11th May 2015
It’s Tweet Tasting time, through Steve Rush (@TheWhiskyWire) #GlenmorangieLive.
Steve Rush knows how to host some great tweet tastings, and believe me I’ve been on some great tweet tastings. There was a lot of excitement surrounding the latest tasting though. I was to be a part of the first ever Glenmorangie tweet tasting.
As if that isn’t exciting enough, we were to be joined by Dr Bill Lumsden himself, Director of Distilling & Whisky Creation, from Glenmorangie, who would personally guide us lucky tasters through the range. So what were we tasting and why? Well this tasting was held specifically to try Duthac, the new expression from the Legends Collection, which is a series of Travel Retail only releases.
Alongside that, on tasting tonight is:
Glenmorangie Dornoch; and
Here’s a bit of information on the Duthac, the new release.
A king’s historic pilgrimage to the hometown of Glenmorangie is the inspiration for the Distillery’s latest unique expression. Glenmorangie Duthac, the first release in the Legends Collection, draws on King James IV’s annual pilgrimage to Saint Duthac’s shrine in Tain, home to the Glenmorangie Distillery since 1843. The bottling is available now in travel retail outlets in around the world.
Glenmorangie’s Legends Collection celebrates stories from the lands that have been home to Glenmorangie since 1843. This first in the collection, Glenmorangie Duthac, was inspired by King James IV’s yearly pilgrimage to the saint’s shrine in Tain where the King often sought peace ahead of foreboding times. St Duthac’s shrine held a particular importance for the King of Scots, who felt such a personal connection with the saint that he made a six-week round trip to Tain each year for up to 20 years. The final leg of James IV’s journey to St Duthac’s shrine, through the Highlands and across the Cromarty Firth, became so renowned, it is still known as The King’s Route.
Dr Bill Lumsden, Director of Distilling and Whisky Creation, said: “Glenmorangie Duthac honours the pilgrimage of King James IV, who felt such an affinity for Tain and its patron saint – St Duthac. The paradox of flavours will take malt whisky enthusiasts on a journey of the senses through rich, dark notes of milk chocolate, toffee, Brazil nuts and spice, into the delicate sweetness of vanilla,
apricots in cream and marzipan. Part-finished in casks which contained Pedro Ximénez – the King of Sherries – and in charred virgin oak, Glenmorangie Duthac provides a majestic balance of bold sweetness and intense spice.”
So enough talking, let’s get tasting! First up:
Glenmorangie Original – 40% ABV
The original expression is elegant, floral spirit and the real backbone of the Glenmorangie range. A ten-year-old single malt, Glenmorangie Original is produced by marrying the delicate spirit that emerges from Scotland’s tallest stills, with first and second fill American white oak casks.
Maturing for ten long years in a range of ex-bourbon casks such as Glenmorangie’s famous slow-grown and air-dried ‘designer casks’ from Missouri, that the raw spirit develops a perfect balance between sweetness and complexity. Resulting in a mature spirit that is soft, mellow and creamy. Perfect for enjoying at any time.
Zesty and fresh, like homemade cloudy lemonade. The lemon is sour yet sweet, reminding me of lemon curd on soft buttery toast. There is a wonderful peaches and cream combination reminiscent of Peach Melba yogurt and gently as the dram opens up there is a faint ginger prickle, soon replaced by soft apples and vanilla pods. The nose is incredibly light and subtle, but gives plenty. There are baked apples, with raisins and a warm sprinkle of nutmeg follow, a lovely floral note too, like wild daisies in summer.
This dram is dessert sweet with rich, soft, buttercream and gooey sticky meringue. There is cream soda and peaches in syrup topped with whipped cream. There are warm honeyed oranges and buttery, flaky almond Pastry before the rich toffee notes start to dominate. As the creamy mouth feel continues there are porridge oats with honey to be found. Then the fresh floral notes come through, with peonies, forget me nots and rosewater.
I was surprised to find a darker drying edge as this tails off. There is a dash of coffee grinds and compost, which then gives way to oaky richness. That said overall this is a very light, floral, sweet creamy dram.
Glenmorangie Dornoch – 43% ABV
A combination of whiskies aged in ex-bourbon casks, married with lightly-peated spirit matured in ex-Amontillado casks make up this expression.
In the far north of Scotland, beside the ancient Royal Burgh of Tain, lies the Glenmorangie Distillery. Established in 1843, the Distillery was named Glenmorangie, Scots Gaelic for ‘Glen of Tranquillity’, perfectly describing its peaceful setting on the banks of the picturesque Dornoch Firth, a vast sea estuary and a worldwide Site of Special Scientific Interest. To raise awareness for the conservation of the Dornoch Firth, Glenmorangie has partnered with the Marine Conservation Society to preserve this precious waterway.
Dornoch won The Spirits Business Award for Best Travel Retail whisky 2014
Roasted chestnuts and sticky toffee pudding, there are sticky dates and raisins and the sweet peach note lifted with lemon peel from the Original. Boiled milk with sponge mix and chewy, viscous toffee sauce. There’s a gentle fruitiness from soft pears and dark treacle. Sour cooking apples are softened by lilies, geraniums & mandarins. A dash of bitter grapefruit, sour cherries and the familiar vanilla pod which enrobes everything. Given time to open, peat starts to come through, it’s not strong but it breathes a woody earthiness that evolves with a dark chocolate note.
Warm honey, laced with ginger, cloves and cinnamon, mixed with oranges, inviting and smooth, like a hot toddy on a cold day. Mocha notes appear, the perfect mix between coffee, milk and milk chocolate. It’s soft as suede before a nutty edge appears, a mix of Brazil and chopped hazelnuts. Toffee sweetness comes in waves, it’s comforting and sweet.
Gentle, yet bursting with dark fruits, Christmas cake spices and gentle peach, before cocoa nibs with a salted, gritty, earthy edge appear with ginger catching the throat, but before this becomes too hot and unbalanced the honey notes appear and soothes, with vanilla rumbling on.
Glenmorangie Duthac – 43% ABV
At the centre of the Royal Burgh of Tain, Ross-shire, in the far north of Scotland where the Glenmorangie Distillery has stood proudly since 1843, lies the resting place of St Duthac. During the Middle Ages, the legends of his workings drew travellers from far and wide on pilgrimages to the ancient burgh.
A whisky fit for a King, this expression honours the annual pilgrimage made by King James IV to the shrine of St Duthac in Tain, and is part of Glenmorangie Legends – a collection of single malt whiskies exclusive to Travel Retail, inspired by the legendary lands that have been home to the Glenmorangie Distillery since 1843.
Part-finished in casks which contained Pedro Ximénez – the King of Sherries – and in charred virgin oak let’s try this NEW expression.
Jammy summer fruits, wild strawberries, raspberries & Redcurrant. Crème Brule sweetness, with vanilla and a thick, crunch demerara crust. There are silky yet crunchy sugared almonds and plums in mulled wine, with cinnamon and cloves.
The longer you nose this the more the plum note takes on a more savoury twist with a bitter walnut edge, and a little fresh thyme. There is maple syrup and some fresh pine sap before this evolves into rich sweetness once more with plump raisins, buttery pancake mix, finishing on a sweet cereal Weetabix note and just a dash of star anise.
Strawberries and icing sugar with a touch of balsamic and cracked black pepper. Dark chocolate with cherry, oranges, oak, leather, flax seeds. There is rich, worn leather wrapped around dark chocolate melting on the tongue before roasted coffee notes fleetingly appear. This continues to deepen and as this continues to open there is an earthiness like the soil from potatoes and brown paper bags, slightly damp.
Creamy, chewy, soft, sweet. Frangipane and vanilla essence with just a hint of ash at the very roof of the palate. Liquorice, baked figs and a wonderful drying tannic note of oak and cocoa powder combined.
Glenmorangie Signet – 46% ABV
A fusion of unique and rare elements, and clouded in secrecy, Signet is the culmination of a lifetime’s experience. A blend of Glenmorangie’s oldest whisky – distilled over thirty years ago when malting still occurred on site – and spirit matured in a selection of the world’s finest casks, this undoubtedly is the richest whisky in their range.
Of course, whilst the exact secrets of its production are known only to our whisky creators, Glenmorangie do reveal that Signet’s melting sweetness and explosive spiciness is, at least in part, caused by their unique roasted ‘chocolate’ barley malt and the ‘designer casks’ made bespoke for Glenmorangie from American white oak. Non chill-filtered.
Sweet, dark chocolate and cocoa butter with coconut milk richness. There is pecan pie with roasted coffee beans and burnt toast. There are peaches, red wine poached pear and fresh vanilla pods. Orange oils with some cloves try to fight the sweetness of the vanilla, ripe plums and fresh blackcurrants.
Rich chocolate covered coffee beans, dream topping with a Brazil nut sprinkling and toffee sauce. There are plums, raisins and a touch of warm banana. The chocolate fights these notes and really reigns supreme, there is a wonderful malted Horlicks note and crushed digestives and butter. The fruit makes a welcome return with oranges and juicy blackberries. Freshly baked gingerbread and treacle scones soon find themselves enrobed in dark chocolate.
Long and rich, the chocolate coats the entirety of your mouth. Although not a fan of coffee the bitterness is welcome as it takes away some of the sweetness which is almost too much, almost cloying, once the coffee grinds fade away, the orange notes shine through bringing with it more vanilla, this finally dies down with once last flourish of chocolate.
What a night. I enjoyed the full range, one thing I did notice, that although most distilleries have a house style, this is even more present within the Glenmorangie range, you could confuse this with being a bit samey, but there is always enough of a difference to keep each expression interesting. The original is an incredibly easy drinking dram, light, sweet, floral, a summer dram if ever there was one.
The Signet was rich and chocolatey and everything I hope it would be, but for me the stand out dram of the night was without doubt is the Duthac, but the Dornoch was a very close second. The Duthac was so complex, layer upon layer of flavour, with a finish that never ends, which is a good thing, because believe me you don’t want this to finish.
An amazing tweet tasting with fantastic whisky and great company. Look up #GlenmorangieLive on twitter to see what my fellow tasters thought, oh and look out for the competitions. In closing buy a bottle of any of these and you will not be disappointed!