Glenmorangie was founded in 1843 by William Matheson and was originally named as Morangie, although illegal distillation can be traced on the site back to the early 1700s. It is located in the north Highland town of Tain 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 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. Glenmorangie is currently the fourth biggest selling single malt in the world.
The whisky, which has been part matured in ex-Manzanilla sherry casks, was created by Dr. Bill Lumsden and launched at the Glenmorangie distillery in Tain. There will be just 12,000 bottles of Taghta. It is priced at £69.99 and bottled at 46% ABV. It can be purchased via www.glenmorangie.com/caskmasters and selected specialist whisky retailers.
Our tasting notes
The colour is golden yellow and the nose shows a lovely mix of fruity and sweet aromas. Immediately there are juicy sultanas and golden syrup, and these are joined by aromas of almond, brown sugar and a hint of cinnamon. Underneath is some delicious malted cereal and butterscotch.
On the palate, this whisky has an immediate ginger-like warmth and coats the mouth. The malted cereals are more prominent that on the nose and provide a base for the other flavours to come through. The golden syrup and honey notes are initially evident, before some dried fruit notes develop (think of the juicy sultanas from the nose, plus some dried orange peel). Then come notes of brown sugar, green apple and an increasing nuttiness (imagine almonds again). A final hit of salted caramel and dried ginger rounds everything off.
The finish begins quite sweet and sugary before these elements begin to fade. The maltiness and nuttiness in particular come through and linger along with the notes of orange, cinnamon and ginger. The combination and effect is delicious.
What's the verdict?
Well, the 18 month wait is over - this is a very good offering from Glenmorangie and one that does the Cask Master programme and the selection process justice. It is superbly rounded and sweet, but yet has a freshness and vibrancy to it, and is in keeping with the high standards of Glenmorangie's single malts.
The use of ex-Manzanilla casks is unusual in Scotch whisky, so the result could have been a gamble. However, it was the most interesting of the three original malts that were chosen for the process and we are glad that it was chosen as the final product. Taghta is also reasonably priced for a limited edition and is well worth buying if you can track one down.