Another rare find from the Glenmorangie is the Astar (gaelic for "journey") which is currently not available at the LCBO, but was brought to me from the UK. The Astar is aged in specially selected and dried young white oak from Tennessee, without finishing in any other type of barrel. It is non-chill filtered and bottled at an impressive 57.1 percent abv.
Nose: Smoky and spicy, cinnamon, fennel and hints of fresh apple, strawberry, and vanilla cream.
Palate: Spicy, floral and smoky, with notes of raisin, bitter chocolate and espresso.
Finish: Quite hot with bold oak and a long sustained finish.
Adding water is advisable to open up such a potent malt, and this produces a sweeter nose of chocolate, vanilla and orange peel. The palate with water is more oaky, floral and creamy.
Overall: This is another impressively complex malt from a distillery that continues to produce unique variations on its distinctive flavour profile of smoke, floral, vanilla and gentle fruitiness. For those who already appreciate some of these malts (such as the Signet, Quinta Ruban, or Nectar d'or), the Astar is very much the bright, bold, "cask strength" cousin and worth snapping up if you are shopping abroad.