Scotch By Nino Marchetti / August 18, 2017 Glenmornagie Astar is a well regarded Scotch whisky that initially debuted back in 2008 as one of this distillery’s first so-called “artisan cask” experiments. At the time, this non-age statement expression was aged in “slow growth, air seasoned, heavily toasted, lightly charred, ex-bourbon, American oak barrels.” It sold well, eventually becoming virtually impossible to find at retail. It is now back from Glenmorangie as a new release.This whisky, according to those behind it, is aged in casks made from slow-growth oak trees from the Ozark mountains of Missouri. Staves were cut from these oaks to the distillery’s exact specifications. Then, they were left to season in the open air for at least two years and, after being coopered into casks, they were toasted. Following this they were filled with bourbon for at least four years before being dumped and shipped to Scotland to be filled with Glenmorangie new make spirit.Glenmorangie’s Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation & Whisky Stocks, Dr Bill Lumsden, is said to have long desired to bring Astar back for another release cycle, but in order to do so he had to wait for new casks to be made and whisky aging to occur. What’s resulted with this new whisky is a 52.5% ABV bottling that’s priced around £74, or about $95 USD. It should be available at least in the UK starting in September, and you’ll find official tasting notes for it at the end of this story.“At Glenmorangie we are always searching for perfection – and Astar’s first release, entirely matured in our designer casks, was a momentous step on our journey,” said Lumsden in a prepared statement. “I’m delighted to be able to share the 2017 release with more single malt lovers – and to celebrate with them the whisky’s wonderfully creamy, spicy aromas and silky tastes of soft fruit smothered with vanilla custard.”Aroma: Rich, sweet and fruity with fresh bright floral top notes. At full strength, the aroma is rich in butterscotch and honey, drizzled with fresh mint and a burst of coconut. The nose is full of citrus: freshly squeezed lemons fill the nose. With water, the sweetness intensifies. White sugar, lemon meringue, then creamy and luscious sweet fruits: pineapple, pears and peaches in vanilla ice-cream.Taste: The mouth-feel is deliciously smooth, rich and creamy, full of sumptuous sweet and fruity flavours. The taste is exceptionally well-rounded and balanced. Initially crème-brulée emerges with more tropical and stone fruits. Apricots smothered with vanilla custard. Hazelnuts in soft buttery fudge mix with some clove spiciness and toasted oak. Shortly after, the palate is gently cleansed by a hint of cooling mint and fresh menthol.Finish: Long and smooth with a lingering mix of honey and almond, coconut ice and traces of aniseed.