What Glenmorangie Say:
Every year since 2010, Glenmorangie has released a rare Single Malt crafted and designed to inspire and intrigue whisky connoisseurs and collectors. The latest release, Glenmorangie Tùsail, invites aficionados to explore a distinctive variety of barley’s influence on Glenmorangie Single Malt.
A rare quality grain saved by devotees for the future is the inspiration behind Glenmorangie’s latest limited edition. Glenmorangie Tùsail, the sixth release in the award-winning Private Edition collection, draws on the unique taste of Maris Otter barley, almost lost to the world but for the efforts of a few loyal proponents.
Dr Bill Lumsden ordered a batch of the winter barley and arranged for it to be traditionally floor-malted for use in Glenmorangie Tùsail (Scots Gaelic for ‘originary’).
Dr Bill Lumsden’s flavour descriptors:
“Rich, rustic flavours of nut toffee, sweet barley malt, ginger, cinnamon, molasses, and dates, complementing the more familiar Glenmorangie notes of peaches, oranges and smoked pears.”
What we say:
We like the ethos behind this release, the idea of saving a rare form of barely from dying out, and then using it to create a single malt that is still in keeping with the Glenmorangie house style is intriguing. NAS, and at 46% ABV we are keen to get tasting.
A delicate wave of white wine and vanilla soaked pears is first to make itself known. There’s a hint of old fashion cream soda, with cinnamon starting to spread through. There is honey sweetness, almost cloying, reminiscent of a Caramac, but this is soon tempered by warm orange notes and sweet dates. There’s a slight nod to shady woodlands in springtime with elements of spring moss and sweet new grass, before ripe peaches and nutty peach kernel take over.
There is a spiciness from the off, drying and hot not unlike ginger root cut and grated immediately. From there a bitter coffee note comes in, like the grinds you can pick up in Starbucks for your garden, mixed with fresh topsoil. This quickly evolves into something sweeter, there is clotted cream on treacle scones and a large dollop of peach and apricot jam. The dates from the nose have travelled well to the palate, but they have lost some of their sweetness and bring with them chopped walnuts giving a bitter nutty edge. The pear is there if you really look for it, but only fleeting, the oranges however are far easier to find, present in a hot, sticky, marmalade on gammon nature and there is a slight saltiness, before the honey and the treacle take over once again.
The spiciness is enough to make your tongue tingle, but it quickly rescinds allowing you to pick up ginger rather than just heat. The honey sweetness lingers throughout, stepping back and forth and there is at times a bitter edge. It’s not a particularly long finish but it is one that takes you on a rollercoaster of flavours, before leaving your mouth with a gentle sweet caress.
The sweetness is almost ever present, but for me the slight lull, when everything turned more spring like, more damp, really concentrated the palate. The presence of the orange, pears and less expected dates raised the interest on this somewhat for me. The coffee, earthy notes, weren’t entirely pleasant but the honey sweetness which lingers throughout, stepping back and forth soon raised this whisky for me. Whilst this is not the most complex Glenmorangie I have tried, it is enjoyable, and there is just enough changes in both flavour and tempo in there to keep my interest and tempt me back for another sip. Personally I think the price point is slightly high on this one, if it was around the £60 mark I feel it may be better value for money. My advice, try before you buy, a good whisky, but you may feel there is better out there for your money.
Fresh lemon juice, milk chocolate buttons infused with lime. Fresh bluebells and honeysuckle in a spring garden. Freshly baked bread and oranges to finish.
The first thing I notice is the spiciness, and the tongue tingles from the first sip. The floral notes from the nose are there but the lemon seems to have unfortunately disappeared. Some earthy chocolate notes come through, the spiciness finally dissipates and some winter berries can be found lurking in the background.
The finish is very abrupt and short.
In my opinion this dram is indicative of the past few Glenmorangie releases. Quite flat and one dimensional with no real complexity about it at all. Really disappointing and unfortunately not a hark back to past glories. This is one whisky that I certainly won’t be purchasing myself especially at the, what I consider, steep price.