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Friday 17 May 2024

GLENMORANGIE'S CELLAR GROWS

 Huge expansion in glenmorangie whiskies

A SAMPLE OF EARLY GLENMORANGIE EXPRESSIONS

As reported earlier, Glenmorangie is leaving no stone unturned in furthering new concepts and variations in producing radically different expressions. They have thought about food as art as well as mixology, an overlap between mediums to create unique experiences is a space that artists around the world are trying to explore.

Their apparently whimsical project explore how people consume whisky and the shifting trends in the space. With bright colour blocking and traditional it juxtaposes old-world luxury with modern-day trends to encapsulate how people like to drink through flowing movements.

The narrative of the last few years has been around romanticising life. Taking time to enjoy the little things and slowing down the world’s frenetic pace to truly savour the act of being alive. These experiences are reflected in Glenmorangie’s ever-developing projects, from luxury single malt brands to the affordable.

Most Scotch whisky is made from ingredients that seem mass produced and fetched into the distillery. It’s inside where the wizard does his magic. There’s undeniably a bit of artistry and craftsmanship that goes into the process, transforming those raw ingredients into the spirit that will eventually grace the shelf.

Like most distilleries in Great Britain, the Glenmorangie distillery halted production between 1931 > 1936 and between 1941 > 1945, but was back to full capacity by 1948. Within just a couple of years, the demand had dramatically increased and in 1977 the distillery doubled its capacity from two stills to four, and doubled again in 1990 to a total of eight. In the 1980s, the distillery purchased 600 acres of land surrounding the facility to preserve their water supply.

Throughout all this history, the Macdonald family had retained ownership of the distillery; but in 2004, the French spirits company LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton SE purchased the distillery outright. Until this point, the company had focussed on their flagship spirit, but the new owners brought redesigned curved bottles and the desire to experiment with different flavours and barrels for aging their spirit.

Glenmorangie has been the best selling single malt in Scotland since 1983, and globally they hold 6% of the total single malt whisky market.

GLENMORANGIE’S FIRST BOUTIQUE IS AT HEATHROW T2

Moët Hennessy Travel Retail open 1st Glenmorangie boutique at Heathrow Airport Oct.2023 with Dufry

Taking travellers on a ‘sensory journey’ that ‘celebrates the brand’s imagination’, the boutique’s space is designed in oak and sports an orange hue, in line with Glenmorangie’s signature whiskies and the casks in which they are aged.

Glenmorangie’s Highland surroundings and its single malt’s fluidity are then reflected in technicolour curving linework, while copper accents and ‘bold’ depictions of the brand’s icon, the giraffe, nod to its ‘towering’ stills.

In the boutique, passengers will be able to get their hands on a selection of rare and experimental Glenmorangie single malts, masterminded by Dr Bill Lumsden, the distillery’s director of whisky creation.


In addition to Glenmorangie’s full travel retail range, visitors can purchase Glenmorangie Tuiga 25 Year Old, Glenmorangie 25 Years Old Pommard Cask Finish and Glenmorangie Sonoma-Cutrer Reserve 25 Year Old as long as they are available. More bottings of a similar nature, but not identical, have been released in the following months, some of which are described infra. 

The Tuiga was released as a celebratory bottling for the Monaco Yacht Club in 2021, with an extremely limited production run. The Sonoma-Cutrer Reserve, meanwhile, was finished in Chardonnay wine casks with only 1,000 bottles produced. These are all exclusive to the store and stocked alongside the brand’s full travel retail range.

Bottle engraving services will be available for premium bottles in the boutique, and beyond whisky buying, visitors are also invited to stop by for a cocktail at the boutique’s ‘luxurious’ bar.


GLENMORANGIE DEBUTS POMMARD WINE CASK FINISH AT HEATHROW

Glenmorangie Pommard Cask Finish was made available exclusively at Glenmorangie’s boutique at Heathrow Airport Terminal 2, where consumers can try a range of whisky experiences including food pairings, mixology and tastings.

Glenmorangie Pommard Cask Finish is the result of one of the producer’s first experiments with prestigious Pommard red wine casks. Inspired by the intense, fruity wines which emerge from that renowned appellation in Burgundy, France, this 25-year-old single malt is contained within just 1,000 bottles globally.

The appellation in Burgundy’s Côte de Beaune takes its name from Pomona, the Roman goddess of abundance, known for protecting and cultivating fruit trees. It is contained within an oak presentation box, decorated with illustrations of vines which come together in a depiction of Pomona herself.

The red wines of Pommard were among Glenmorangie Director of Whisky Creation, Bill Lumsden’s favourite wines in the world. Hoping to bring their classic, fruity red burgundy notes to Glenmorangie, he first started experimenting with Pommard wine casks around 2008. Created from a small number of casks, and with just 1,000 bottles available, Glenmorangie Pommard Cask Finish is truly one of the most fabulous and delicious wine-cask finishes ever to emerge from Glenmorangie.

On first tasting, one will hardly believe its complexity. The aroma is very perfumed, with notes of lemon sherbet, plums, cherries and honey. The taste is like a basket of fruits: red, juicy apples, honeydew melon, crystallised ginger and a hint of milk chocolate. This is a delectable whisky that global travellers will surely savour and enjoy.

As stated, the Glenmorangie Boutique at Heathrow T2 opened in October 2023, providing travellers with an opportunity to explore Glenmorangie’s range of signature and exclusive single malts from the Highland distillery. Whisky lovers can find Glenmorangie Pommard Cask Finish there now; it will fetch up at other select travel retail outlets later this year.

Initially matured in ex-bourbon casks for 10 years, the whisky was then reracked into Pommard red wine French oak casks for a secondary maturation period of 15 years. The use of Pommard red wine casks is a first for the distillery. Located in Côte de Beaune, Pommard is an appellation known for producing bold and rich wines using Pinot Noir grapes.

This Glenmorangie 25 Year Old, limited to just 1,000 bottles, was bottled at 51.6% ABV, and has an RRP of £2,100 (~£2,650).

NEW HIGHLAND MALT ADDED TO CORE RANGE

Glenmorangie has unveiled the Triple Cask Reserve, the latest addition to its Highland single malt range. Taking inspiration from the landscape of the Scottish Highlands, the distillery has used three types of casks for a harmony of subtly spiced flavours. Regrettably, the ABV follows the unhappy Glenmorangie ABV 40% strength policy, a bane if there ever was one.

The Triple Cask Reserve has been aged in bourbon, rye, and charred oak casks. Tasting notes supplied by Glenmorangie highlight “fruity aromas... subtly cut through with spice.”

By uniting these three different cask types in the Triple Cask Reserve Glenmorangie has created a deeply harmonious whisky. Using bourbon and new charred oak, they celebrate our whisky’s classic, fruity sweetness. Laced with the savoury notes and subtle spice of rye whisky casks — seldom used at Glenmorangie — this whisky brings a new balance of flavours to their core range.

Inspired by the Highlands’ natural splendour, its luscious aromas of pear, candied orange peel, and honeysuckle and tastes of vanilla, maple syrup, and clove promise to delight everyone who tries this delicious single malt.”

For 180 years, Glenmorangie’s whisky creators have found creative ways to make their whiskies unique such as using tall, spacious stills and selecting distinct types of cask.

Glenmorangie Triple Cask Reserve 40% ABV (RRP £33) is currently available in the UK, Germany, France, the US, and South Africa.

THE TASTING NOTES

COLOUR : Paprika

AROMA : Luscious and tropical, with a combination of pears,vanilla, candied orange peel, honeysuckle, grapefruit and pear-flavour boiled sweets. Some gentle spices are present, such as cinnamon, clove and nutmeg, followed by more luscious sweetness.

TASTE: The mouthfeel is creamy and viscous, with a burst of creme brulée, cherry chocolate, fudge, tangy orange sherbet, clove, sweet chilli, and tropical fruits. Then comes the influence from the oak wood, with maple syrup, almond marzipan and subtle spices.

FINISH: Rich, sweet, spicy and almost chewy in nature.

SUMMATION: A good buy, but would have been a classic at 46% ABV.

THE NECTAR 16 YO BOURBON & SWEET WHITE WINE CASKS 46% ABV

Inspired by his memory of entering a French pastry shop, Dr Bill Lumsden first brought a whisky of dessert-like complexity to life in Glenmorangie in The Nectar D’Or, a 12 YO expression that was finished for two years in Sauternes wine casks. It suddenly went NAS, before reappearing as a 12 YO. Now, he has taken its swirls of sweet scents and spice to new heights of deliciousness, in the award-winning Glenmorangie The Nectar. Aged longer, for 16 years, in an enhanced combination of bourbon and sweet white wine casks, this new whisky is even more sumptuous and complex.

For extra depth and creaminess, silky Glenmorangie aged for 14 years in bourbon casks was selected. The whisky was then finished for two more years in a new combination of sweet white wine casks and bottled without chill filtration.

Sauternes and Monbazillac casks from France bring sumptuous notes of pastry, brioche, meringue and baked apples. Moscatel casks from Spain offer sweet, syrupy dessert-like notes. And Tokaji casks from Hungary, add white chocolate, almond and honeycomb flavours to their creation.

Maturation Mastery

At the heart of Glenmorangie's ethos lies the belief that maturation is an art form. The Nectar 16 Years Old is a prime example of this philosophy. Aged for a sweet sixteen years, the whisky is given the time it needs to develop a complexity that captivates the senses.

For extra depth and creaminess, silky Glenmorangie aged for 14 years in bourbon casks was selected. The whisky was then finished for two more years in a new combination of sweet white wine casks.

Among its distinguished offerings, Glenmorangie The Nectar 16 Years Old 46% stands out as a testament to the distillery's commitment to craftsmanship and innovation. It is a masterpiece that unfolds the passage of time and the artistry of maturation.

THE TASTING NOTES

Pour a dram of Glenmorangie The Nectar 16 Years Old, sit back and wait a while as the dram opens up to satiate you in every way.

NOSE: you'll be greeted by a bouquet that is both floral and fruity. Notes of honey, apricot, and vanilla intertwine, setting the stage for what promises to be a delightful tasting experience.

PALATE: On the palate, the whisky unfolds with a symphony of flavours. The influence of oak barrels is evident, bringing forth rich, warm notes of toffee, oak spices, and a hint of citrus. The mouthfeel is smooth and velvety, a testament to the careful maturation process that Glenmorangie is renowned for.

FINISH: The finish is long and lingering, leaving a sweet and spicy trail that invites you to savor the moment. It's a whisky that evolves on the palate, revealing new nuances with each sip.

Craftsmanship in Every Drop

Glenmorangie's commitment to craftsmanship is reflected not only in the maturation process but also in the distillation. The Nectar 16 Years Old is distilled in the tallest stills in Scotland, a feature that contributes to the light and floral character for which Glenmorangie is celebrated. It is indeed a whisky for connoisseurs.

Glenmorangie The Nectar 16 Years Old is a whisky that speaks to the connoisseur, the one who appreciates the nuance and depth that only time can impart. It's a bottle that deserves a place in the collection of any whisky enthusiast, a timeless expression of the art of Scotch whisky making.

SUMMATION: In the vast landscape of Scotch whisky, Glenmorangie The Nectar 16 Years Old 46% stands tall as a shining example of elegance and maturation. From the tranquil Highlands to the glass in your hand, this whisky invites you to embark on a journey of flavour and sophistication. So, whether you're a seasoned whisky aficionado or a curious explorer, savoring a dram of Glenmorangie The Nectar 16 Years Old is an experience that will leave a lasting impression. Cheers to the artistry of Glenmorangie and the rich heritage it brings to each bottle.

A TALE OF TOKYO 46% ABV

Double Gold winner at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2023

Glenmorangie has launched the fourth bottling in their annual Tales series - the Glenmorangie A Tale of Tokyo. This has seen Dr. Bill Lumsden, the Director of Whisky Creation at Glenmorangie, using rare Japanese mizunara oak for the famous single malt brand for the first time. The whisky from these casks has been married with traditional American oak ex-bourbon cask and ex-sherry cask stock to create the perfect balance.

The packaging for a Tale of Tokyo features a collaboration with Japanese artist Yamaguchi Akira and shows a Tokyo street scene. The Tales series has proved popular since launching in 2020 with A Tale of Cake and followed in subsequent years by A Tale of Winter and A Tale of the Forest. Glenmorangie A Tale of Tokyo is bottled at 46% ABV and will retail worldwide for £76 per bottle.

Combining bright, bold flavours with soft sweetness, Glenmorangie A Tale of Tokyo is a Highland single malt Scotch whisky as full of delicious sensory contrasts as Tokyo itself.

Inspired to capture Tokyo’s many sensory dimensions and to experiment with rare Japanese Mizunara oak casks for the first time, Dr Bill united Glenmorangie part-aged in Mizunara oak with whisky that had spent time in both sherry and bourbon casks, for a unique limited-edition perfectly balanced with Glenmorangie’s house-style.

In short, Glenmorangie’s A Tale of Tokyo limited edition is a harmonious symphony of Mizunara, Bourbon, and Sherry elegance

Glenmorangie’s exceptional expression, bottled at 46% ABV on the 20th of July 2023, unfolds a tale of complexity and elegance through its unique maturation journey in the disparate casks. A harmonious symphony of flavours awaits those fortunate enough to experience this limited edition, a celebration of Glenmorangie’s exploration into the artistry of cask influence.

Maturation Mastery:

At the heart of A Tale of Tokyo lies the mastery of cask maturation, a process that defines the character of Glenmorangie’s expressions. For this limited edition, the spirit was entrusted to a trio of casks, each contributing its distinct personality to the whisky. Mizunara, known for its rarity and influence, Bourbon, with its vanilla and caramel notes, and Sherry, imparting rich, fruity undertones, collaborated to weave a narrative that captures the essence of Tokyo’s diverse and dynamic spirit.

All these limited editions are being bottled at 46% ABV. At this ABV, A Tale of Tokyo greets the senses with an aromatic dance of vanilla, oak, and a touch of exotic spice from the Mizunara cask. The first sip reveals a symphony of flavours—a delicate balance of Mizunara’s sandalwood and coconut, the sweet embrace of Bourbon’s caramel and vanilla, and the depth of Sherry’s dried fruits and dark chocolate. The interplay of these cask influences creates a whisky that is both intricate and harmonious. The whisky fuses notes of pepper with bitter cherries and mouth-watering orange zest with incense and sweet oak – a unique and complex flavour profile resulting from the recipe of Mizunara oak, Bourbon and Sherry casks.

As the whisky lingers on the palate, there’s a gradual unveiling of complexity, with whispers of tropical fruits, a hint of nuttiness, and a gentle warmth that lingers in the finish. A Tale of Tokyo invites enthusiasts to savor the layers of flavor, each contributing to the overarching narrative of this un-chill-filtered limited edition release.

THE TASTING NOTES:

ON THE EYE: The colour is coppery gold

NOSE: The nose is rich and savoury with initial aromas of dark chocolate, incense and sandalwood. Underneath are further aromas of caramel, toffee, vanilla custard and malted biscuits with hints of cocoa powder, cinnamon and orange.

PALATE: On the palate this whisky feels rich, bold and heavy. The intense notes from the nose strike first again, especially the chocolate and sandalwood.  There is also something herbal and menthol-like that evolves early on. Then comes the caramel and toffee sweetness and this creates superb balance. Some citrus fruit notes also come through well - think of orange oil and candied peel especially. More subtle notes take their time to develop but add incredible depth and complexity - think of cocoa powder, gingerbread, bitter cherry and a hint of aniseed.

FINISH: The finish is long and remains bold. The sweeter elements slowly fade and this allows plenty of oak and warming woody spices to shine. There is a slightly resinous feel and this accentuates notes of rancio, cedarwood and sandalwood. Pinches of cocoa and white pepper make the woodiness pop and also aids the length of finish

Limited Edition Legacy:

Bottled on the 20th of July 2023, A Tale of Tokyo is not merely a whisky; it is a collector’s gem—a limited edition that captures a moment in time. The bottle, adorned with symbolic imagery and a nod to Tokyo’s vibrant culture, is a testament to the exclusivity of this expression.

SUMMATION:

Glenmorangie A Tale of Tokyo Limited Edition is a journey into the heart of cask influence, a tale that unfolds sip by sip. From Mizunara’s exotic allure to Bourbon’s comforting embrace and Sherry’s rich tapestry, this release is a celebration of the diverse and dynamic spirit of Tokyo. For those fortunate enough to acquire a bottle, it is an invitation to embark on a sensory adventure, where each nuance tells a chapter of the tale that is Glenmorangie’s exploration into the world of whisky craftsmanship.

GLENMORANGIE PALO CORTADO 46% ABV 12 YO

Finished in the rarest sherry casks

This deeply sweet and nutty small-batch release is the first Glenmorangie ever to be finished in rare Palo Cortado sherry casks. Aged for 12 years, it brings a new elegance to the Highland Distillery’s delicate style.

Why is Palo Cortado a rare sherry? It is a sherry initially destined to be a Fino or Amontillado sherry which feature a yeast “flor” at the top of the liquid in the barrel. The flor is a thick layer of yeast that forms on the top surface of the sherry while in the cask, providing a biological maturation aspect to the wine. Without a flor, the sherry will mature in an oxidative manner, such as the ever-popular oloroso sherry. During maturation, when a wine that initially was maturing under a flor (fino, amontillado) inexplicably loses its flor, it begins to mature in an oxidative manner, turning into a Palo Cortado sherry. Palo Cortado’s therefore possess attributes of both flor-matured (bright, fresh, and dry) and oxidation-matured (nutty & darker fruits) sherries. Apparently, this accidental flor loss and formation of Palo Cortado-type sherry only happens to a few percent of all fine/amontillado sherry produced in Jerez, making it a rare cask finishing indeed.

The single malt spent its first eight years mellowing in American white oak bourbon casks. Then, delighted by that whisky’s smooth, soft character, Dr Lumsden was inspired to finish for four years a select batch in Palo Cortado casks, the rarest variety of sherry created purely by chance and never before used at Glenmorangie.

Enchanted by Palo Cortado’s sweet and nutty flavours, the good Dr sourced a handful of its casks, which are incredibly hard to come by. He filled them with the whisky, imagining the unparalleled depth and complexity they might bring Glenmorangie. Finished in these deliciously wonderful casks, this creation developed all the rich elegance dreamed of.

Uniquely complex and nutty, it layers dark plum depths with milk-chocolate richness, Brazil nuts and sweet spice.

THE TASTING NOTES

NOSE: Light, sweet, and fresh. Tinned peaches, shredded coconut, light runny honey, caramel toffee, faint whiff of golden raisins from the bulk bins. As some smell and taste in colours, this is very much in the golden region of the rainbow.

PALATE: Quite syrupy and mouth coating. Fruit cup syrup, blonde brownie, and light caramel sauce. Raspberry white chocolate vanilla scone. Perfectly measured dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. Touch of cooked dates, golden raisins, and the barest amount of indistinct nuttiness. Retronasal or a discreet burp reveals an orange citrus burst.

FINISH: The finish is medium length, pleasant, and somewhat drying, with sweetness and baking spices trailing off elegantly before the dryness makes you want to refresh your palate with another lick of this delectable whisky.

DICHOTOMY: I’m not sure if my taste buds are off, or if the official tasting notes on the label are wrong. Nutty with milk chocolate, spice, and dark plums? These notes are more akin to the common Oloroso sherry notes and are perhaps meant to pull someone into buying this Palo Cortado release with notes that are typically reserved for Oloroso.700 ml in the EU but 750 ml in the USA, SA and Canada.

SUMMATION:

This Glenmorangie Palo Cortado very much leans away from the oxidative Oloroso type and towards the brighter, fresher, and drier Fino/Amontillado vein of sherry. The official tasting notes on the Glenmorangie website are more detailed and are closer to what one experiences. Even so, this is amongst the best releases in the past five odd years and most enjoyable. 

GLENMORANGIE TUIGA 25 YO SINGLE CASK

Honours Legendary Sailing Yacht

This vibrant and meltingly smooth single cask whisky is our delicious tribute to Tuiga’s Scottish heritage and her timeless beauty. Aged in a bourbon cask in the Highlands, as Glenmorangie has been for generations, our rare limited edition showcases Scottish craftsmanship at its best – just as Tuiga does. Fittingly, this 25-year-old whisky was distilled the same year as Tuiga's marvellous restoration. Its scents of jasmine and lemon blossom, and tastes of peaches, mango and toffee apple will be enjoyed by whisky lovers and ocean lovers alike.   Dr Bill Lumsden     Director of Distilling and Whisky Creation Glenmorangie Company

On the shelves at ‘The Wondrous Glenmorangie Boutique’ and other high-value retailers, this extremely limited edition expression was first available to the public on 23 June 2021. The Glenmorangie TUIGA is a single cull bottling from a bourbon barrel hand-picked by Dr Lumsden. 251 bottles were sold at € 1909 each through the LVMH Private Client Team on 08 September. The current price is € 2340.

A spectacular Glenmorangie, part of their Bond House No.1 Collection which is a series of releases from Glenmorangie's original 19th century warehouse. Bond House No.1 was transformed into the distillery's Stillhouse in order to increase production capacity the year after this was distilled, making it one of the final vintages to be warhoused there.


The classic sailing yacht Tuiga was crafted in Scotland more than a century ago and is still celebrated as an icon of her shape and class. And with this meltingly smooth and vibrant 25-year-old whisky, the Highland Distillery deliciously reflects her enduring grace. Released during Monaco Classic Week, a unique celebration of traditional sailing and motorboats established by the Yacht Club de Monaco.

Glenmorangie’s whisky creators have been dreaming up delicious single malt whiskies in the Highlands of Scotland, aged in some of the world’s finest casks. Inspired by the Scottish craftsmanship displayed in Tuiga, this single cask whisky is testament to their own skill and finesse.

Tuiga's story began in 1909, when she was crafted at William Fife's renowned boatyard, on Scotland's Firth of Clyde. In 1995 she was acquired by the Yacht Club de Monaco, presided over by Prince Albert II of Monaco. She was meticulously restored, so that she could race again as the club’s flagship. The club has long been a partner of Glenmorangie’s parent company Moét Hennessy, sharing its values of elegance, tradition and art de vivre. As part of their ongoing collaboration, this hand-selected deliciously elegant whisky was distilled the same year as Tuiga’s reawakening began. Aged in a single bourbon cask in keeping with Scotch whisky tradition, the highly limited release reflects Tuiga’s Scottish origins and her classic lines.

                                 

THE TASTING NOTES: 70 cl; 52.2% ABV Distilled 1995 Released 2021

ON THE EYE: Colour Deep Amber, evoking the richness of a forthcoming sensory adventure. The presence of golden reflections attests to time spent in oak casks, unveiling exceptional maturity.

NOSE: Elegant scents of mint and jasmine ripple through notes of pears, apples and lemon blossom's gentle zest. Then fragrant incense comes to the fore with Glenmorangie’s classic butter candy tones. A splash of water brings top notes of roses and carnations, laced with wild mint.

PALATE: Meltingly smooth and buttery, with vibrant citrus and a tropical whirl of ripe peaches, sweet mango and pear, cut through with passion fruit’s tang. Then notes of toffee apple and vanilla glide gracefully on to the palate with hints of sweet chilli and ginger.

FINISH: Eucalyptus and vanilla sweetness are delicately touched by oak tannins.

SUMMATION: This exceptional single malt is the missing link between elegance and sophistication. Glenmorangie "Tuiga" 25 Years achieves a perfect balance between the sweetness of fruits, the warmth of oak, and the complexity of aromas, confirming its status as a gem in the world of refined whiskies. Thanks to its exceptional aging, this single malt can be stored for another 10 to 15 years in its original wooden crate without compromising its character. Pair it with a slice of foie gras, a lemon meringue tart, smoked salmon, or a selection of refined sushi.

ABOUT GLENMORANGIES BARREL-SELECT WHISKY RELEASES

Glenmorangie’s Barrel Select Release series comprises small-batch bottlings exploring the flavours which arise from different cask finishes. The first release in the series was the indulgently sweet and rich Glenmorangie Malaga Cask Finish, a 12-year-old whisky finished in Spain’s Malaga wine casks. The second release was Glenmorangie Cognac Cask Finish, an elegantly oaky and fruity 13-year-old whisky, finished in Cognac casks. Glenmorangie Palo Cortado Finish was the third release in the series. This deeply sweet and nutty 12-year-old bottling was Glenmorangie’s first ever to be finished in rare Palo Cortado sherry casks. Nutty and spicy, Glenmorangie Amontillado Finish is the series’ fourth release, and is shared exclusively with members of The Whisky Club, Australia, visitors to the distillery’s brand home and online to UK customers at Glenmorangie.com.

GLENMORANGIE CALVADOS CASK FINISH 12 YO 46% ABV

Finished in the finest Calvados du Pays d’Auge casks

The latest release from the select cask series reveals a uniquely fruity and floral whisky – it's their first ever finished in French Calvados casks. Calvados is a French spirit distilled from apples (and occasionally pears.)

The Glenmorangie Calvados Cask Finish is the fifth release in the Barrel Select series of small-batch single malts, which explores the flavours that arise from different cask finishes. Entwining scents of jasmine with baked apples and pears, this rare 12-year-old bottling offers new mellow depths to Glenmorangie’s signature fruity tones.

Led by their acclaimed Director of Whisky Creation, they craft their delicate, fruity spirit in stills as tall as a giraffe to allow more space for taste and aroma, then age it in the world’s finest casks. This expression is not un-chill-filtered.

In this experiment, he took a whisky which had spent more than 10 years ageing in American white oak bourbon casks, for Glenmorangie’s elegant style. He transferred that whisky into casks which, for 20 years, had held Calvados du Pays d’Auge, from Normandy, in France.

Soft and delectably rich, Glenmorangie Calvados Cask Finish unites mellow fruits of baked apples and pears with subtle notes of jasmine, narcissus and vanilla.

THE TASTING NOTES: 70 cl; 46% ABV, Un-chillfiltered, E150A Added

NOSE: Intensely fragrant with strong aromas of baked apples, pears, vanilla and almonds - behind it a slight waxy note - with a little water, floral aromas of daffodils and jasmine, paired with heather honey and sweet pastries

PALATE: Oily and spicy with a wealth of sweet notes - clearly baked pears, candied apples and marzipan, behind them star anise and praline with some lemon balm, eucalyptus and a touch of charcoal; jasmine, narcissus, and a hint of vanilla.

FINISH: Long-lasting finish; delicately rich, leaving a lingering impression of mellow fruitiness and understated floral elegance.

GLENMORANGIE AMONTILLADO FINISH 12 YO 46% ABV

Small-batch limited edition

Glenmorangie’s whisky makers are endlessly experimental on their mission to dream up delicious single malt whiskies for more people to enjoy. They craft their delicate, fruity spirit in stills as tall as an adult giraffe to allow more space for taste and aroma, then age it in some of the world’s finest casks.

A long-time fan of Amontillado sherry, Dr Lumsden has always adored its nuttier, spicier style. Years ago, he began to imagine a unique, delicious whisky, which would entwine its casks’ distinctive flavours through the distillery’s gentle, honeyed style. But since such casks are hard to come by, opportunities are few and far between.

Eventually, he sourced a precious handful of Amontillado casks. Then he filled them with a soft, mellow whisky which had spent eight years in American white oak bourbon barrels. Transferring it into the Amontillado casks, he left it to age for another four years, until it achieved the flavours he had wanted. Finished in this way, the whisky winds sherried hints of cashews, clove, ginger, leather, a tanginess brought about by the 46% ABV, and dried fruit round Glenmorangie’s classic notes of peaches, orange and lemon balsam.

He hand-selected the finest of those precious casks to be bottled for the Distillery’s Barrel Select Release, adding he had always loved the nuttier, spicier tastes of Amontillado – his favourite style of sherry. It’s such a delight to bring its casks’ sherried influences to the whisky’s signature delicate style for this special release. It is the fourth release in the Barrel Select Release series of small-batch single malts, which has also included a 13-year-old Cognac cask-finished expression.

It has been crafted for The Whisky Club, Australia with very limited availability via Glenmorangie’s online shop, shipping to the UK only, and at their Distillery Visitor Centre shop in Tain.

                     

THE TASTING NOTES: 70 Cl, non chill-filtered, 46% ABV

ON THE EYE: Colour Bright Amber.

NOSE: Scents of rose, carnation and jasmine entwine with fragrant candle wax and hints of cashew nuts. A splash of water releases Amontillado’s classic dried fruit notes, followed by peaches in syrup.

PALATE: A soft and mouthcoating texture is wonderfully balanced by effervescent and spicy notes. Clove and ginger find harmony with Glenmorangie’s signature citrus tastes of orange sherbet, lemon balsam and eucalyptus oil, with undertones of walnut oil and leather.

FINISH: Slow and lingering, with notes of honey and aniseed. 

GLENMORANGIE THE INFINITA 18 YO 43% ABV

Glenmorangie has unveiled a new look and new name for its core-range 18-year-old whisky. Now titled Infinita 18 Years Old, the Highland single malt whisky retains its signature flavour profile from Glenmorangie's characteristic distillation process and its maturation in ex-bourbon and ex-oloroso sherry casks. Alongside its new name, Infinita’s packaging has undergone a striking transformation. It now boasts a vivid blue gift box adorned with sophisticated linework and copper highlights, adding a touch of elegance to its presentation.

The Infinita encapsulates every element of Glenmorangie's house style in perfect harmony and is their most deliciously complex creation. A favourite with whisky lovers old and new, it seamlessly unites subtle sherry-cask hints and woody notes from its great age, with their distillery’s signature soft and fruity character. The result is a beautifully balanced single malt so multi-layered, it’s as if you are drinking a different whisky every time.

There are aromas of honey, vanilla, narcissus and jasmine, and tastes of figs, dates, nuts, gentle spices and more. Fans of Glenmorangie 18 Years Old can rest assured that the wondrous whisky is unchanged. In fact, as its new name suggests, Glenmorangie Infinita is deliciousness without end.

The world of Glenmorangie spans an endless kaleidoscope of tastes and aromas. Wondrous and ever-surprising, The Infinita embodies them all. Each dazzling drop of this 18 Year Old expression showcases the endless imagination of its Director of Whisky Creation– Glenmorangie’s multi-award-winning whisky maker.

With each sip, a different flavour greets you. Find honeyed notes rippling across pools of caramelised orange. Or gardens of jasmine and lemon blossom, touched by the breeze. Or a rhapsody of warm figgy richness and orange marmalade depths, brushed by wisps of campfire smoke…

THE TASTING NOTES: 18 YO, 70 Cl, 43% ABV, £130  

ON THE EYES: A warming & delicious honeyed gold.

NOSE: Tangy, caramelised citrus fruit aromas combine with a floral fragrance a blend of honeysuckle, narcissus and jasmine.

PALATE: A soft, oily texture gives way to flavours of nuts and spices, with notes of dates, figs and a hint of wood smoke.

FINISH: Long and enticing. The sweetness of dried fruit, and dryness of Oloroso develop in the aftertaste.

GLENMORANGIE SONOMA-CUTRER RESERVE

Limited edition, 1000 bottles.

Though Glenmorangie’s whisky makers insist they are endlessly creative on their quest to bring delicious single malts to the world, the first part of every story remains the same. Over time, their much celebrated Dr Lumsden toured every wine making country in the world, specifically their vineyards, and noted how these wines were aged and stored to give off their best. Almost immediately, he began to imagine how their casks might bring a sumptuous richness to Glenmorangie’s spirit.

Whenever he felt they would meet prevailing criteria to be tried in the world of whisky, he would place an order for their barrels and store them for use at the optimal time. Boasting Scotland’s tallest stills, whose necks are as high as a giraffe, Glenmorangie invariably distills a relatively delicate spirit, ripe for experimentation.

This is when Dr Lumsden decides which type of casks to use. They then age or finish their whisky in those imported ‘finest’ casks, sourced from far and wide. It was no surprise that in his travels across multiple years, he discovered the prized Chardonnay white wines of the renowned Sonoma-Cutrer winery, in the Sonoma Valley – birthplace of Californian wine. Bold, creamy yet surprisingly subtle, their recent limited edition, Glenmorangie Sonoma-Cutrer Reserve gives whisky lovers old and new a delicious taste of California’s sunlit vineyards. Overflowing with floral, fruity brilliance, this sumptuous 25-year-old Highland single malt Scotch whisky is one of Glenmorangie’s most rare and unique creations. As part of an experiment which may never be repeated, just 1,000 bottles exist.

During the production process, more so the maturation and finish, he felt that he could almost taste the sunshine ripening California’s grapes in the richly delicious Glenmorangie Sonoma-Cutrer Reserve. Swirling with aromas of roses and carnations, and tastes of buttery vanilla, mandarin and pears, it’s as delicious as the whisky that came to mind on first trying Sonoma-Cutrer’s Chardonnay wines ages ago. Finished for 15 years in a small batch of these casks, which have never been used before at Glenmorangie, this single malt is an absolute one-off. Bold and creamy, yet still superbly subtle, it deserves to be enjoyed by whisky lovers old and new.

THE TASTING NOTES: 25 YO, ex-Bourbon cask (10 years), ex-Chardonnay cask (15 Years), ABV 50.4%, Non Chill-Filtered, Natural Colour, £ 1920.

ON THE EYE: Light orange honey,

NOSE: Malt, grapefruit peels, spice, grapey sweetness, earth, cocoa and vanilla cake and Necco. The aroma is very light till water is added, but even then it remains muted.

PALATE: Malty, cocoa, dried fruit, nuts, grapey sweetness and some baking spice with hints of dried apricots, Necco, chalk and plastic. Like the aroma, it’s light and tight till some water is added, and even then it stays light. Medium body and a soft lightly oiled feel.

FINISH: Med-short, Malty dried fruit and spice.

SUMMATION: The Glenmorangie Sonoma-Cutrer Reserve 25 Years is good, better but light. Everything comes through in hints and whispers.

GLENMORANGIE BARREL SELECT RELEASE 13 YO COGNAC CASK FINISH

Second Barrel Select Release

Step into the world of Glenmorangie 13 Year Old Barrel Select Cognac Finish, where Scottish whisky-making tradition meets the mellow charm of French Cognac. Unveiled in August 2021, this expression from the Glenmorangie Distillery brings together the fruit-forward fabulousness of Glenmorangie's single malt with the rich, spicy depth imparted by Cognac casks!

This exceptional single malt Scotch whisky, aged for 13 years, is the realisation of Master Distiller Dr. Bill Lumsden's long-held vision to harmoniously blend the delicate, fruity essence of Glenmorangie with the soft, mellifluous character of Cognac.

Dr. Lumsden, in his pursuit of this unique fusion, faced a challenge: the potent influence of new French oak casks often risked overshadowing Glenmorangie's subtle spirit. His solution was both innovative and inspired. He handpicked casks that had been seasoned over multiple fillings, ensuring a milder wood influence. The whisky was initially aged in ex-bourbon casks for eight years plus, before being finished in the aforenoted Cognac casks for a further four odd years till fully ready and then bottled up at 46% ABV over a year. Evidently, the Cognac casks didn’t provide an even finish across the board and had to be constantly checked for consistency to preclude any off notes before being mixed for pre-bottling routine filtration in the main canister. This careful selection process allowed the casks to impart nuanced flavours, adding an exquisite complexity to the whisky without overwhelming its innate character. At 46% ABV, this small batch release is also presented with no chill-filtration; allowing for a richer mouthfeel and texture.

THE TASTING NOTES 70Cl,  13 YO,  46% ABV,  £75

ON THE EYE: Natural Colour.

NOSE: Apple tart and toffee are delectably deepened by a subtle note of forest floor. Then Glenmorangie's fruity bursts of baked apples, oranges and pears fill the air. A splash of water releases scents of butter candy, more sweet pastry and a touch of beeswax, delicately lightened by mint. A smidge of earthy forest floor and hints of yellow plum and leather.

PALATE: Sweet and almost sparkling, like toffee apples and baked pears scattered with almonds and slices of mandarin orange. That fruitiness is deliciously threaded with clove, star anise, soft hints of leather, buttery biscuits, flaked almonds atop warm pastries and caramelised fruit.

FINISH: Lingering oaky spices and a touch of red fruit sweetness. Long, satisfying, and exquisitely smooth.

Tuesday 14 May 2024

NET ZERO HYDROGEN WHISKY DISTILLING

 GREEN DISTILLATION
Beam Suntory and Supercritical LEAD THE WAY 

In 2021, the WhiskHy project received green innovation project funding from the UK government to carry out feasibility studies for green hydrogen-based decarbonization technology at Beam Suntory-owned distilleries. The funding was awarded through the Green Distilleries competition, which forms part of the Department for Energy Security & Net Zero’s ‘Net Zero Innovation Portfolio’, with the project having made considerable advancements towards zero emission distilling at an industrial scale.

WHAT IS GREEN DISTILLING IN THE WORLD OF SCOTCH?

Whisky has been produced in Scotland for centuries. But with the Scottish Government setting ambitious net zero emissions targets, production methods are evolving for whisky. New projects to decarbonise the industry powered by green hydrogen are gaining traction and offer an exciting future for this historic industry.

Scotland's whisky industry is worth £6.2 billion to the Scottish economy a year. It accounts for more than 25% of the UK’s total food and drink exports. However, production on this scale also requires huge amounts of energy. Scotland’s 148 distilleries consume around 3.7 terawatt hours (TWh) of energy every year.

 While the Scottish Government aims to reach net zero by 2045, the whisky industry seeks to get there five years earlier. To decarbonise by 2040, distilleries must harness zero-emission energy sources. A key solution in this transition will be hydrogen.

 The UK Government has acknowledged the importance of the whisky industry and its switch to clean energy by funding several notable hydrogen projects. Such funding is vital considering the high expense involved with developing this new energy source. Crucially, costs are expected to fall as demand grows.

Clean hydrogen technology could enable the reintroduction of more traditional processes in whisky production. Direct firing boils the whisky to temperatures as high as 1,000°C. However, this process has been abandoned by many distilleries due to the high carbon impact. Nevertheless, using such intense heat results in increased chemical reactions in the liquid, deepening the flavour profile of the finished whisky.

It is believed that achieving these intense temperatures with hydrogen for direct firing processes would improve the taste of whisky. In fact, hydrogen can burn even hotter than the methane traditionally used in the distilling process. Japan’s Beam Suntory expects that achieving higher temperatures in direct firing will further enhance the rich character of its whiskies.

The achievement made at the Yamazaki distillery’s pilot distillery in Japan, marks positive progress for the ‘WhiskHy’ project, funded by UK government’s Green Distilleries Competition. Beam Suntory and Supercritical Solutions Ltd (Supercritical) are celebrating a milestone moment for the WhiskHy project as trials prove that hydrogen is a viable fuel source for direct-fired distillation. The successful trial is a world-first achievement in hydrogen distilling for whisky production.

As part of its Proof Positive sustainability strategy, Beam Suntory says it is committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions across its entire value chain by 2040 and pursuing innovative green technology across its global distilleries to do so. This ambition provided a unique opportunity to partner with Suntory’s Yamazaki team in Japan to carry out the trial at its pilot distillery, which is specifically designed to carry out the innovative research and development.


The successful trial used 100% hydrogen to directly heat the still. A part of the distilled spirit will be casked in Scotland at the Glen Garioch distillery, where it will be quality assessed as it matures. The Glen Garioch distillery recently underwent a £6 million renovation project to reinstate traditional malting floors and a direct-fired still.

‘Direct-firing’ is regarded as a traditional method of distilling, by which a direct flame is used rather than indirect heating by steam coils. This process is key to the WhiskHy project, as it offers the potential to cut carbon emissions by up to 100% if using green hydrogen, thus rendering the process net-zero. Through associated maillard reactions, direct-firing can also enhance spirit quality and depth of character, as evidenced at the Glen Garioch distillery.

As part of Project WhiskHy, Supercritical has advanced its proprietary technology, the first ever ultra-efficient, high pressure electrolyser, which would enable a distillery to produce and store hydrogen on site, powered by local renewable power sources. The development of Supercritical’s electrolyser recently reached a milestone of its own: the establishment of its green hydrogen demonstrator in northeast England, an essential step in the journey to commercial scale deployment.

The WhiskHy project at Beam Suntory’s renowned Yamazaki distillery has been a testament to the engineering prowess and dedication to net zero innovation within the group. This landmark trial not only marks a significant stride in hydrogen fuel advancement but also sets the stage for ongoing progress and collaboration. Their partnership is poised to remove the premium of green hydrogen, leveraging our cutting-edge technology for a sustainable future.”

Beam Suntory is intent on pushing the boundaries of green innovation, with an ambition to achieve net zero emissions across its entire value chain by 2040, and it is through unique collaborative projects such as WhiskHy that they will get there. Thrilled at this new milestone, they look forward to continuing progress with Supercritical in the pursuit of a more sustainable, resilient future for the industry.

The exciting technologies have the potential to kickstart a new clean green whisky industry. The UK has backed the project with £2.9 million in government support, helping businesses seize the opportunities of hydrogen and cut their emissions on the journey to net zero. As for Suntory Spirits Ltd, they have been striving since 1923 to craft such a possibility with a relentless pursuit of perfection and persistent innovation. The whisky business embodies Suntory’s philosophy ‘to inspire the brilliance of life by creating rich experiences for people, in harmony with nature, to coexist with people and to aspire to produce Suntory Whisky with a net zero goal while maintaining the quality craftsmanship of their whiskies.

BEAM SUNTORY ANNOUNCES REBRAND 
TO SUNTORY GLOBAL SPIRITS

Beam Suntory has announced that it is rebranding to become Suntory Global Spirits. The company says this reflects its evolution into a truly global leader across categories in spirits and ready-to-drink cocktails.

The new name is introduced as the company marks 10 years of sustained, profitable growth since Suntory Holdings acquired Beam Inc. in 2014. The company has grown significantly over this time period – from a US$2.5bn company to US$5.5 bn today – and its team has also expanded, now comprised of more than 6,000 employees worldwide.

The rebrand includes the launch of a new website and visual identity that celebrate Suntory Global Spirits’ focus on quality, craftsmanship and sustainability – defining brand attributes connected to and complemented by those of its parent company, Suntory Holdings.

Suntory Global Spirits demonstrates global leadership and premium position in the market, while enabling them to build upon the strong and positive brand recognition that Suntory has worldwide. The dedication that Suntory and Suntory Holdings Management have shown to advancing our culture and business growth – while also preserving the legacy of craftsmanship and interplay of traditions exemplified in brands from Jim Beam to Laphroaig and Maker’s Mark to Yamazaki – is extraordinary. Becoming Suntory Global Spirits is the natural next step in their evolution.

Now is the right moment to deepen the shared passion for the innovation and artistry that deliver incredible experiences through their products and fully unlock their unified advantage across our leading spirits portfolio. Since the acquisition of Beam Inc. in 2014, the company has gone through an incredible transformation to become an even stronger organisation, led by our shared values of Yatte Minahare, Growing for Good and Giving Back to Society.

The company’s new brand platform showcases the art of crafting the highest quality products with attention to and respect for the water and natural ingredients that are vital across its iconic spirits portfolio.

The rebrand is expected to help the company drive value as one global team and focus on key priorities including Scotch whisky,American whiskey, Japanese Spirits, Tequila and ready-to-drink, while providing flexibility for growth in the future.

EXAMPLES OF THE HYDROGEN ECONOMY IN ACTION

Other projects exploring the potential of hydrogen are emerging across Scotland. South of Aberdeen, the Arbikie Distillery’s hydrogen energy system aims to change its production methods. The distillery has added a 1 Megawatt wind turbine to supply renewable energy to an electrolyser that will produce hydrogen from wastewater. The project has secured funding for phases one and two from the UK Government. It will be led by Scottish companies Locogen and Logan Energy.

Meanwhile, on the Isle of Islay off Scotland’s West coast, the Bruichladdich Distillery project HyLaddie has also secured UK Government funding. Using grid electricity, the distillery aims to power electrolysis to produce hydrogen for a specially equipped boiler.

Even the most remote parts of Scotland are exploring the possibilities of this new technology. Green hydrogen is already powering several buildings in Orkney. The HySpirits 2 project will apply dual fuel technology to the Islands’ whisky industry. The European Marine Energy Centre, Edinburgh Napier University, spirits producer Edrington, and Orkney Distilling are partnering to develop a dual-fuel steam boiler. This solution will provide flexibility in energy sources while hydrogen production scales up.

INDUSTRIAL DEMAND FOR HYDROGEN IN SCOTLAND

Scottish business Cochran Boilers is preparing to meet the increasing demand for hydrogen energy. The company is developing a hydrogen-ready boiler to match the capabilities of the fossil fuel boilers it has supplied to distilleries.

Businesses such as these will be essential to the future of hydrogen as demand grows. Currently, a major obstacle to the mass deployment of hydrogen energy is high operating costs. But as demand rises, costs should fall. Many distilleries have chosen to produce hydrogen from renewables on site, for example using wastewater, which drives down operating expenses.

Another potential revenue stream is through the sale of biogenic CO2, a potential byproduct of the hydrogen process. Demand for biogenic CO2 is rising, as it can be used as feedstock in the production of alternative fuels for heavy transportation.

In addition, Scottish Enterprise is supporting the development of 13 low-carbon or renewable hydrogen hubs across Scotland. These hubs will allow distilleries unable to produce hydrogen energy on-site to access reliable supplies. New partnerships are already emerging, such as that between the Cromarty Hydrogen Project and distilleries in Cromarty Firth. It is hoped that the Cromarty project will have a daily green hydrogen production capacity of 20 tonnes by 2025.

Feasibility studies have also demonstrated how hydrogen energy hubs could power other industries in the Cromarty area. Industrial uses include local food production, manufacturing, and industrial heating. As clean hydrogen production grows, whisky won’t be the only Scottish product to go green.