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Tain-based Glenmorangie Distillery lifts lid on fruity new trailblazing whisky creation

By Hector MacKenzie

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Dr Bill Lumsden.
Dr Bill Lumsden.

AN Easter Ross distillery has lifted the lid on a trailblazing new dram which marks a fruity first for the company.

Glenmorangie Highland single malt Scotch whisky today revealed what it calls a uniquely fruity and floral whisky – its first ever finished in French Calvados casks.

Glenmorangie Calvados Cask Finish is the fifth release in the distillery’s Barrel Select Release series of small-batch single malts which explores the flavours that arise from different cask finishes.

Entwining scents of jasmine with baked apples and pears, the rare 12-year-old bottling offers new mellow depths to Glenmorangie’s signature fruity tones.

Inside Glenmorange Distillery. Picture: Carol Sachs.
Inside Glenmorange Distillery. Picture: Carol Sachs.

Led by director of whisky creation, Dr Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie craft their delicate, fruity spirit in stills as tall as a giraffe to allow more space for taste and aroma, then age it in what they term the world’s finest casks.

Some time ago, Dr Bill became fascinated by the soft, orchard notes of Calvados, which is distilled from apples – and sometimes pears – in France. And he began to wonder how these casks – never used before at Glenmorangie – might further enhance the whisky’s classic, fruity finesse.

Inspired to experiment, he took a whisky which had spent more than 10 years ageing in American white oak bourbon casks, for Glenmorangie’s elegant style.He transferred that whisky into casks which, for 20 years, had held Calvados du Pays d’Auge, from Normandy, in France. After a carefully judged finish, Dr Bill’s creation was ready to share. It is described as "soft and delectably rich", uniting mellow fruits of baked apples and pears with subtle notes of jasmine, narcissus and vanilla.

Glenmorangie Calvados Cask Finish. Picture: Glenmorangie
Glenmorangie Calvados Cask Finish. Picture: Glenmorangie

Dr Bill said: “At Glenmorangie, we are always experimenting with ways to create delicious whiskies. Since Calvados casks have never been used before at Glenmorangie, I was intrigued to see how their elegant, orchard notes would complement our whisky’s award-winning fruity style, with a judicious finish. Glenmorangie Calvados Finish is a wonderful addition to our Barrel Select Release series of small-batch single malts. Entwining scents of baked pears, vanilla and jasmine with tastes of toffee apples, lemon balsam and spice, this rare whisky takes all that is good about Glenmorangie, to richly delicious new heights.”

Glenmorangie Calvados Cask Finish is now available exclusively in the UK at Glenmorangie.com.

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