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The limited edition Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1996 is the oldest whisky matured in the distillery’s bespoke casks.
By Alex Martin | June 23 2020
Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch Whisky has revealed the Grand Vintage Malt 1996, the sixth addition to its award-winning Bond House No 1 Collection. The 23-year-old expression is the oldest liquid to be matured in the distillery’s bespoke casks.
The Moet Hennessey-owned distillery has continued to reap the rewards of an experiment first started in the 1980s. Glenmorangie whisky makers went to great lengths to create a unique cask to age their signature liquid. They traveled to Missouri’s Ozark Mountains, where trees grow slower, to handpick American white oaks that would naturally bring more creaminess to the whisky. Barrels were then made to precise specifications and seasoned with select bourbon to bring them to their best.
The experiment has since proved tremendously successful with two highly-rated releases – Glenmorangie Astar, and the heart of Glenmorangie Original – already coming from the casks following their first fill in 1996. The Glenmorangie Grand Vintage 1996, bottled at a mellow 43%, is the oldest maturation yet to come from the casks.
“Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1996 wonderfully demonstrates how we can bring our most extraordinary dreams to life. The oldest whisky we have ever aged in our bespoke casks, its fresh, floral aromas and luxuriously creamy tastes are gloriously enhanced by age,” says Dr. Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s director of distilling, whisky creation and whisky stocks, who was also named the 2019 Master Distiller of the Year with the highest-scoring single malt whisky of the International Whisky Competition. “A delicious step on from Glenmorangie Astar, this limited edition will be adored by whisky lovers old and new.”
The release is limited to 10,000 bottles and will join five other limited-edition whiskies in the Bond House No 1 Collection. The vintage series, which is named after the largest of Glenmorangie’s 19th century Bonded Warehouses, is reserved for its most prized whiskies. For generations, Warehouse No 1 was home to casks of maturing spirit until it was transformed into a majestic new still house in 1990. Today, Bonded Warehouse No. 1 is the heart of the distillery’s whisky creation and home to the tallest stills in Scotland.
Tasting notes from Glenmorangie
Color: Bright sunburst gold
Nose: Fresh, floral and perfumed, with hints of roses, carnations, jasmine and a curious herbal note like coriander. Luscious mandarin orange and pear follow, with a beautiful candy sweetness, reminiscent of mixed fruit jellies. A splash of water releases even more floral notes of carnation and geranium, along with some soft, buttery vanilla.
Taste: A zesty, citrus mouthfeel leads into a powerful burst of citrus fruits like oranges and lemons, kept under control by the thread of soft, sweet vanilla and fudge. The finesse for a whisky of this age is quite remarkable, with gentle spices, such as ginger and sweet chilli and subtle oaky notes.
Finish: Delicate and dancing with almonds, pear and cake mix.