Good morning WITLers,
As you've probably seen on my instagram on 30th of January, it was the Official Release of the latest Glenmorangie Private Edition Spìos. I've been invited by Glenmorangie to taste it during an VR event in Zurich. We virtually met Dr. Bill Lumsden and Brendan McCarron (@mcc_brendan).
Let's plunge in this new edition. First of all, one thing you should know about it is that this whisky is fully matured in ex-rye casks. Just to be clear, this is not a Rye whisky, this is a Single malt (barley!) scotch whisky and the spirit matured in these particular casks from the US.
What can we expect from this kind of maturation ? To answer that question, let's talk a bit about rye.
Rye is a cereal that shares some similarities with barley on the fact that you can both malt them. This is the process when you soak cereals in order to start the germination and then dry them quickly (with or without peat...) to stop the germination and keep all the sugar and enzymes in it. Another similarity, broadly speaking, is that they both bring spicy notes to the whisk(e)y. They DON'T have the same taste, but both can lead to a spicy whisky (more than corn or other non-maltable cereals).
But... are all single malts spicy ? Nope ! While finding a Rye whiskey which is not a spicybomb is an harder task !
So, you can easily do the math : Single malt + ex-rye Casks = Spicy Whisky ! And guess what means Spìos in Gaelic... I give you 5 sec to find out...5...4...3...2...1 : Spices !
Before sipping my dram, I've a question... will the strong rye profile dominate the Scottish malted barley spirit ? In order to help you understand the combat here, it's like organizing a bare knuckle fist fight between Nicola Strugeon (Scottish Prime Minister) and Donald Trump (US bilionaire with enough nukes to destroy the earth multiple times).
Let the battle begin:
Color : gold
Nose : Quite refreshing and fruity. herbal notes !
Palate : Oh yeah... guess what !? spices, spices everywhere and still fresh notes like mint. he shares the same profile as the Glenmorangie Original with some caramel and vanilla... It's american oak after all. All along my tasting I had Rye notes but it was never too much. well balanced.
Finish : when spices fade away, citrus and oaky hints
Conclusion : This was a fair fight between Scotland and US and I was the winner. This whisky is delicate and balanced, maybe too delicate for certain people, but it's perfect for others who like it gentle. And Glenmorangie always tries to raise the bar on ways to mature whisky and I really appreciate that.