I had the privilege to attend a private dinner / tasting with Glenmorangie at Willow Road. Glenmorangie Brand Ambassadors David Blackmore and Maxime Balay hosted a small group of us for a wonderful evening of food and fine whisky. Glenmorangie distillery manager Andy MacDonald joined us all the way from Scotland.
Our hosts were very gracious and generously poured us samples of Glenmorangie Original, 18 and 25. Additionally Andy poured and spoke about the three mystery casks which are part of the Glenmorangie Cask Masters promotion. By participating in the Cask Masters promotion, whisky fans will be able to vote for their favorite cask to be released as a special bottling sometime in the near future. The fans will take part in every major decision regarding the bottling leading up to the release. It’s a very cool concept and will definitely garner the attention of whisky enthusiasts and casuals alike. As part of the event we were able to taste each cask, here are my impressions:
Cask A – finished in Grand Cru Burgundy casks
Nose: gentle, mushroom, earthy, hint of vanilla
Mouth: sweet, honey, bright
Finish: neat, no iodine, lingering sweetness
Cask B – finished in Grand Cru Bordeaux casks
Nose: honey, harsh, iodine
Mouth: spicy, honey, cardamom, oak
Finish: back of throat, deep, sweet, hint of spices
Cask C – finished in Manzanilla casks
Nose: gentle, spices, citrus, lime, brown sugar
Mouth: gentle on the tongue, treacle, new oak, orange peels
Finish: hint of spice, hits the front of tongue then gradually fades, accessible
Verdict: Cask A and Cask C are very accessible whiskies and would be instantly enjoyed by anyone who likes scotch. However, my favorite of the three is Cask B because of it’s complexity. While it may be a bit harsher then the other two casks, Cask B is the type of whisky that one could develop a long lasting relationship with. I feel like if I sipped Cask B a month from now I would experience new flavors that I didn’t notice initially. That being said, Cask C is currently leading the vote.
I got to take home a Cask A sample which was nice. This was the first private tasting I’ve attended and it genuine, intimate and fun. Great company, exclusive whisky and good food – what more can you ask for? Special thanks to Dave, Maxime and Andy for putting on a memorable event. If you’d like to taste these mystery whiskies, check the tasting tab on the Cask Masters site and also look out for the Glenmorangie table at upcoming industry events.