A Tale of Cake is a new limited single malt that is the brainchild of Dr. Bill Lumsden - the Director of Whisky Creation at Glenmorangie. For this release, he has been inspired by memories of baking pineapple upside down cake, firstly with his grandmother and then with his daughter. The spirit involved was earmarked for use as Glenmorangie Original, having been matured in American oak ex-bourbon barrels. This was then finished in ex-Tokaji dessert wine casks from Hungary. These highly prized and rare barrels were sourced and hand selected by Dr. Bill for A Tale of Cake. The release also features bespoke packaging designed to represent a cake and the whisky is bottled at 46% ABV.
"Some of my favourite memories come from baking. By finishing whisky in Tokaji wine casks, I have tried to capture the joy of those indulgent cake moments, especially my Granny's pineapple upside down cake. This is a whisky presented in glorious technicolour."Dr. Bill Lumsden.
Glenmorangie is one of the biggest selling single malt Scotch whisky brands in the world and was founded in 1843 by William Matheson in the north Highland town of Tain. It was originally named as Morangie and took its current name in 1887. Glenmorangie has an annual production capacity of six million litres and the copper pot stills are the tallest in Scotland, standing over five metres (16.5 feet) tall. It also uses the hardest water of any Scottish whisky distillery in production, which bubbles up from the nearby Tarlogie Springs. The distillery and brand are currently owned by Moet Hennessey.
Glenmorangie A Tale of Cake will be exclusive to the UK, and in particular the premium department store Selfridge's, until October 18. It will then be available worldwide via selected specialist whisky retailers after that date. A bottle will cost £75/ $96 US.
Our tasting notes
The colour is deep gold and the nose has an immediate vibrancy to it. Aromas of honey and golden syrup lead the way followed by a lovely twist of lemon zest, vanilla, coconut and a hint of caramelised pineapple. Underneath are further hints of crisp green apple, grapefruit peel and fresh gingerbread.
On the palate this whisky feels syrupy and mouth coating. Initial notes are sweet and fruity with a delicious mix of tropical fruit - think of pineapple, peach and apricot supported by hints of lychee and passion fruit - combined with fruit syrup, honey and dessicated coconut. The vibrant vanilla note from the nose develops also and becomes increasingly influential, as does a further chocolate-like characteristic. This is most reminiscent of white chocolate with a pinch of cocoa powder. Other notes also develop and add to the depth and complexity. These include zesty lemon, bitter grapefruit peel, freshly sawn oak and faint hints of ginger and something floral like honeysuckle or jasmine.
The finish is long and spicier than expected. The sweet and fruity notes hold their own but begin to fade. This leaves the warming spices and freshly sawn oak notes to come through and dominate. Ginger, cinnamon and all-spice, along with a pinch of clove create a heady blend with a hint of dryness.
What's the verdict?
This is a delicious whisky from Glenmorangie, as so many of their limited editions tend to be. Their controlled experimentation has lead to some classics over the years and this could be destined to be another. The use of ex-Tokaji casks needs careful management as they contain much higher tannin levels than American oak, which could very quickly overpower a light, delicate spirit such as Glenmorangie.
A Tale of Cake offers a deeper and more syrupy experience to the regular Glenmorangie range and the elements of tropical fruit only add to the feeling of luxury. This is like the classic Original but on steroids and it works superbly well. We will certainly be grabbing our slice of Cake before it sells out and do not be surprised if this makes our Top 10 list at the end of the year. An excellent whisky.