A single malt whisky fully matured in American oak casks that previously held rye whiskey has today been revealed as the ninth release in Glenmorangie’s Private Edition series.
Using the Scots Gaelic for “spice”, Glenmorangie Spìos, the Private Edition for 2018, has a savoury and full-bodied character, with subtle spice thanks to the American whiskey that interacted with the wood.
Glenmorangie’s director of distilling, whisky creation and whisky stocks, Dr Bill Lumsden, came up with the idea after travelling in the US in the late 1990s when he sought out some of the few remaining rye distilleries that existed before the more recent rye revival.
Captivated by rye whiskey’s characteristics of cinnamon and clove, he decided to experiment to see how its subtleties could shine through Glenmorangie’s renowned smoothness.
He selected first-fill casks from American whiskey’s heartland of Kentucky which were shipped to the Highland distillery. It has been bottled at 46% ABV and is non-chill filtered for extra body and texture.
Bill said: “I have always loved American rye whiskey’s spicy character, and I believed our smooth house style would perfectly complement the nuances of ex-rye casks.
“The result is Glenmorangie Spìos – a full-bodied, savoury single malt which brings to mind American rye whiskey’s golden age. Its fresh, herbal nose hints at cherry, clove and scents of green grass. The rye’s spice bursts on to the palate, as toffee, clove and cinnamon mingle with buttery vanilla, before a sweet and lingering finish – a single malt whisky which is unmistakeably Glenmorangie, yet exquisitely different.”
Tasting notes from Glenmorangie
Colour: Straw gold
Nose: Fresh, herbal and perfumed, hints of cherry, clove and mint toffee, with some green grassy notes. A splash of water releases more perfumed, “ethereal” notes, crisp, clean and fresh, with myriad herbal notes.
Taste: Spicy texture, lots of toffee, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sweet, buttery vanilla.
Finish: Rich, sweet and lingering, with more fudge, toffee, brazil nut and tangy citrus.