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Glenmorangie’s Latest Whisky Kilned With Woodland Botanicals

Scotland’s Glenmorangie distillery is known somewhat for experimentation with its single malts. One of its latest may also be one of its most unique to date, being described as its “first whisky ever crafted from barley kilned with woodland botanicals.”

The new Glenmorangie A Tale Of A Forest, according to those behind it, is said to have been inspired by Glenmorangie’s Director of Whisky Creation Dr. Bill Lumsden’s “encounters as he wanders the woods near his home.” Evoking “the scents, sounds and sights of the forest itself,” this expression had its “notes of pine, juniper and wood smoke” created “by bringing back an ancient method of kilning barley with botanicals.”

Noting that ancient Highland whisky makers dried their barley with all kinds of forest fuel, Lumsden began experimenting by kilning his barley with many different botanicals, discovering flavors which juniper berries, birch bark and heather flowers could bring, when married with a little peat.

Glenmorangie A Tale Of A Forest
Scotland’s Glenmorangie distillery is known somewhat for experimentation with its single malts. One of its latest may also be one of its most unique to date, being described as its “first whisky ever crafted from barley kilned with woodland botanicals.” (image via Glenmorangie)

“Every time I go into the woods where I live,” said Lumsden in a prepared statement, “I notice something new, be it the fragrance of last night’s rainfall or the sound of leaves rustling a particular way. I began to imagine how we could bring the forest to life in a whisky, by kilning barley with materials from woodland, the way our ancestors did. After many experiments, we fell in love with the flavours brought by juniper, birch bark and heather, to create a Glenmorangie as lush and leafy as the forest itself.

“With aromas of pine needles, woodland moss, juniper’s sharpness, and tastes of eucalyptus, mint, bitter orange and distant smoke, A Tale of the Forest is a whisky to surround, delight and surprise you, whether you enjoy it deep in a forest or in cocktails at home.”

Glenmorangie A Tale Of A Forest will be available beginning this month, bottled at 46% ABV, for £75. Official tasting notes are below.

  • Colour: Deep amber
  • Nose: Sweet malt, biscuit, creamy with a distinctively sharp botanical edge, like juniper or coriander. A splash of water releases myriad herbal and perfumed top notes, such as juniper, coriander, damp woodland, pine needles, nettle and mint. There are glacé cherries, with aromas reminiscent of sweet baking chestnuts and gentle wood smoke.
  • Taste: A zesty, peppery, effervescent mouthfeel leads into an explosion of flavours: peppermint, menthol, eucalyptus, pine, wood sap, angelica, bitter orange and a hint of aromatic wood smoke. The taste sensation continues, with a bitter-sweet oak tannin flavour, along with some oily vanilla and hints of aniseed.
  • Finish: Long and lingering, with tangy citrus notes such as orange and lemon, and oak.

5 Sherried Whisky Alternatives

Here are my recommendations for those of you who want something sweet and luscious, but a little different in your glass this year. 

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder 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 provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions. He also maintains a large private collection of whiskey from which he continually educates his palate on this brown spirit type.

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