Distillery Explores Extra-Maturation with Malmsey Madeira Finish for Eighth Private Edition.
The latest release in Glenmorangie Single Malt Whisky’s coveted Private Edition series is inspired by the gentle warmth of long, balmy days on the Madeira Islands. In its award-winning pursuit of innovation, the revered Scottish Highland Distillery introduces Glenmorangie Bacalta, the first Glenmorangie finished entirely in sun-baked Malmsey Madeira casks.
Taking its name from Scots Gaelic for baked, Bacalta reflects Glenmorangie’s approach to extra-maturation, employing a custom-designed Malmsey Madeira finish that reveals a complex character that 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. For Dr. Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation and Whisky Stocks, the memory of that expression lingered on. Determined to realize 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 within to maturity 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.
Tasting Notes: Glenmorangie Bacalta Private Edition Single Malt Whisky
(Non chill-filtered and bottled at 46% ABV; $99.99 US SRP)
- Color: Light gold
- Nose: Fragrant, honeyed and sweet. Some ripe apricots, mead-like, and a curious minerally/flinty note, followed by some sweet white chocolate. A little water brings out a classic ‘rancio’/aged Balsamic tone, with a suggestion of baked bread, malty/biscuit notes, meadow flowers and some peach crumble.
- Taste: An initial burst of mint toffee, with baked fruits such as caramelised oranges and apricots, lots of honeycomb, almonds and dates… Milk chocolate, marzipan, white pepper and ripe, juicy honeydew melon.
- Finish: A rich, syrupy aftertaste, with more caramelized citrus and pears, some
creamy fudge, but always an intriguing mentholic/eucalyptus sensation in the background.
“For years I had longed to create the best Madeira-finished whisky possible. Realizing that ambition took time and dedication, as every step of extra-maturation was tailored exactly to our specifications – rather like haute couture. Connoisseurs will recognize 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.”
– Dr. Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Director of Distilling
For more information, visit Glenmorangie.com.