Scotland’s beloved Glenmorangie distillery has debuted the latest offering from its Bond House No. 1 vintage series, named after the largest of the distillery’s 19th-century bonded warehouses. Known as Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1998, it is a 23 year old expression.
Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1998, according to those behind it, showcases some of the first Glenmorangie ever aged in new charred oak. Resulting from one of Director of Whisky Creation Dr Bill Lumsden’s earliest experiments as the Highland Distillery’s whisky creator, it heralds in part from casks which saw heavy charring of the virgin wood inside them for the first time.
Lumsden used most of the casks to wood-finish whisky, balancing what’s described as their spiciness with Glenmorangie’s complex fruits. He also filled a few with new-make spirit, imagining something different. After aging for 23 years, he married “its oaky notes with soft, fruity whisky aged in first-fill bourbon casks, and a subtly sweet whisky finished in oloroso sherry casks.”
“New in post in 1998,” said Lumsden in a prepared statement, “I had all sorts of ideas for new and delicious whiskies. And one my
first experiments was with new charred oak casks. At the heart of Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1998 is a parcel of that experimental whisky. Aged in those casks for 23 years, it gives the limited edition a wonderful spicy note and an amber glow.
“With aromas of apples and plums and tastes of orange chocolate and clove, this whisky brings a new dimension to Glenmorangie’s elegance.”
Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1998, bottled at 43% ABV, is pricing around $900. Official tasting notes are below.
- Colour: Rich Amber
- Aroma: Rich and mellow, with hints of toffee, ripe fruits such as pears, plums and baked apples, and some gentle oak. This is followed by some sweet vanilla, fragrant spearmint and a mellow, warming, waxy note, like fragrant incense. Some water releases Glenmorangie’s classic citrus notes of lemon and mandarin orange along with sweet tobacco, a touch of lavender, and the merest hint of ginger.
- Taste: A zesty, almost effervescent mouthfeel leads into a burst of vibrant fruitiness, some chocolatey notes, a soft butter candy flavour and a hint of toffee, juicy raisins and figs. Then comes a suggestion of orange-flavoured chocolate, clove, ginger and aniseed.
- Finish: Gentle and soothing with hints of sugared almonds, leather and dates.
Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...