Glenmorangie’s IWC Whisky of the Year winner – the Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1991 – is now available for sale in Singapore.
We’ve always been impressed with Glenmorangie‘s approach to additional cask maturation. Glenmorangie’s director of distilling and whisky creation Dr. Bill Lumsden is arguably one of the first pioneers in “finishing” whiskies in different cask types to add additional layers of flavour; as a wine lover he’s also rather fond of using wine barrels to impart vinous notes into his creations.
And so it was when he composed the Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1991, the fourth release in the whisky house’s celebrated Bond House No.1 Vintage Collection (following the inaugural Grand Vintage Malt 1990, Grand Vintage Malt 1989, and Grand Vintage Malt 1993 respectively). In a departure from usual Scotch whisky convention, this vintage series follows wine labelling instead instead – so the Grand Vintage Malt 1991 takes casks distilled specifically only in the year 1991 (rather than 1991 and older) for this 26YO limited edition.
For this particular whisky Glenmorangie married two very different whiskies into one. The first was a whisky that was finished in oloroso sherry casks, and the other was finished in Burgundy wine casks. Originally the team was meant to select one or the other.
“We had two choices to make – we felt we either had these nice, beautiful Oloroso sherry casks to use at the heart of the recipe, or we had some red Burgundy casks to use instead,” recalled Brendan McCarron (pictured below), Glenmorangie’s Head of Maturing Whisky Stocks and Dr. Bill’s right-hand man.
“Then Bill suggested that we try to put the two together. It took many tries before we got it right, but we finally got down to a blend that had both, instead of fighting each other, instead harmonised and created something incredible,” he added.
Oloroso sherry casks, especially seasoned ones, are rather easy to obtain; wine casks are generally harder, but even rarer are red Burgundy – Pinot Noir – ones. They certainly aren’t blended together often either. McCarron was right about the harmony- the bright, sweet rounded flavours imparted by the Oloroso sherry cask was balanced and complemented by the earthy, almost truffle-like tones coming from the ex-Burgundy casks.
The Glenmorangie Grand Vintage 1991 was apparently so well put together by Dr. Bill and his team that its was recently declared “Whisky of the Year” at the International Whisky Competition (IWC), with the judges awarding it 97 points. At the same time, the Glenmorangie distillery itself won the “Golden Barrel Trophy”.
“Bringing together two such incongruous whiskies goes somewhat against convention which, in part, is what drew me to the challenge of combining them,” explained Dr. Bill Lumsden. “The result is a single malt with a rich plum character, deep, mellow aromas and tastes of ripe fruits and milk chocolate.”
The Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1991 is available for sale from July. There are a total of 7,551 bottles worldwide with a limited allocation for Singapore. Interested buyers can contact Moët Hennessy Diageo Private Client Manager Clementine Wee at email@example.com. Price is upon asking.