Glenmorangie Bacalta 46%

Finally, after tasting The Original and Lasanta, attention turned to the main purpose of the Glenmorangie event… the revelation of the 2017 private edition – Bacalta.

Dr Bill Lumsden with Brendan McCarron shared the thinking and process behind the Bacalta – which means baked in Gaelic.

Bill shared the inspiration was a discontinued Madeira finished whisky that was replaced by Nector D’Or.

Knowing it would not be possible to simply acquire ‘ready made’ casks, a partnership was struck with a Malmsey Madeira maker, casks specifically created, heavily toasted before then holding the ‘sacrificial wines’ i.e. seasoned by the Malmsey Madeira, baked the traditional way. Bill shared that he found Malmsey Madeira had the “lively refreshing character, high acidity that reacted well to the toasted wood.”

Once ready, the wine was discarded and the 10 year aged Glenmorangie transferred gain its unique finish through maturing in the ex-Madeira casks.

Glenmorangie Bacalta 46%

  • Nose – Initially sharp blue cheese – rancio, then chocolate, aged balsamic, while one could discern the ‘house’ characteristics of The Original, it had layered on top ripe peaches, apricots like a thick smear of marmalade on toast, baked citrus  becoming caramelized
  • Palate – First sip had a gorgeous spice, then brioche, revealing a mineralogy and savoury almost smoky element, followed again by spicy textures, a big mouthful of pepper, so incredibly sweet like sucking on fruit lozenges
  • Finish – Chased by menthol mouthwash that slipped into paan, then lemon pepper and back to that hint of aged balsamic

The Bacalta was like a rich baked fruit syrup with almost a smoky quality… delicious but one where less is more.

Talk turned to pairing the Bacalta with grouse, pheasant – in short any gamy bit with a fruity sauce. This was no light sprightly pairing but one to take advantage of Bacalta’s unique qualities.

And what do the Glenmorangie formal tasting notes have to say?

The eighth release in our multi-award-winning and always intriguing Private Edition, Glenmorangie Bacalta brings new heights of complexity to a rare wood finish. Inspired by the long, balmy days on the island of Madeira, Glenmorangie Bacalta (Scots Gaelic for “baked”) is a sun-soaked single malt which delivers wonderfully warm layers of sweetness, brimming with baked fruits and honeyed tones.

It has been created from Glenmorangie first matured in former bourbon casks, then extra-matured in bespoke casks baked under the sun which once contained Malmsey Madeira – the sweetest and most prized of the Madeira wines.

  • Aroma: Fragrant, honeyed and sweet. Some ripe apricots, mead-like, and a curious flinty note, followed by sweet white chocolate.
  • Taste: An initial burst of mint toffee, with baked fruits such as caramelised oranges, honeycomb, almonds and dates.
  • Finish: A rich, syrupy aftertaste, with more caramelised citrus and pears, creamy fudge, and an intriguing mentholic sensation in the background.

In short, it was a classy experience – start to finish – as one would expect from the Luis Vitton Moet Hennessy brand.

Other Glenmorangie experiences:

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Glenmorangie Lasanta 12 year 46%

After The Original, our Glenmorangie tasting continued with the Lasanta – a word that derives from the Gaelic for warmth and passion.

We were led through the experience by Dr Bill Lumsden and Brendan McCarron who shared their insights into the whisky…

They shared how the Lasanta first spent 10 years in ex-bourbon casks, much like The Original, followed by 18 – 36 months in ex Olorosso and PX sherry casks. The sherry cask finish is what Bill credited for providing a very “up fruit, spicy, ginger, unctuous” character that is both “classic yet enhanced.”

There was no doubt this whisky gained much of its character from its sherry finish… Impressions of:

  • Creamy, caramel custard, sweet spices, vanilla on the nose, with substance, good body, raisins, more creme on the palate followed by a dry, chocolate nutty spice finish…

Pairing talk turned to enjoying with a good Monte Cristo cigar, or a rich fruity dessert, a ginger chilli chocolate… very much an ‘autumn’ whisky for cooler weather….

Well after the main tasting, when we returned to the Lasanta, found that it kept is character in a most satisfying way.

And what do the formal Glenmorangie tasting notes have to say?

Elegant but full bodied this whisky has spent ten years maturing in American white oak ex-bourbon casks before being extra-matured for a further two years in Oloroso and PX Sherry casks from Jerez in Spain.

  • Aroma: Warm spices mix with smooth chocolate covered raisins, honeycomb and caramel toffee.
  • Taste: Deliciously sweet sherry flavoured sultanas, orange segments, walnuts and butterscotch combine to create complex warm spices.
  • Finish: Long and satisfying finish with spiced orange and chocolate covered hazelnuts.

We sampled the Lasanta at the launch of Glenmorangie’s Bacalta in February 2017.

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Glenmorangie Original 10 year 40%

Our Glenmorangie Bacalta Launch tasting linked Dr Bill Lumsden and Brendan McCarron in Scotland with whisky afficianados in Mumbai, Sydney and Seoul. It began with the foundation of all Glenmorangies… The Original 10 year:

“We’ve found there are 140 different flavours in our Original” — Bill Lumsden

An appropriate place to start, we sniffed, sipped, swished and savoured…

As we sipped, Bill and Brendon shared their observations, augmented by those enjoying in Mumbai:

  • Creamy and complex, sweet butter, some sweet spices such as ginger, gentle nuttiness with almond, coconut, sunshine like character…

The Sydney folks observed that the Original’s character is:

  • Fresh applies, light… sunshine and spring like

Talk then turned to pairing with white fish, shrimp, foie gras… and more fancifully to enjoying at a:

  • “Chinese restaurant in Taipei with steamed fish seasoned with soy sauce and sweet ginger!”

As an opportunity to revisit The Original in a formal virtual four country tasting, it was indeed a unique experience… an excellent base for the whiskies to come… The Lasanta and Bacalta!

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Glenmorangie’s Bacalta Launch

Many months ago, on a Wednesday afternoon, I found myself at the Four Seasons hotel lured by whisky. Up on the screen was Dr Bill Lumsden and Brendan McCarron in Scotland, us in Mumbai, others in Seoul and Sydney…

We were all there to be introduced to the latest experiment producing the 8th release in Glenmorangie‘s annual Private Edition series – Bacalta.

However this being Luis Vitton Moet Hennessy, an entire experience was curated for us… depending on time zone, participants enjoyed a multi course lunch, early evening repast or dinner… liberally accompanied by Glenmorangie whiskies.

Then, we all joined together to walk through a tasting of:

  • The Original 10 year 43% Foundation of all Glenmorangie “with 140 flavours” — Bill Lumsden
  • Lasanta 12 year 46% – Classic yet enhanced …Creamy, caramel custard, sweet spices 
  • Bacalta 46% – Like rich baked fruit syrup with an almost smoky quality… delicious and one where less is more.

An impressive and most enjoyable experience.

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A Night with Glen – Glenmorangie The Tayne 43%

The Whisky LadiesA Night with Glen” closed with the Glenmorangie The Tayne.

Glenmorangie The Tayne 43%

  • Nose – Wah! A welcome nose bursting with character. Initially figs, prunes, Christmas pudding with dried dark fruits, burnt sugar, walnut and coffee…. Glorious rich coffee! Edging into mocha… it kept evolving, added to the aromas was almonds, toffee, noughat, caramel, then after more time it circled back to the dates and prunes
  • Palate – Bitter dark chocolate, slightly woody, very smooth, with a little mandarin, butterscotch, dash of ginger, and a delicious espresso
  • Finish – For all the complexity in the nose and follow through on the palate, the only element left a bit wanting was the finish which had a nice holiday sherry character, just didn’t stick around as long as one would want

What made this distinct from Olorosso sherry bombs was a more restrained sherry quality. Not overly sweet, retaining the tiramisu coffee quality interplaying with shades of sherry. There was not a single harsh element. Pronounced a ‘winter’ whisky…

The key element making this whisky burst with character appears to be the Amontillado Sherry Cask Finish.

Here is what the folks over at Glenmorangie have to say:

The resulting single malt, Glenmorangie Tayne, is a rich mahogany whisky showcasing a unique harmony of deep, spicy Sherry cask notes, and unusually fragrant, floral topknots of rose petals and east chestnuts, with a warming texture leading into rich, sweet flavours of toffee, Muscovado sugar, and tropical fruits – peaches, mango and orange, finishing with a long gentle nuttiness, like Brazil nuts embedded in toffee. 

Other whiskies sampled during A Night with Glen:

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A Night with Glen – Glenmorangie The Original 40%

Our “A Night with Glen” moved on from Glencadam and Glenlivet to Glemorangie…  With the Whisky Ladies starting with the base or standard 10 year “The Original“.

Here’s what we found:

  • Nose – Honey, spice, a nice woody note, apple cinnamon, black pepper, then some citrus fruits, vanilla
  • Palate – Smooth, rounded, creamy with enough spice to make it interesting
  • Finish – Spice, nice and lingers

We found it much more dynamic than the Glencadam or Glenlivet, with a much more interesting character.

Then we contrasted sipping it in the Norland vs Glencairn, we found in the Norlan it was even juicier and more defined, some found that they liked it even more.

And that’s just it, you know what you are going to get with Glenmorangie with The Original the base from which all expressions stem… there is a consistency to the quality. Yet it is mass produced, entry level but it is still more than just a decent dram.

Several shared The Original is a usual fixture in their homes… even confessing they have been known to have it on the rocks – shocker but with the heat all such admissions come out!

Here’s what the folks from Glenmorangie have to say (via The Whisky Exchange as the Glenmorangie website is currently restricted).

  • Aroma: Imagine yourself in an Italian garden surrounded with mandarin, lemon, apple, pear and peach trees, their fruit ripening in the sun. Add to this the scent of vanilla ice cream, then enjoy the herbal aromas of geranium and wild mint growing nearby.
    • Add water to The Original and you wander into a flower garden with lemony bergamot, apricot and mandarin. Floral notes of geranium, sweet honeysuckle and piquant narcissus mix with mint and the herbal essence of eucalyptus, nutmeg and ginger.
  • Taste: Savour the fruits of the Italian garden as creamy vanilla slips like liquid silk over the tongue as peaches and cream, mandarins and lemons effervesce in the mouth.
  • Aromatic essences of fennel and nutmeg tantalise with crumbly almond and coconut that gives way to a nectar that envelops all the fruit, spice and nut flavours in a honeyed caress.
  • Finish: The charming sweetness of delicious juices is left on the tongue.

Also from our Night With Glen:

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Whisky Ladies “A Night with Glen”

For the Whisky Ladies June session, we decided to spend “A Night with Glen”… or more precisely:

Now, the Whisky Ladies tend to be a discerning bunch with adventuresome tastes, so this was a departure from our more off-beat explorations.

The evening was sparked by the acquisition of the lesser known Glencadam, followed by a gift of the Glenlivet, a reminder that we had earlier intended to do a Glenmorangie night so had the start of a collection… and voila! A theme was born.

Other tasting experiences with some “Glens” include:

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Experimental Evening – Glenmorangie, Wolfburn + Dailuaine

Finally after a two month hiatus our original tasting group re-united with full quorum!

As usual, we sampled completely blind… before revealing the whisky. In this case, there was a twist…

glenmorangie-wolfburn-dailuaine

Whiskies sampled included:

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200 whisky posts…. with thanks!

Six months ago, I celebrated a remarkable milestone – 100 whisk(e)y posts with 100 whiskies!

I enthusiastically listed all 100 whiskies reviewed and couldn’t stop doing a jig of celebration!

Fast forward and today marks 200 whisky posts… a double accomplishment!

However nothing is achieved without help! So I thought it high time to recognise all the fabulous folks that made it possible….

Most importantly, our Mumbai based whisky groups! Our shared journey and tasting sessions gave birth to this blog:

Plus very special tastings thanks to:

Most importantly, many anonymous friends and fellow bloggers who bravely court liver failure in the quest to find that special dram! Be it sending a sample or sharing an evening… an amusing quip or shared opinion, you know who you are!!

I raise a dram to you all in salut!

post-milestone-200-2x

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A very different Glenmorangie 10 year (1995/2006) Cask No 13038 59.3%

Known as the ‘Speakeasy’ bottle, this particular Glenmorangie 10 year can only be purchased at the distillery in the ‘Speakeasy’ room which revives the alleged early practice of the workers setting aside casks of the finest malt for their own consumption, hidden from the prying eyes of the ‘Guagers’.

In this case, our host hand-filled this bottle nearly a decade ago at the distillery!

Let me repeat that… yes our host waited nearly 10 years to open this special cask strength Glenmorangie.

They say patience is a virtue. And no way could I ever have been so virtuous to hold on for ten years…

Lucky us, we merely had to enjoy… and enjoy we did!

Speakeasy Glenmorangie 10 year

Speakeasy Glenmorangie 10 year

Glenmorangie 10 year (1995 / 9 Nov 2006) Cask No 13038, Bottle No 45, 59.3%

Here is what we found:

  • Nose – Sherry! Citrus, honey, light cereals, vanilla, fresh yet toasted, a dash of perfume, more and more cinnamon. As it opened further out peeked banana cream and much more!
  • Palate – A gorgeous kick of character, lovely cinnamon, puff of smoke, a little oak, sawdust, kept shifting between sweet and spice and all things nice
  • Finish – Initially faint yet as the whisky opened further became a light sprightly spice then as it further evolved a long spicy cinnamon
  • Water – Not recommended. Dampened the complexity without bringing any significant advantage. Best had neat – all it needs is a little time to soften and settle into a very approachable yet sophisticated character.

What was particularly fabulous about this Glenmorangie is the shifts in character. It was like a book that slowly flipped to a new page, revealing something more as the evening unfolded.

While it started with a kick, it mellowed out completely, nice, smooth and well-rounded. The finish was another interesting element… at first light it grew into a very long beautiful finish.

It was my choice of the evening.

Glenmorangie Speakeasy

Another whisky afficianado shared:

On the 8th May, 2007 I bottled my own at the Glenmorangie Distillery. The cask No. 13038 which was filled in 1995. My bottle No. was 157 and and strength was 59.3%. 

I decided to keep it for a special occasion which was this week-end 30/9/12. Without doubt the best whiskey I have ever tasted and hope some day I can bottle another one.

Next up:

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