grand Cru aged spirit is from 1999 which makes it about 15 years old and the fortified wine aged spirit was originally distilled in 1995 which means it’s about 19 years old. To summarize this is a vatting of 1999 vintage whisky finished for four years in Clos de Tart Burgandy casks and 1995 vintage whisky which spent eight years in fortified Côtes du Rhône wine casks.
Here’s what Dr. Lumsden had to say about this whisky:
“The smaller vineyards of the region don’t seem to worry about yields, costs, or timings. They work tirelessly, simply to produce the very best wine. In the same spirit as Glenmorangie, they stop at nothing in the pursuit of perfection. This shared philosophy inspired me to create the ultimate tribute to my longstanding love for French vineyards and the friends that I’ve had the pleasure to make throughout my travels.”
Nose: red berries, dark red cherries, grapefruit, cinnamon, brown sugar
Mouth: peppery, tannins, oaky, prunes, sweet red cranberries, grape syrup, nutmeg
Finish: strawberry jam, drying, oak spices, red fruit sweetness lingers, burnt sugar
Verdict: This is a robust whisky which is a marked departure from Glenmorangie’s light and delicate style. If I were tasting this blind I would guess that this whisky came from a Speyside distillery like Glenfarclas. The nose reflects the wine casks used to age this whisky. There are notes of red berries, dark red cherries, grapefruit, cinnamon and brown sugar. It’s syrupy sweet on the palate with a substantial amount of tannins which creates a drying sensation. Once the tannins subside there is sweet red cranberries, prunes and oaky flavors. This whisky certainly isn’t shy and definitely packs a rich syrupy grape punch. On the finish there is a strong tannin influence which eventually gives way to oak spices, strawberry jam sweetness and burnt sugar. The tannins are almost too strong throughout the medium long finish. If you’re a dessert wine lover, this whisky is the perfect gateway dram. It’s great to see Glenmorangie push the limits and experiment with different cask maturation.