The Glenmorangie Astar (750 ml bottle of Astor-level class)

Tasting notes: 
     I have loved this whisky for a long time.  It sits in my whisky cabinet behind a phalanx of lesser whiskies.  This group, in case you’re curious, includes several gift whiskies (No, Dad, I haven’t heard of this one before.  ‘Cutty Sark’ is how you pronounce it?  Thank you!), the whiskies I would serve to my benighted friends, the whiskies I drink while helping my kids with their homework, and a bottle that contains

wait for it…
…bacon grease (“Honey, why is the bacon grease bottle back in my cabinet again!  We’ve talked about this!”).  Don’t get me wrong.  When guests arrive I pull the Astar out and place it in the whisky lineup, as it were, and try to look away from its long neck and sexy curves.  But my friends, perhaps following my eyes, will always select the [redacted] or the [redacted].  Whereupon I whisper “excellent choice” and carefully place the Astar safely back into the cabinet.
     The first thing I get is salt.  Salty salt.  Salted pork (but when it was still a pig) just going to town on a salt lick.  Or a delicate brine found in undiscovered island lagoon with white sand beaches dotted with albino starfish.  Perhaps the saltiness is the side effect of the scorching 57% ABV, drawing the sodium out of my own body via capillary action. [Bill: John, you don’t really understand capillary action, do you?]  The Astar is all refinement and grace and yet quietly powerful like a 12-cylinder Jaguar.  And it nods backward to tradition while also screaming “whisky” in a new way.  On the mouth it’s a rye cheese.  And by this I mean that a cow was fed only rye for weeks, then cheese made from its milk and poured into five pound wheels.  (It was a Canadian experiment, and thus there were more apologies in the published study than co-authors.)  We understand that the Astar matured in slow growth wood barrels, and naturally we imagine little tiny bonsai tree barrels that can be carried in thimbles on the backs of snails.  Oh, this is a winning whisky!  Notes of Riesling, Gewurtztramminer, and Eiswein combining in floral symphony to sweetness.  A symflorny.  The mouth is brilliant: all buttery with flowers, rum butter, pineapple flambée, and tiny angels’ wings flattened into the pages of an unabridged dictionary.  The finish brings extract of Daisy (and we’re not talking about a Dukes of Hazzard episode).  Perfumed hummingbird eggs poached in scented water.  A lemon slice steeped in single cask Jagermeister, then grilled over yew wood wit
h ewes.  All of ewes.  Ewes welcome.

–On the scale of Christmas songs that allow you to sing loudly about the marvels of whisky–
The Glenmorangie Astar is “Do you Hear what I Hear?”
Said the night wind to the little lamb

Do you see what I see

Way up in the sky little lamb

Do you see what I see
Astar, Astar

Dancing in the night

With a tail as big as a kite

With a tail as big as a kite
things that one hopes are infinite—



Our thanks to David Blackmore and the good people at Glenmorangie for the sample!  

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