Glenmorangie Original Review

Glenmorangie Original

40% abv

Score:  87/100


Glenmorangie is a Highland distillery situated in Tain.  For some interesting reading, do some research on the 16 men of Tain.  I can’t do all of your homework here, so go have some fun.  Think Highlander.  Anyway…the distillery boasts the tallest stills in Scotland.  If you are not too familiar with stills (either having read the articles here on Liquorature or elsewhere), let me explain what this means.  As the spirit condenses in the stills it travels up and out the lyne arm.  The extra height in Glenmorangie’s stills ensures that much of the distillate runs back down before exiting the lyne arm.  This is known as reflux, and means that said spirit will benefit from longer distillation, giving us a more pure spirit.

Generally this means that the end product will be lighter and smoother.  This is most certainly the case with Glenmorangie.

Historically this whisky has often been considered as an entry level malt.  Though I understand why it is a great gateway, the negative connotations associated with this are unfair and unwarranted.  The Glenmorangie Original is my ’house’ bottle at the moment.  One I find myself going back to often, and consequently have just opened my second bottle of the year.

This is truly an easy drinking whisky.  It is a beautifully balanced dram that is complimentary to any situation and any drinker.  Great for breaking in the novice or for those with a somewhat more refined palate.  I find I most enjoy this early in the evening or before dinner.  There is no specific note that leaps out as a dominant flavor, but hints of fruit, oak and mild spice vie for the senses, both nose and taste.  It is creamy and syrupy across the tongue, with a thin to medium body.  It is full of sweetness and warmth which make up for any lack of density.

There is a subtleness here that belies the depth of this whisky.  Spend some time with it.  I find dissection of this one to be a little difficult to be honest.  Enjoy it as the sum of its parts.  We don’t always need to know how the motor works to enjoy the ride.

My harshest criticism would be that the finish here doesn’t linger as long as I would hope for, but I suppose that means one need sip a little more frequently .  There is a bit of heat that comes along towards the latter part of development, but when it fades…it’s gone.

I should note that this is the 10 y.o.  It has since been re-branded as ‘Original’.


A final note from the reviewer:

Please, folks…if you take anything form this site, these whisky reviews or any of my thoughts or opinions here…let it be this:

Let your nose and palate guide you.  Do not be fooled by packaging, marketing, age, abv, or anything other than what your senses tell you.

I have conceded many time that I have a preference for cask strength whiskies which are neither colored nor chill-filtered.  These are personal preferences, but in no way stop me from enjoying a great whisky that doesn’t fit this profile.

There are countless whiskies on the market that fit into the branded mold.  They are bottled around 40-43%, tend to have E150a coloring added, and are chill-filtered to ensure clarity and consistency.  This allows for simplicity in marketing and a level of consistency otherwise lacking.

Do not EVER discount these whiskies without trying them.


– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Pat at

10 thoughts on “Glenmorangie Original Review

  1. Marilyn Oates

    I have a bottle of Glenmorangie that is very old – don’t know exactly how old. it has a number on the label which is +094052. Cannot find it’s likeness in any place I have searched. Label reads:Single Highland – Malt Scotch Whisky- Ten Years Old- Dix Ans D’Age- The Glenmorangie Distillery Coy, Tain, Ross-Shire, Scotland. 750ml. -Bottled in Scotland – Mis En Bouteille En Ecosse – 40% alc./vol. Can you tell me about it? Thank You.

    1. ATW Post author

      Morning, Marilyn.

      I’m sorry. I don’t have an answer for you. Grab yourself a copy of Whisky Magazine. The back pages have a section wherein you can send in a note asking just the type of question you’ve asked here.

      Best of luck.

      1. Skeptic

        Or you could email a picture of the bottle along with the information to the distillery. They may be able to help you

  2. Robert

    I finally opened a bottle of this last week and it as good as ever! This scotch turned me to the malt side 30 years ago and is still seductiively good. I give it an 87 and it is still much better than Glenlivet or Glenfiddich 12’s. great summer whisky!

    1. Robert

      My mother-in-law gifted me a bottle of this a few days ago. Haven’t had a bottle of the 10 in a year, as I’ve been enjoying several bottles of Tusail. I forget how good a $30 bottle of Glenmo 10 is! Definitely need to keep a bottle in the cabinet, but I tend to drink it up very quickly (the new bottle is already half gone!). Hmmmm…… what does that say about Glenmo 10?

      1. Jeff

        Maybe not a 90-class whisky, but I agree it’s very good (I might like the overall profile of Glen Garioch just a little better). Glenmo is one of the few whiskies I’ve found that can stand up well to a port finish.

        1. ATW Post author

          Wow. A review from years and years ago. I think this was actually one ported over from the old site. Likely written in 2009 or so. Think a revisit, re-review and re-post are due.

          $30 Glenmo?! WTF?! Even this one is $60+ here.

          1. Chris 1

            Definitely time for a re-review. The last bottle I had of this was from a duty free 2 years ago. I thought it was weak, sweet and generally uninteresting. I would be willing to try it again if you were to give it a good review. I agree with Jeff that the Glen Garioch 12 is a better all round whisky at 48% ABV and cheaper than the Glenmo. It seems to be overlooked as an excellent entry level bang-for-the-buck malt that makes a good daily driver for even the well experienced malt head.

  3. Robett

    Finished that Christmas bottle and almost another. Yes, you do need to re-review, but I haven’t seen any noticeable drop off since I first had it in 1983. Still better to me than Glenlivet 12 and lots better than Glenfiddich 12, both of which cost more. Ardbeg is the Islay equivalent for me, as I can get it for $40, which is lower than Laphroaig, etc., but it’s not as consistent as Glenmo 10. Hmmm… Both LVMH….. I tend to buy all the special releases of both Ardbeg and Glenmorangie…. LVMH must be on to something . Keep your base malts priced low enough (and tasty enough!) to generate a loyal base and then jump the prices for special releases. Works for me! I’ll keep buying!


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