Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Review - Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1990

This whisky is part of a new range of premium single malts and is the first bottling in the series. The Bond House No.1 Collection will showcase some of Glenmorangie's rarest whiskies and cask types that they have maturing at the distillery in the north Highland village of Tain. This inaugural release is the Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1990 and consists of a small pocket of stock matured in ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks. These have been hand selected by Dr. Bill Lumsden - the Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation & Whisky Stocks at Glenmorangie - and was made from barley taken from one of the worst harvests in living memory.

Glenmorangie is one of the biggest selling single malt Scotch whisky brands in the world and was founded in 1843 by William Matheson.  It was originally named as Morangie and took its current name in 1887. Glenmorangie is one of Scotland's larger single malt distilleries with an annual production capacity of six million litres. The copper pot stills are the tallest of their type in Scotland and stand over five metres (16.5 feet) tall. The distillery and brand are currently owned by Moet Hennessey, who purchased them in 2004.

"Even today, few can explain how a spirit so delicious could emerge from a barley crop of such challenges. Combined with a quarter-century of Glenmorangie’s exceptional cask expertise, its finesse has been preserved through the ages."
Dr. Bill Lumsden.

The Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1990 has been bottled at 43% ABV and will be available through specialist whisky retailers and premium retailers for £495 each.  There is no indication of the number of bottles released, only that it is limited.

Our tasting notes
The colour is deep gold and the nose is highly fragrant and full of sweet, fruity and floral aromas - these include honey, stewed apple, dried mango, plus honeysuckle and jasmine.  Behind are further aromas of candied orange, cinnamon, malty cereals, earthy ginger spice and waxy furniture polish.

On the palate this whisky has a creamy and slightly waxy feel.  The dried tropical fruit notes rise first (think of the mango from the nose, plus pineapple) and combine with a sweet mix of honey, golden syrup, moscavado sugar and vanilla pod.  In addition there is a wonderful note of candied citrus, both orange and lemon, that becomes more expressive with time.  Underneath are further notes of malty cereals and delicious warming wood spice - imagine baking spices such as cinnamon, mace and five spice along with hints of gingerbread, sawdust and cocoa powder.

The finish is of decent length.  The sweetness becomes almost fudge and toffee-like, rather than honey and syrup and the citrus characteristics (especially the orange) last well.  Once they fade, albeit it sadly too quickly for these taste buds, it is the maltiness and delicate warming spices that linger.

What's the verdict?
This first offering in the Bond House No.1 Collection is a classy one.  The balance and complexity of the sweetness, fruitiness and spiciness is superb.  The floral aspect of the nose is almost intoxicating and very pleasant indeed.  It will be interesting to see what else appears in the series and the Grand Vintage Malt 1990 is a great beginning.  we look forward to finding out.  In the mean time, hurry to pick up one of these if you are interested as they are selling fast.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Apparently Glenmo realized that if you discontinue the 25yo, you can start bottling it as a vintage for twice the price, and moat people won't even notice.