A few weeks ago we where invited to a sumptuous dinner, courtesy of Glenmorangie to indulge in some of their current expression paired with courses and of course sample their new 1991 Grand Vintage expression. Glenmorangie are renowned as one of the pioneers of wood-finishing. In 1991, when this whisky’s spirit was distilled, that art was still in its infancy. But even then, the Distillery’s whisky creators were alive to the possibilities that a wood finish could bring. And so, they began a period of intense experimentation, intent on creating new techniques and flavours.
Dr Bill Lumsden, who was in attendance on the evening, is Glenmorangie’s Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation & Whisky Stocks, was inspired to revisit some of these parcels of 1991’s whisky, selecting two contrasting styles to create this vintage release. Both long-aged in bourbon casks, each had been finished in Oloroso sherry casks or in Burgundy casks for more than a decade. With a master distiller’s flair, he married them, softened by a hint of whisky aged in new toasted oak, to create an expression of rich intensity.
On the nose: you’ll get an intense waft of plums, dried fruits, candy sticks, parma violets, a slight menthol note and lemon zest. These initial notes are closely followed by notes of oranges, raspberries, some tropical notess, strawberries, vanilla and a hint of maple syrup. Completing the nose are notes of cinnamon, peaches, pears, aniseed, bitter chocolate, a musky old leather-like note and tobacco leaf. palate: is replete with those strawberries, parma violets and candy sticks. Notes of coconut start to emerge, followed by notes of marshmallows, raspberries and that bitter dark chocolate. There’s a lovely creamy note in there, alongside notes of brown sugar, lavender and peaches. Rounding-off the palate are notes of green herbs, a light floral note, walnuts and old leather. The finish: is long, nutty, bittersweet, with some subtle spices and lingering orchard fruits and tannin wine notes.
The verdict: This new expression from Glenmorangie, is delicate, smooth, well-balanced and full of classic Glenmorangie notes, however, there some lovely sweet and rich Burgundy notes in there. It is a delight from the nose to the palate and is rich in flavour, but does require a little bit of time before it yields all of its hidden notes. Bottled at an ABV of 43%, this genuinely special bottling Glenmorangie that, in my opinion, can be enjoyed how you please.
Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1991 Single Malt Scotch can be found at any well-stocked whisky shopfor approximately £630
For more information on Grand Vintage Malt 1991, visit the official Glenmorangie website.