Dr. Bill's curiosity led him to explore the potential of new charred oak barrels in enhancing Glenmorangie's delicate, fruity spirit. He handpicked a selection of bespoke casks, meticulously crafted to enrich the distillery's single malt. By subjecting these virgin wood casks to charring for the first time, he aimed to create a distinct style of single malt characterized by intense color and spiciness.
The majority of these early casks were allocated to the wood-finishing process, where their spiciness harmonized with Glenmorangie's intricate fruity notes. However, displaying the vision of a true innovator, he filled a small number of these casks with new-make spirit, envisioning the creation of an extraordinary single malt.
These experimental new char casks were left to mature in a cool, earth-floored warehouse for over two decades. During this extended aging period, the spirit within underwent a delightful transformation, evolving into a lusciously buttery whisky imbued with flavors of vanilla, chocolate infused with hints of orange, nuances of ginger, and a touch of sweet chili.
Dr. Bill was exhilarated by the spicy depths achieved in this groundbreaking experiment. Contemplating how to complement the whisky's unique flavor profile, he embarked on a journey to harmonize Glenmorangie's delicacy with the robust, toasty qualities of the whisky. Initially, he layered the oaky nuances with the soft, fruity character of Glenmorangie matured in first-fill bourbon casks. Subsequently, he introduced sweet subtlety by incorporating a portion of whisky finished in oloroso sherry casks.
After a patient aging period of 23 years, the resulting creation radiates with ripe fruits, rich orange chocolate, and subtle undertones of sugared almonds and spice. Exceptionally dynamic and vibrant, Glenmorangie Grand Vintage Malt 1998 elevates the distillery's renowned elegance with a splendid and spicy brilliance.
Tasting Note by Glenmorangie:
Nose: Rich and mellow, with hints of toffee, ripe fruits such as pears, plums and baked apples, and some gentle oak. This is followed by some sweet vanilla, fragrant spearmint and a mellow, warming, waxy note, like fragrant incense. Some water releases Glenmorangie’s classic citrus notes of lemon and mandarin orange along with sweet tobacco, a touch of lavender, and the merest hint of ginger.
Palate: A zesty, almost effervescent mouthfeel leads into a burst of vibrant fruitiness, some chocolatey notes, a soft butter candy flavour and a hint of toffee, juicy raisins and figs. Then comes a suggestion of orange-flavoured chocolate, clove, ginger and aniseed.
Finish: Gentle and soothing with hints of sugared almonds, leather and dates.