31 January 2017
Glenmorangie Bacalta radiates sun-baked sweetness
Distillery innovates with bespoke Madeira finish for eighth Private Edition
The gentle warmth of long, balmy days has inspired the latest release in Glenmorangie’s sought-after Private Edition. On an annual basis, this award-winning collection of rare and intriguing single malts invites whisky connoisseurs to explore the Scottish Highland Distillery’s passion for innovation. Eagerly anticipated by aficionados for 2017, comes the eighth release, Glenmorangie Bacalta – the first Glenmorangie finished entirely in sun-baked Malmsey Madeira casks.
Glenmorangie Bacalta (Scots Gaelic for baked) has taken a unique journey through extra-maturation. Bespoke at every turn, its custom-designed Malmsey Madeira finish reveals a complex character which radiates sun-baked sweetness.
The inspiration for this intriguing limited edition first glimmered more than 20 years ago, with the release of Glenmorangie Madeira Finish, the world’s first whisky extra-matured in Madeira casks. Its character so delighted aficionados, that it is sought-after still. Glenmorangie yearned to continue its innovation with Madeira casks. But only the very best casks would do – and such things are rarely available…
For Dr Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation and Whisky Stocks, the memory of that expression lingered on. Determined to realise his vision of the perfect Madeira-finished Glenmorangie, he drew on the expertise gained from the Distillery’s years of pioneering work in cask management. First, Dr Bill arranged for bespoke American oak casks to be created and heavily toasted. The casks were then seasoned to his exacting specifications by Malmsey wine – the sweetest and most prized of the Madeira wines – which was baked to maturity within as the casks lay in the heat of Madeira’s sun. Emptied, shipped to Scotland and filled with specially selected spirit – already matured in ex-bourbon barrels – the Malmsey casks lend layers of sun-baked sweetness to Glenmorangie Bacalta.
Dr Bill said: “For years I had longed to create the best Madeira-finished whisky possible. Realising that ambition took time and dedication, as every step of extra-maturation was tailored exactly to our specifications – rather like haute couture. Connoisseurs will recognise the radiating warmth of our bespoke sun-baked casks in Glenmorangie Bacalta’s aromas of ripe apricots, white chocolate and mineral notes. There are complex tastes of mint toffee, baked fruits, honeycomb, almonds and dates, mingling with marzipan, white pepper and melon – and a rich, syrupy finish. Glenmorangie Bacalta is a burst of sunshine in a glass.”