Whiskies aged in first-fill Sherry butts are especially so, and those drawn entirely from such sherried stock are invariably known as “sherry bombs” for the potent flavors the malt whisky has derived from its time spent mingling with the sherry-soaked wood. The ‘Sherried’ character, therefore, is down to the Sherry itself, but also oxidation and the way in which the Sherry has interacted with and changed compounds in the oak. All of these then interact over time with the maturing spirit.
The Sherry and wood form a pincer movement that stamps out distillery character or any sense of identity in the distillate itself. For me, a great Sherry-matured malt should possess a balance between distillery identity, fruitiness, earthiness and a lick of spice. Sherry bombs almost always eschew this tightrope balance in favor of heat, density and aggression of wood flavor.
Lasanta is Gaelic for warmth and passion, and at 43% ABV, it is the lightest of the wine finished cask offerings from Glenmorangie. This malt is going to have a much harder time distinguishing itself amongst the many other sherry finished single malts in the market. Where as both the Quinta Ruban and Nectar D’or represented new experiences for me with their port wine and Sauternes finishes.
ABV: 43%. Color: Warm golden hue
A fairly simple nose, but a variety of flavors do emerge as it sits over time. Amaretto, macadamia nuts, butterscotch, sherry, maple syrup, oak. Opens up pretty fruity lighter than a ‘Sherry Matured’ edition. Dried fruits, oranges, sultanas and raisins… A strong influence of caramel and maybe a bit of milk chocolate… Strong wood spices thanks to Bourbon Casks… A light nuttiness at the background with some cereal notes…
Sweet sherry, candied plums, spices, very malty. There is a lot of alcohol burn for such a low proof. The sherry shows itself much more on the palate than the nose, while be accompanied by a nice spiciness. Malty flavours with caramel toffee add the ‘oak’ into the mix… Wood spices make a come back at the later stages one more time.
Short spicy and hot then long finish with a silky texture all over the tongue… Sweet fruits dusted with spices… some bitter chocolaty flavours near the end.
Balance, Body & Feel
Glenmorangie Lasanta is a nice simple sherry finished single malt. It offers a great introduction to sherry flavors, and would be a great follow up for a beginner who started out with the Glenmorangie 10, which Lasanta starts off as before being finished for 2 more years in sherry casks. I found Lasanta to show the Glenmorangie house flavor profile more than the other two wine finished Glenmorangies. This dram is less syrupy than other sherried malts and quite hot for 43% ABV. While quite good for a beginner malt, I feel like it is lacking a little overall.