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Glenmorangie The Nectar D’or

Review: Glenmorangie Nectar D’or Single Malt Scotch Whisky  89.5/100
a review by Chip Dykstra (AKA Arctic Wolf)
Posted June 28, 2009

Glenmorangie was amongst the first Scotch distilleries (1960s) to use ex bourbon barrels to age their whisky rather than Spanish oak (IE: sherry casks). This helped to change the taste profile of their Scottish whisky in a significant manner, and today ex bourbon barrels are use extensively alongside ex sherry casks in many Scottish distilleries. In 1996, Glenmorangie introduced their wood finish range which began the experimentation with a range of new wood finishes like port wood casks and white barriques. These wood finished products are now used by many distilleries and once again Glenmorangie can claim credit for helping to extend  the range of the taste profile of Scottish whisky.

The Nectar D’or is a mature Glenmorangie (at least ten years old) that is aged in ex bourbon casks and then finished or ‘extra matured’ in Sauternes wine barriques.  The use of the Sauternes wine casks  gives the Nectar D’or a touch of grape sweetness.  This sweeter  ‘white wine or grape’ character is evident in the tasting and review notes that follow.

In the Bottle 4.5/5

Glenmorangie distillers know how to package a product. Their whiskies come in handsome cardboard boxes, with just enough style and elegance to pique the interest of a collector like me. The bottle inside the box displays the familiar attractive curves of all Glenmorangie bottles. A nice dense cork topper finishes the presentation and I must say, unwrapping the Nectar D’or  is a real treat.

In the Glass 9.5/10

When the Nectar D’or is poured into the glass I immediately recognize a light aroma of soft white wine rising into the air beside the more familiar Scotch whisky aroma. I smell oak spices with trails of vanilla and honey accented by that light white wine scent.   The aroma is very complex, and it includes sharper citrus scents of lemon and fresh orange . I find this extremely inviting.

In spite of the assertiveness of the nose, I find it well-balanced. The white wine, the lemon, and the orange  do not dominate the whisky rather they compliment whisky aroma of oak spices, vanilla and honey. This is a subtle but important difference between the nose the Nectar D’or and the nose of other wine cask enhanced products I have tried. The folks at Glenmorangie understand the delicate balance which must be achieved when using exotic wood finishes.

In My Mouth 54/60

The whisky is a 46 % alcohol by volume product. As such, it is a little stronger than my Canadian palate is used to. The flavours of grape wine, lemony citrus, and orange zest are perhaps a little more intense than one might expect. The oak spices also have a touch more bite. In this intensity of flavour the vanilla and honey accents  seem a little lost in the shuffle….at first.

A drop or two of cold water added to the spirit changes these perceptions entirely. A sweeter honey and caramel toffee gains expression as the sharper elements melt into this sweetness like praline creme. Pungent spices like nutmeg and ginger are now hinted at on the tongue. The only niggle I have is that the grape flavour from the Sauternes wine barriques has turned slightly bitter in the mouth.

In the Throat 12.5/15

A very light oil lengthens the finish. The exit is full of citrus and spice followed quickly by a slightly bitter green grape.  The bitterness right at the very end tends to claw at the throat making the experience just a little less than it should be.

The Afterburn 9/10

There is so much to love about the Nectar D’or. It has stunning complexity and superb balance on the nose. The delicate weaving of the  fruity flavours never dominate, instead they support the flavour of the whisky from start to finish. If not for that touch of bitter at the end of the experience this whisky might have scored amongst the best that I have tasted.

You may read some of my other Whisky Reviews (click the link) if you wish to have some comparative reviews.


Suggested Recipes

I usually like to sip my Nectar D’or with just a little cold water or perhaps a small piece of ice. However, the Glenmorangie Nectar D’or carries with it so many citrus elements that I  also consider it a perfect cocktail whisky to sip after dinner while I am enjoying a pleasant dessert.  So rather than my recipes being merely cocktails, I have instead suggested a cocktail and dessert combination which I enjoy. I call the cocktail Golden Nectar, and I call the dessert, scrumptious!

Golden Nectar & Lemon Meringue Pie

2 oz Glenmorangie Nectar D’or
1/2 oz Fresh Orange juice
1/2 oz Fresh Lime juice
1 tsp simple syrup

Combine the first four ingredients into a metal shaker with ice.
Shake until the metal shaker chills.
Strain into a chilled glass.

Garnish with a slice of lime
Serve with Lemon Meringue Pie

Sometimes when the mood strikes me I like to lengthen the cocktail into a highball. Of course, some will think me daft for using such a great Single Malt Scotch as a dessert aperitif  in this way, but I say everyone should enjoy themselves in the manner which gives them the greatest pleasure and to be completely honest, this highball is extremely pleasurable.

Golden Nectar Highball & Lemon Meringue Pie

2 oz Glenmorangie Nectar D’or
1/2 oz Fresh Orange juice
1/2 oz Fresh Lime juice

Ginger Ale

Combine the first three ingredients into a metal shaker with ice.
Shake until the metal shaker chills.
Strain into a highball glass filled with ice

Serve with Lemon Meringue Pie

And Enjoy!!


As always you may interpret the scores I provide as follows.

0-25     A spirit with a rating this low would actually kill you.
26-49   Depending upon your fortitude you might actually survive this.
50 -59  You are safe to drink this…but you shouldn’t.
60-69   Substandard swill which you may offer to people you do not want to see again.
70-74   Now we have a fair mixing rum or whisky.  Accept this but make sure it is mixed into a cocktail.
75-79   You may begin to serve this to friends, again probably still cocktail territory.
80-84   We begin to enjoy this spirit neat or on the rocks. (I will still primarily mix cocktails)
85-89   Excellent for sipping or for mixing!
90-94   Definitely a primary sipping spirit, in fact you may want to hoard this for yourself.
95-97.5 The Cream of the Crop
98+        I haven’t met this bottle yet…but I want to.

Very loosely we may put my scores into terms that you may be more familiar with on a Gold, Silver, and  Bronze medal  scale as follows:

70 – 79.5    Bronze Medal (Recommended only as a mixer)
80 – 89.5     Silver Medal (Recommended for sipping and or a high quality mixer)
90 – 95         Gold Medal (Highly recommended for sipping and for sublime cocktails.)
95.5+            Platinum Award (Highest Recommendation)


One Response to “Glenmorangie The Nectar D’or”

  1. Alkoblog said

    I can only agree on your laudatory review of the Glenmorangie Nectar d’Or. We just had this Scotch in our glasses and it is really a surpreme and elegant Whisky with fine hints of honey and sweet white wine. We really enjoyed it although we only had a small miniature of Nectar d’Or. Your cocktail recipes sound interesting too – we may try them next time we get a bottle 🙂 Yours, Lukas from Alkoblog

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