Monday, December 6, 2021

Review / Glenmorangie A Tale of Winter

This whisky is a new seasonal limited edition single malt from the north Highland distillery of Glenmorangie. The Glenmorangie A Tale of Winter is inspired by the cosy quality of a thick winter jumper and was created by Dr. Bill Lumsden, the Director of Whisky Creation at Glenmorangie. It follows last year's A Tale of Cake in the series. The whisky was initially matured in ex-bourbon casks before finishing for a period of time in ex-Marsala wine casks sourced by Lumsden from Sicily. The Glenmorangie A Tale of Winter is bottled at 13 years of age and 46% ABV. It is also non chill-filtered and will be available globally via selected specialist whisky retailers. A bottle will cost £75/ $105 US. 

Glenmorangie is one of the biggest selling single malt Scotch whisky brands in the world and was founded in 1843 by William Matheson. It is located in the north Highland town of Tain and was originally named as Morangie, changing to its current name in 1887. Glenmorangie has an annual production capacity of six million litres and the 12 copper pot stills are the tallest in Scotland. They stand at 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.

Our tasting notes

The colour is deep gold and the nose is rich, sweet and fragrant. Aromas of green apple, brown sugar and sultanas rise from the glass initially. These are followed by further aromas of golden syrup, vanilla custard and a hint of cocoa powder. With time background aromas of peach, gingerbread and malty cookies, plus a pinch of cinnamon. 

On the palate this whisky follows a similar pathway to the nose. First up are expressive notes of crisp green apple and juicy sultana, with a suggestion of stewed pear with cloves in the background. These initial notes are supported further notes of fresh honeycomb, golden syrup and a hint of milk chocolate. Further hints of dried tropical fruits and lime zest also develop.

As the sweet and fruity notes begin to subside, it is the warmer and more savoury characteristics that begin to come to the fore. Robust cereals evolve to give wonderful structure and are backed up by notes of warm gingerbread, cinnamon, cloves and mace. The combination give a somewhat earthy feel. Even later there is a woody oak element that comes through nicely.

The finish is of decent length and becomes warmer and spicier with time. The honeyed dried fruits and sugary sweetness fade slowly to let the robust cereal and those mulling-type spices to take hold. Add in the robust cereals and late oakiness, and this whisky grips the tastebuds and holds on longer than expected.

What's the verdict?

This is another lovely offering from Glenmorangie and Dr. Bill, and we are liking the way that this A Tale Of series is going. Hopefully it will become a regular feature on the whisky release calendar. This is delicious and shows the depth and complexity that can be created with maturation in good Marsala barrels. Is it as good as A Tale of Cake? Probably not in our opinion. But that was one of our favourite whiskies for a long time, so would be difficult to beat anyway.

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