1963 is best remembered as the year President JFK was assassinated. Something good also came from that year and you can potentially taste it. Back in 1963 Glenmorangie distilled a certain whisky and laid it to rest in white oak casks. But that’s not really significant except for the fact that that same whisky has been discovered and made available to the world this year. Who would have thought that commercial Glenmorangie whisky from 1963 still existed?
As the story goes, Master Distiller Dr. Bill Lumsden discovered 50 bottles tucked away in the corner of Glenmorangie’s warehouse in 2010. They’ve decided to finally unveil these whiskies to the world this year and also auction one off for charity (The current bid is up to $3750 at the time of this publication). Fittingly the charity will benefit American Forests in an effort to preserve trees like those used to mature whisky. So if you’re craving a piece of history or just feeling generous, be sure to check out the charity link here: www.charitybuzz.com/Glenmorangie1963.
Glenmorangie 1963 is the earliest known commercial bottling of their spirit finished in wood casks. The whisky was aged in white oak for the majority of it’s maturation then finished in Oloroso sherry casks for two to three years. It was bottled and archived in 1987 then rebottled in 2013. Who can say what the original plan for this whisky was but they’ve decided to package them in a “Time Capsule” and sell them off. Each bottle is numbered from 1-50 and it’s no coincidence that it’s being sold on the 50th anniversary of the spirit’s original distillation. To say that this whisky is unique is an understatement; you simply won’t be able to find a whisky like this anywhere else on Earth. And from what I’ve heard about the pricing, it’s actually a “steal.” (I don’t know if I can publish the exact price, but it’s in the range of $2500-$3000). Good luck tracking one down even if you have the desire and funds to purchase a piece of history. The US was only allocated twenty bottles and the Northeast only has two for sale. You can always bid on the charity auction!
Nose: stewed tropical fruits, pineapple, nutty, oak, rich sherry, burnt hickory wood chips
Mouth: gingerbread, dark brown sugar, hickory, walnut raisin cake, full bodied, treacle, stewed pineapple, dark chocolate
Finish: perfectly balanced between oak spice and sherry sweetness, smoked almonds, sherry, long lingering
Verdict: First off special thanks to the good people at Glenmorangie and Moet-Hennessy for bringing this whisky to market. It was an honor to have the opportunity to taste it. I’m well aware that this is a highly unique spirit that few people will taste. This whisky is a time capsule from a past period in whisky distillation. It was literally like tasting a piece of history from the 1960s. The nose is phenomenal with tropical fruits, distinct pineapple, nuttiness, rich sherry and burnt hickory wood chips. It also smelled a bit like a freshly baked walnut raisin cake. This whisky truly shines on the palate; it’s full bodied and packed with rich flavors of gingerbread, dark brown sugar, treacle and a hint of stewed pineapples. I was blown away by the smoothness, yet powerful flavor which would be more readily found in a cask strength whisky. (This whisky is bottled at 43% ABV). The finish is wonderful and full of smoked almonds, sherry sweetness and oak spice. It lingers on for a while, but has you wishing it would last longer; I was quite sad when it eventually faded. I don’t think it’s my place to give a whisky like this a score, but if I had to I’d give it a 96/100. It’s a truly excellent dram.