Glenmorangie "The Original" 10-Year Single Malt Scotch Review & Tasting Notes

When folks come to me and ask, “I’m interested in Scotch, but I don’t know where to start. What do you recommend?” I usually steer them to Glenfiddich or The Glenmorangie. Why? Because they’re easy to find, highly affordable, and offer the new and curious little to dislike. They’re not only great starter whiskies; they’re ones you can keep enjoying no matter how experienced your palate is.


The Glenmorangie comes from Scotland’s Highland region, whereas Glenfiddich comes from Speyside. Considering Speyside gained autonomy from the Highland region in 2009, the two areas aren’t far off. The Glenmorangie tends to be a sweeter whisky, something else that newbies often find palatable.


If you're unfamiliar with Glenmorangie (a/k/a Glenmo), it is a Highland Scotch whisky distillery founded in 1843 and located in Tain, Ross-shire. The distillery was mothballed twice, from 1931 to 1936 and 1941 to 1944. Glenmo, along with its sister distillery Ardbeg, has been owned by Mo√ęt Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) since 2004.


Glenmo boasts the tallest stills in Scotland. It calls them giraffe stills. On a side note, the distillery supports the Giraffe Conservation Fund, which is meant to help save the species. Glenmo sources its hard water, which is high in mineral content, from the local Tarlogie Springs for the distillation process.


Glenmo’s core of its core single malts (yes, I meant to say that twice) is Glenmorangie The Original. It is the base whisky of nearly everything else it produces (which is why I called it the core of the core). It is matured a decade in ex-Bourbon casks and is quite affordable at about $43.00 for a 750ml bottle, which is packaged at 43% ABV (86°).


Very recently, Glenmo went through a label change to make it more in tune with the times. The new label is below, but the whisky inside the bottle is the same. 



I picked up a 50ml taster at a random liquor store to review. Let’s #DrinkCurious and discover how it tastes.


Appearance: I sipped The Original neat from my Glencairn glass. The whisky inside was brilliant, bright liquid gold. A bold rim formed and created slow, husky legs.


Nose: An aroma of honeysuckle, vanilla, bananas, apples, and pears exploded from the glass. As I delved deeper, smells of nutmeg and faint oak were found. Drawing the air through my lips exposed my palate to buttercream.


Palate: The Original had a medium body that flowed easily to my throat. I experienced honey, apples, and pears on the front, while the middle featured bananas, vanilla cream, and nutmeg. The back tasted of caramel, dry oak, and cocoa.


Finish: The medium-long finish included flavors of apples, pears, caramel, cocoa, and nutmeg.


Bottle, Bar, or Bust: As I stated at the beginning of this review, I recommend two whiskies for those looking to dip their toes in the big ocean of Scotch. Glenmorangie The Original is a delightful, easy-sipping whisky that can please nearly everyone. You won’t find peat; you won’t run into “band-aid” tastes; you won’t encounter anything marine-like. It is all about flavors that are sweet and fruity. When you factor in the price, Glenmorangie The Original meets every punch mark for a Bottle rating. Cheers!  


My Simple, Easy-to-Understand Rating System

  • Bottle = Buy It
  • Bar = Try It
  • Bust = Leave It


Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you to do so responsibly.