A tasting day with Glenmorangie

Yesterday I spent a great day with the Glenmoranige team (Bill Lumsden and Rachel Barrie) and got to taste some interesting whiskies, including the up coming release of Glenmorangie Pride 1981. So I thought I would share some tasting notes from the day.

Glenmorangie 10 Years Old (old version) 40%

n: Floral citrus, peaches, apricots, a little menthol, white chocolate. Very perfumed, juicy fruits and sweets.

p: V soft, bittersweet tang, vanilla, white chocolate, pears and melon slices.

f: Dries on spices

Glenmorangie Original 40%

[This has the so-called designer casks added to the mix and is chill-filtered at a different temperature]

n: Candy sweets (those cigarette sweets with the red ends), much bigger nose than previous, more ripe fruits and vanillin. With water there is a zingyness, almost balsamic vinegar.

p: More mouth coating, tropical fruit salad, mango and ginger. A slight nuttiness, toasted, sugar-coated almonds.

f: Drying but more lush at the end as well.


Glenmorangie Finealta 46%

[This was a recreation of an old fashioned Glenmo, there’s peated Glenmo in here and more sherry casks. Bill said he had already laid down some peated GM a few years ago, peated to about 15 to 20ppm. Also has some of the designer casks added to the mix]

n: More intense, caramalised pears, spiced orange peel, cherry brandy. The peat is a distant bonfire, very gentle. Has the cigarette sweetie note to it as well. Florals, lilies and jasmine.

p: Mandarin oranges, zingy, almost tangy blood oranges as well. The peat hits the back of the palate. Very intense, Kirch, leathers. With water there is a flinty, stone edge to it.

f: Gentle peat and big lush sweet waves


Mystery G 58.9%

[Turns out this was Bill’s Brazilian cherrywood experiment. 10 Years Old then reracked into small specially made cherrywood casks]

n: Initially it was WTF!!?! seriously unlike anything I have nosed. Marzipan and floor polish. Old violin cases and bow rosin. Cherry liqueur.

p: Menthol and mental, pistachio and more marzipan

f: well it just hung around like a recently cleaner floor

Mystery A

[Not allowed to say too much about this except it might be an Ardbeg from a heavily charred cask. This is a prototype and  ABV is somewhere in the high 50s]

n: coal tar soap, sweet heather, smoked kippers and creamy cullen skink. Sooty edges. There is also BBQ marinade. Rice, black bean sauce and chillies, Char Sui pork.

p: Sweet first and then the soot comes through. Has a slight waxy texture to it as well.

f: Dries out briefly before becoming seriously mouth watering.


Glenmorangie Pride 1981 56.7%

Some quotes from Bill about this new whisky which will sit in the company’s ultra prestige range:

“Rachel and I were tasting all the casks to see what we had and there seems to have been a spike in the casks in 1981. Don’t know why this happened. There was no wood policy at that point like there is today, perhaps it is something to do with how the barley was germinated, just not sure.

” I had always wanted to play with some Chateau D’Yquem casks and managed to get hold of six barriques and that parcel of 81 went into them. I have to say that development was slow.

“When we are chosing whisky we are always trying to choose it when it is at its pinnacle. It started to pick up some of the Sauternes elements. We decided that at 28 years and about 10 months it had reached its height. We were not swayed by brand directors to hold on for a 30 Years Old, we bottled it there and then. This will never be done again like this. 1,000 bottles release date July 1st priced about €2,000.”

Colour: Deep Mahogany

Nose: Very meaty, waxy, pears in Chantilly cream, roast chestnuts. With water more liquorice comes out, dark plum skins, burnt orange, Cooper’s marmalade. In time a little muskiness and sandalwood, antique furniture.

Palate: Hugely powerful with that waxiness present, resin, amber, more cooked oranges and fruit, mint toffee.

Finish: Balanced with toffee and musky spices.

Comment: The wood has taken over in a good way. Unlike the Nectar D’Or there is no major sweet sauternes elements here it has hints, what you have is a very well integrated whisky. If you let it breath for a while faint traces of smoke appear on the finish.



1 Comment

Filed under whisky

One response to “A tasting day with Glenmorangie

  1. That sounds like one heck of a day with a lot of good whiskies and some rare ones too!

    How does one try 6 whiskies without getting a little sloshed, and also avoid a confused pallet? Did you take the whole evening, or is the trick to just have a small amount and move on to the next whisky quickly?

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