57.1% ABV, 114.2 Proof
Around $75, Widely Available
What The Distillery Says:
From the tall peaks of Missouri ‘Ozarks’ to the sweeping grandeur of the Highlands of Scotland, Astar (in Gaelic it means “journey”) is the story of our quest to ‘design’ the very best oak casks that will deliver perfection in the final spirit; the result is a deep, rich, silky and creamy malt that embodies Glenmorangie’s art of whisky creation.
What Richard Says:
Nose: The high bottling strength makes for a trying nose. The alcohol tends to get in the way. It’s very delicate and clean. Crisp apples. With water there is a hint of peat and more of a nutty character. Also more apple and under ripe fruit.
Palate: Very tart opening with a mild vegetal quality but soon the alcohol bulldozes everything out of the way. Not a dram to be had without water. The flavor is too delicate for bottle strength. With water a honey sweetness develops and is followed by grassy notes.
Finish: Straight, the finish is all alcohol burn. Once water is added you get a tart finish bookending the tart opening.
Comments: Astar is the “heart” of the new Glenmorangie Original and it shares many characteristics from nose through to the finish. I would like to maybe see this bottled down around 46% ABV. Heresy to some but that’s just my opinion. This flavor profile is much too delicate for so much alcohol.
What Matt Says:
Nose: Without water the alcohol is dominant, but there is a strong scent of bread dough. With water, the nose opens to a cornucopia of aromas. Green apples (the meaty bit, not the skin), vanilla, honeysuckle, oak, and spice all dance together to a sensuous melody.
Palate: There is a lot of oak and spice here. With water the fruit and sweetness is revealed. Green apples, cinnamon, ginger, mint, vanilla, and a creamy sweetness like sweetened condensed milk.
Finish: Neat, there is enough burn for a bonfire. With water, there is tartness (like green apple skins).
Comments: As with anything from Glenmorangie, I carry a slight sentimental bias. I don’t think this is a dram for a novice, but I would recommend it for a seasoned whisky drinker. I’m not sure the high proof is necessary. The best bits of this whisky don’t come out until you add water. However, that means that this bottle will last me about twice as long (which makes for better value).
Rating: Stands Out
Overall Rating: Average. Not for the novice or the faint of heart.