Glenmorangie Quarter Century Review

Glenmorangie Quarter Century246

43% abv

Score:  89.5/100


I have a handful of new Glenmorangie reviews coming up here on ATW in the next few days, but let’s get things started with the grandaddy of the family. 

While this may not be not the oldest malt the distillery has ever bottled, it is certainly the oldest in the current stable in terms of being a fairly regularly available offering.  It seems Glenmorangie just isn’t sitting on a lot of really mature stock.  Let’s hope this is something that is being corrected through proper cask management and warehousing now.  Personally, I’d love to see a Glenmo 35 at some point.

Quarter Century is, quite obviously, Glenmorangie’s 25 year old offering.  It’s price, while perhaps a tad extravagant for most wallets, is reflective of its coveted status at the top of the line.  I can’t help but think, though, that LVMH could have knocked about $100 off the price if it wasn’t served up in this ornate ‘perfume bottle’ snugged inside a beautiful massive glossy wooden box, complete with hard foam lining and a snazzy l’il booklet.  Yes…we all like good presentation and sexy aesthetics, but at the end of the day – when the bottle is empty – I can’t drink the box.  It simply becomes landfill.  Or an expensive (and really big) paperweight.

But let’s talk about whisky now, and forget about the baggage (even if it is a Louis Vuitton).

This is whisky with an almost universal appeal.  It is smooth as silk and almost as sweet as a first love.  Technically flawless, really.  There’s a balance here that could ensnare the non-whisky drinker and also please the discerning palate.  It’s a simple drink, but it’s very well made.  Sounds great, yeah?

Well…yes and no.  Infinite respect for the craft that went into creating this whisky, but I can’t help but feel a little underwhelmed with the lack of real personality and multi-dimensionality.  Big money should be rewarded with a big whisky.  We’re not quite there with this one.  Not too far off, but also not quite there.  I think the 43% abv is probably the major Achilles heel.  At 46%…now we’re talking.  At cask strength…I can’t even imagine.

Good dram though.  I certainly wouldn’t refuse a drop.  

Nose:  A neat profile built on orange and peach.  Vanilla and clean hardwoods.  Putty.  A touch of wax.  Good white chocolate with mild cranberry notes and some lemon.  Soft white-fleshed fruits and green grapes.  A smooth white dough note across all of it.  Very mild spices.  Maybe some muted lemon.

Palate:  Sugar cookies or vanilla cake.  More soft fruits with syrup or honey.  Mild ginger and faint dustings of allspice.  Oranges.  Very light (too light, actually) but…still tasty.

Thoughts:  The best Glenmorangie I’ve yet met (and certainly kicks the hell out the Pride release which retailed at about 10x the price).  This is very much an easy drinker, but is almost a little too easy.  I’d hoped for a bit more complexity and challenge.  Oh well.  A lovely drink either way.


– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  Curt

1 thought on “Glenmorangie Quarter Century Review

  1. Jeff

    Another nice review – and partly because it’s very frank – but not cruel – about the limitations of the whisky and what could be improved. This certainly sounds like an attempt at a “stately dram” and like many of them, such as Blue Label, a lot of fuss is spent on the trappings when what truly makes it important (and certainly not always a failure in that regard) is what’s inside.


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